How to conduct a media interview

By: Oren Bason

Andy Warhole once said; “everyone deserves 15 minutes of fame,” to which he added, you better make sure you prepare yourself well for it. Preparing yourself properly for a press meeting can improve the way you are covered and increase your chances of projecting your messages the way you intended.

See here top ten tips for nailing your interview.

1. Get to know the journalist – do some intelligence work on the interviewers – ask them what salient points relevant to them, and how well they understand your field or the topic. It could be worth finding out from your colleagues if they were also interviewed by them and extrapolate information. This data will help you get a clearer picture about the interviewer and the questions that will be asked

2. Organize a pre-interview session – ask the journalist what are the salient points, and try to stay within the interview framework. In any instance, do not ask what questions will be asked, you will not be informed

3. Rehearse your answers – so that during the interview you will come across clearly, succinctly and to the point

4. Don’t use jargon, don’t use professional or technological buzz words that may not be understood by the audience. If you must use them, ensure they are understood, or make sure to explain them

5. Provide a meaningful announcement – try to combine your response with your main messages, and create an announcement that can be used as a quote or a headline

6. Collate data – your opinion becomes an expert opinion if it’s backed by numbers, data, statistics research and event names

7. Don’t sound like an advertisement – using ad slogans will cause the journalist to abstain from writing the article and will not have future contact with you

8. Go over your main messages – you can say the same things in different ways to amplify them. Emphasize the main messages a few times to ensure they have been heard and registered

9. Say only what you want to see printed – everything you say can be published, therefore even if the microphone or tape are turned off, it doesn’t mean that you are off the record. Do not say to the reporter the following is off the record information, the role of the reporter is to publish and possibly with an exclusive. Do not volunteer information that can be harmful

10. Never say “no response” – it can be interpreted as though you have something to hide. Instead say you currently cannot provide the information. Explain briefly why not.

11. Be candid – It’s important to say the truth and to come across honestly. If you don’t know the answer, just say so

12. Be positive – a negative announcement can come out wrongfully. Emphasize your strong points and not your competitor’s weaknesses

13. Be accommodating and kind – work on creating a good and positive relationship with the reporter, so he or she will be willing to come back to you in the future. What’s more an interview achieved with positive vibes will have a better chance of coming across positively. At the end of the interview thank the journalist

The writer Oren Bason edits the Allmarketing Israeli marketing portal. He is also the CEO of Allmedia marketing communications consultancy, www.allmarketing.co.il, and a trainer at Allmarketing training

Close Menu
Skip to content