Have you been asked by a journalist for an interview but you are unsure how to maximise the opportunity?
Here are some simple things you can do before an interview to ensure you are fully prepared.
Develop key messages: What are the critical messages that you want to communicate? Key messages are the core messages you want your audience to hear and remember. Before the interview write them down and practise weaving them into your answers. By using these key messages you can shape how your business is described in the media.
Plan your responses: Before you undertake the interview you will need to write out a game plan. When writing this plan think about the possible questions a journalist may ask and develop responses for each question. You also need to think about the main issues you want to cover and think about ways you can bring them up during the interview.
It’s important to write down your plan to ensure you remember what you want to say. If you are doing a phone interview, have the plan in front you so you can easily refer to it.
Practice: Once you have developed your plan and key messages you need to make sure you remember them. Take some time to practice your responses to possible questions. You could even get a colleague to play the journalist’s role. If you feel you need more practice think about doing some formal media training.
Don’t be afraid of journalists: The journalist’s role is not to try to catch you out, but to establish the facts and report on them objectively. If you offer truthful information and try to provide it in a clear and concise way the journalist will see you as a credible source.
Use silence to your advantage: Don’t feel you need to answer every question as quickly as possible. Take a quick pause to think about your response before you answer or you may end up rambling. If the journalist pauses to think or there is a long silence during the interview don’t feel pressured to fill it.
Know your audience: Do some research and get to know the target audience of the media outlet you are being interviewed by. When you know what the outlet is looking for you can provide them with appropriate answers and information that will appeal to their target audience.
The most important thing to remember is this is an opportunity for you to get your messages to your customers through the journalist.
How do you prepare for a media interview?
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