YOU only have to watch the nightly news to see those who prepare for their media interview and those who don’t. The fidgeting, stumbling over words and getting off topic can soon lose an audience and an opportunity for you to get your message across. This doesn’t just apply to TV media though.
It’s important to prepare well so that you survive the media interview. Here are some tips on how to be better prepared for that media interview to enable you to get the most out of it:
Know your message
You need to determine what your message will be. Prepare enough to answer every question thrown at you. Remember, this reflects on you and your business. If you get a difficult question, answer briefly and then put forward your key message. You should be prepared for such questions beforehand. It’s best not to say “no comment’’ as it implies you’re hiding something. It is acceptable to say “I’m unable to speak about that because…’’.
Know your interviewer and the media company
You need to learn about the writing style of the journalist who will be interviewing you – a feature writer will want human interest stories, while a hard news reporter will want facts and figures. You also need to learn as much as you can about the publication or program. Who is it pitched to? What type of content does it run? Are there special segments or sections your business would fit within? This will give you greater confidence.
Determine how you will tell your story
The better the interview, the better the story. Think about personal anecdotes and stories to illustrate your point. Make sure you have facts and figures to back up your message. However, telling a good story doesn’t always come down to what you say, but how you say it. Engage the audience – whether that’s the interviewer or those down the barrel of the camera or microphone. Think about being clear and concise with your answers.
Find out how long you have to tell it
Find out how long you have to tell that story. There’s a big difference between a 30-second TV cross and an hour-long newspaper feature interview. You should aim to present your main points up front and then remember that the best way to emphasis your message is to repeat it.
Kellie O’Brien is founder of boutique public relations business Mum PR and a former Tasmanian journalist with 16 years in print media. Mum PR gives mums the attention they deserve. It pitches WAHM businesses and mummy bloggers to new and traditional media. So, as a journalist and blogger, Kellie is exactly who you’re targeting. www.mumpr.com.au offers free information to do your own PR, along with a paid service. You can connect with Kellie via Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.