Do you ‘wing-it’ because you’re busy? Or, do you set aside some time to get ready and rehearse your key messages to maximize this opportunity.
‘Be prepared,’ the age-old motto of the Girl Guides association is the key to interview success. You’ve done the hard yards and got your 10 minutes of fame, don’t spoil it.
Being interviewed for radio, TV, print or online media is a golden opportunity to reinforce your product, expertise, service or your cause and ultimately add to your bottom line. Here’s PR Guru’s seven tips for being prepared for interview success:
- Know your facts and anticipate questions you may be asked. Brainstorm with a friend or colleague potential questions including ‘difficult’ questions. Ask them to become the interviewer and practice your answers until you feel comfortable.
- Always carry a copy of your press release with you, with essential key messages and other vital information highlighted. That way when you speak to the media, you have everything you need.
- If you’re interview is face to face, make sure you arrive early so you can relax and possibly chat to the presenter, producer or journalist beforehand to establish rapour and get more insight into the interview.
- For telephone interviews find a quiet space, turn your mobile off if you’re on a landline, and ensure there’s likely to be no distraction.
- Prepare some bridging phrases. This will enable you to take the initiative and lead the interview if you can. For example “That’s an interesting concept…but what I think is important is…” or “I think you’ve missed an important issue here…”
- Speak clearly, sound energized and restrict your use of jargon. If you’ve got difficult concepts to get across, rehearse beforehand how best to convey these.
- And importantly, make sure that your office and colleagues are aware that you are being interviewed so that they are prepared for any influx of calls, hits to the website and so on.
Once you’ve distributed your press release, a journalist may contact you immediately especially if they’re writing for an online publication. If they do and you’re not a hundred percent ready, see if they can make an alternative time. Generally this will be acceptable.
If you feel as though you or your spokesperson needs some professional media training, there are PR agencies that offer this service. Contact PR Guru for more details. Want more insight into media interviews? PR Guru’s DIY Publicity Guide is the ticket.