We read them, hear them and see them all the time, interviews from people all over the world with different media reporters. Whether it’s in print, over the airwaves or on your television screen, it’s hard to miss them. With so many different platforms and media outlets it’s important your company is ready for when the media calls. So, what makes for the perfect media interview?
- First, it’s important to distinguish what type of media you’re doing an interview with. Is the interview be live or recorded? Will your audience be able to see you either on their television screens or through Facebook Live? Will people only hear your voice? Making sure you come across clear is critical. You have more leeway with recorded interviews and you can restate things if you want, verses a live interview where what you say is out there forever.
- Properly prepare for any interviews. Go over the key messages you want to get across to the audience. Think through the types of questions the reporter will ask you. Maybe even ask the reporter what questions they have for you. Prepare answers ahead of time as much as you can so you have an idea of what you will want to say to those questions, and work your key messages into those answers.
- Don’t be intimidated by silence. When a reporter makes statements instead of asking questions, or try to prompt you to openly make suggestions and share thoughts, they’re trying to get you to ramble and go off script. They might even leave long pauses, hoping you will feel the need to fill the silence, but understand that silence is okay. Answer the question, in short and concise statements and let the interview breathe. It’s up to the reporter to continue the interview and ask follow-up questions.
- Don’t play the blame game. Avoid pointing out flaws in the competition or pointing fingers. Instead talk about the great things your company is doing and continue to circle back to your key messages throughout the interview.
- Keep your answers simple. It’s important to know who your audience is. If you’re interviewing with a specific trade magazine, you can use more technical answers because the media outlet’s audience has more knowledge of the topic and the jargon of that particular industry. However, if you’re talking to a general news media outlet, keep answers as basic as possible. The audience to these general news outlets is not as versed in the topic as you are, so keep jargon and technical terms out of your answers as much as possible and try to explain your topic in a way somebody who is not in your industry can understand.
These are just some tips and tricks to succeed in a media interview. Red Shoes Inc. helps companies and individuals achieve success with media at the local and national level every day. With an exceptional team of individuals ranging in experience from crisis work, mergers, politics, health care and re-branding, and with the help of an Emmy-awarded journalist, Red Shoes Inc. has the knowledge and expertise to make you shine. If you would like media coaching to prepare for your next interview, call Red Shoes at (920) 574-3253.