Have you ever watched an interview on TV or listened to a radio segment and wondered what on earth the spokesperson is talking about? Unfortunately, we see and hear this all the time – people who are trying to communication important information to the public, but don’t understand how to deliver their message. This is a waste of everyone’s time – the speaker, the media source and the listener -but it doesn’t have to be that way.
We are constantly prepping our clients to share their stories in the media and our combined experience as journalists and pr and marketing professionals ensures our clients are confident of the questions they will be asked, the answers they want to give making it a great interview for all.
Here are our key tips we use to prep our clients for interviews with journalists:
1. Define and practice your key messages – and repeat them in good stories Before we coordinate interviews with media, we make sure our clients have a specific purpose for being in the media. This is, that they have a story to tell and strategic key messages they want to share with the audience to achieve a desired outcome. It is important you know what those key messages are from the outset and that you stay true to them. Key messages should be developed well in advance and are usually contained within your business’ marketing strategy. Once you are clear on your messaging, practice it over and over until it becomes second nature. During the interview, keep referring to those key messages through repetition in interesting stories or examples. It is important you make your points clearly and concisely numerous times in case your comments are edited.
2. Stay on topic
Rambling is a common mistake during media interviews. One moment you are talking about the success of your business and the next you are talking about issues that don’t concern you. How on earth did you veer so far off course? Good interviews are ones where you are able to stay on topic and reiterate your key messages. Pause if you go off course, regain control by remembering you are there to promote your business results and initiatives. Stay on topic, be relevant by using examples appropriate and of interest to that media’s audience. Where possible repeat your key messages in clear and concise sentences and don’t forget to pause -this allows the audience and interviewer to catch up as well as for you to stay on point.
3. Be honest and firm
There are a few golden rules when it comes to successful media interviews. Being honest and firm reign in at number one. Never lie to a journalist and don’t provide guesses or estimates. If you don’t know an answer to a question you are being asked, tell them the truth. You could say “I am not qualified to answer that question” or simply “I do not know the answer”. And if they keep asking, reinforce your position. It is better to be transparent than to conjure up an invalid answer as it could lead to mistrust, diminished reputation and further complications for your business. Be honest and firm.
4. Be flexible and open to other questions
While being focused on your key messages and remaining on topic is important, you can be flexible and open to other questions the journalist may have, if they are relevant to your interview. You might be asked on your opinion about a matter relating to your industry or area of expertise, or asked about other areas of your business that indirectly impact the topic you are discussing. If you are knowledgeable of those areas and equipped to answer those kinds of questions, then you should do so. But don’t go too far off your main points. Those should be front of mind as they are what will help you to achieve your ultimate goal -putting yourself and your business in a position for growth.
Profiler PR has more tips to ensure a success media interview and help you to best prepare ahead of time. We are experts in this field and make good preparation a priority. If you need help with your media technique, contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org