Media Interview Preparation (Series): What to do upon initial contact from a reporter

This is the first blog in a series that aims to help you successfully prepare for a media interview. Media interviews can help your organization reach its communication goals in many ways. Here are just a few benefits:

  • Allows your organization to communicate directly to both your stakeholders and a broad audience
  • Helps inform your stakeholders about important issues affecting them
  • Encourages your stakeholders to take an action that mutually benefits them and your organization
  • Influences public policy
  • Builds organizational credibility (Bonus: the media see your organization as thought leaders and a “go-to” for emerging topics)
  • Supports your organization’s communication goals 
  • It’s free!

While it may be tempting to agree to an interview and start answering questions, it’s best to hit the pause button and assess the reporter’s story or angle. A great first step is to discuss the reporter’s questions with your organization’s leadership and communication staff and ask some probing questions to discover if this interview makes sense strategically for your organization. 

For example, has the reporter covered this topic before? If so, what was the sentiment? Is the reporter on a hard deadline, or is there time to develop thoughtful, measured responses that align with your position and communication goals?

Having the experience of a seasoned public relations firm like Commonwealth PR in your corner that has the industry knowledge and developed relationships with reporters allows you to focus more energy on running your business or organization. We work closely with clients every day to help them figure out the best way to handle media requests and then coordinate with them and the reporter to ensure the final media story aligns with the organization’s overall messaging and strategy.

Please let us know how we can help you with your media relations efforts, and we’ll be happy to put a plan together that works for your organization:, 804-510-0039.

We are here to help your company succeed! Reach out today to set up a conversation with our team to discuss your needs.


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