By Chad Saylor
This is the last blog in our media interview preparation series. We hope you’ve read and enjoyed our previous posts on what to do upon initial contact from a reporter and how to develop your messages.
For this final installment, we’ll take a look at the media interview itself and offer some tips and advice on how to get through it with flying colors.
Allow me to offer a quick virtual high five if you’ve done media interviews before or are currently in a position to do so as your organization’s media spokesperson. A 2014 survey by Chapman University Survey of American Fears listed … you guessed it … public speaking as Americans’ number one fear. Chapman’s 2020/2021 survey result for our number one fear? Corrupt government officials. So, if you’ve braved the camera, microphone, telephone, or computer video connection and conducted an interview, congratulations! Give yourself another high five if you’ve done it in your pajamas (I have, but don’t tell anyone, ok?).
We have decades of media relations experience to help guide you through media interviews, no matter the format. The most common interview formats you may be asked to do are email, telephone/radio and on-camera. They all have their pros and cons, but you don’t have to worry because we’ve handled them all.
No matter the media interview format, here’s your goal:
Successfully deliver your key messages to your audience through the news media.
We’ll not only help you get your message across, but we can also provide media relations training so you look and sound credible while doing it, which can sometimes be more effective than your message.
For example, here are a few best practices we provide in our media relations training for on-camera interviews:
- Ensure your appearance is neat and you’ve dressed appropriately (most people conclude more from how you look rather than what you say)
- Keep your responses short (about 10-20 seconds)
- Avoid jargon, slang or company-speak (act as if you’re speaking to someone who knows nothing about your organization or field)
- Bonus best practice: ensure your kids aren’t playing in the background of your Zoom interview!
We hope this series on media interview preparation has been informative and we hope you can put the tactics and techniques to immediate use. Want to learn more about how you can improve your media relations strategy? Commonwealth PR is phone call or email away at firstname.lastname@example.org or 804-510-0039.