06 Feb Useful Tips for Media Interview Success
The interviewing landscape has changed significantly, and now many interviews are even done via platforms like Zoom. However, the fundamentals of interviewing remain largely the same, which means executives still need to do their homework when preparing for an interview.
To understand the reporter’s perspectives, pressure points, and where their questions may be coming from, it is very important to research the journalist’s background prior to the call. You also need to understand the reporter’s audience so you adjust how you communicate with him or her. For example, if the reporter is writing for a legal publication, you can use legal terms; however, if the audience are consumers, you will need to speak in plain terms. Another way to learn more about the reporter, see if you have some interests in common, and assess his/her level of experience is by reviewing his/her social media accounts. Another important step to prepare for an interview is to read the reporter’s most recent articles to figure out the tone of his/her questions and position your answers accordingly. This can help with formulating talking points ahead of the interview.
A good way to humanize the interview is by preparing a few personal anecdotes. Besides easing the atmosphere, an anecdote can also help those watching or listening to connect with the person being interviewed as well as the brand being represented. Anecdotes also help reporters visualize the point you are trying to make.
Speaking of the brand, make sure that the executive stays on the topic while reinforcing the brand message. Identify potential pivot points so that the conversation doesn’t stray in an undesirable direction. Responses should be brief, as long-winded responses may be well-intentioned but can get lost in translation. Your answers should be short enough to come across as quotable soundbytes. Long sentences can lose a reporter’s attention, and you may end up not being quoted in the story after all.
Always reinforce positivity in responses, even if the interviewer is using negative terms. Never engage when asked negative questions. Change the subject right away. Move away from negativity and into positive territory. Always end your interview on a positive note.
About Top of Mind
Top of Mind PR is an award-winning boutique South Florida public relations firm with vast experience across the United States and the Americas in top-tier newsrooms, broadcast studios, social media agencies, and public relations firms. The firm prides itself on staying up-to-date on federal, state, and local issues that matter to our clients, attentive to conflicts of interest, acutely mindful of the time pressures of its customers, and, most importantly, committed to keeping our clients top of mind with their audience.
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