By F+A Staff

Ride into your next media interview with the headlights blazing

Preparation is essential heading into a media interview, and the reporter isn’t the only one who should be armed with questions. Here’s what you need to know before beginning any interview:

  • what the interview is about;
  • what specific topics will be discussed;
  • from what perspective the story will be written;
  • who will be conducting the interview;
  • who else will be interviewed;
  • how long and in what format (e.g. phone, in-person, live or filmed) the interview requires; and
  • when the story will run or air.

Never consent to being interviewed on the spot, and remember that people who are interviewed before or after you will, or already have, shaped the reporter’s perspective on the story.

 

Ideally, when a reporter calls, whoever takes the call records the reporter’s information and then works with their public relations team to arrange the interview. Reporters are accustomed to working through PR executives, so while they may prefer to get directly to the source first, they will not be unduly disturbed. This allows time to determine the nature of the interview, discuss strategies in private before speaking directly with the media and determine the answers to the questions above.

By F+A Staff

Dial-up Your Phone Interview Savvy

The following five tips for a fruitful phone interview will quell anxiety and set you up for success:

  • Location is key. Conduct the interview from a location other than the office, where it’s easy to get distracted by emails, phone calls and visitors.
  • Have a one-sheet of key messages available to reference during the interview – just be sure not to read them verbatim to the reporter, which can sound overly rehearsed and insincere.
  • Be comfortable. Many people find it more comfortable to stand during a phone interview, which also projects more authority in their voice.
  • Act as if the reporter is in the same room. Smile when appropriate. The warmth from a smile is heard by the reporter and, therefore, the audience. Gesturing also add emphasis, which can help draw attention to key points.
  • Listen for non-verbal clues. With phone interviews, it’s often possible to hear the sound of the reporter typing. An increase in typing indicates that the reporter is intrigued. Take that as a chance to slow down and re-emphasize your key messages.

While phone interviews may seem less intimidating because there is no visual component, they can actually be more challenging because it is more difficult to convey personality and create visuals in the reader’s mind. With these tips in mind, you can pave a pathway to achieving your ultimate goal – an authentic portrayal of your key messages that reach your target audience.

Ride into your next media interview with the headlights blazing
Dial-up Your Phone Interview Savvy