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 interview?
- First, it’s important to distinguish what type of media you’re doing an interview with. Will the interview be live or recorded? Will you be seen by your audience, like in a TV interview? Will people only hear your voice? Making sure you come across clearly is critical. There is more leeway with recorded interviews, 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 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 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 and leads you to openly make suggestions and share thoughts, they’re fishing for you to keep rambling and go off script. They might even leave some 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 get into the blame game. Don’t start 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 those key messages throughout the interview.
- Keep your answers simplistic. It’s important to know who your audience is. If you’re writing for a trade magazine, you might be able to get a little more technical with your answers to questions because the audience you’re speaking to has a higher knowledge of the topic you’re discussing. However, if you’re talking to a general news media outlet, keep answers more basic. 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 great 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, re-branding and an Emmy-awarded journalist to help aid in work with media, 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.