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For most professionals, media interviews can be a daunting thought, especially if you haven’t done one before.
Prior to any interview it is important to be well prepared and feel confident and comfortable in what you’re going to talk about.
In today’s blog we share our six top tips to help you master any media interviews. You might also want to check out this week’s podcast which tells you all you need to know about media relations.
1)Know your main points
Make sure you have a clear agenda and know why you’re there and the angle you’re planning to take. Ensure that you know how your interview fits into the bigger picture and how or where your interview will be used. It is important to have a firm (but fair) opinion, along with a clear viewpoint and position that makes you an essential part of the topic spoken about. Being on the fence or “wishy-washy” about your stance doesn’t make for good TV/radio or a good read.
2)Prep for likely questions and answers in advance
Prior to the interview, make sure you think about your angle and the points you want to make to help anticipate different responses so that you’re not caught off guard and left without something to say. Practice in advance with different people you trust to observe the different conversation directions to make you feel more prepared for any response.
3)Establish a rapport with the journalist
Like most conversations in life, it’s important that you build a relationship with the person you’re speaking to. This will not only encourage both parties to feel more relaxed and comfortable but will also help you to find common ground and build a good relationship – therefore increasing your chances of gaining any future coverage and a preferential angle. A good way to do this is by researching the journalist prior to the media interview to get a feel for his/her interests.
4)Remain calm, cool and collected
It’s important to not fall into the trap of being too opinionated or becoming overly emotional in your media interview because your actions and words are being documented. Journalists will often encourage any controversial or emotional behaviour as it often makes for a better TV or reading. With that in mind, don’t ever assume that anything is ever ‘off the record’, because it’s probably not.
5)Confidence is key!
It goes without saying – confidence really is key! Confidence is a crucial part of a successful media interview, especially if you’re wanting the audience and journalist to trust you and trust that you know what you’re talking about. It’s not just having self-assurance, but also about inciting that feeling in others.
6)Don’t be afraid to show your personality
It is important to let your personality come through because the media love to know the person behind the brand! Providing details, telling stories, sharing anecdotes and using visualisation techniques are all part of adding colour and personality, and each are equally important for a successful interview.
BONUS TOP TIP – Agree the angle in advance
You can, and should, request a pre-interview phone call with any media outlet to discuss the terms of the interview (or ask your PR to do this for you!), such as what type of attribution you will use and the questions/topics you’re likely to cover.
Hopefully these top tips will help you effectively master any future media interviews and increase your chances of gaining positive coverage.
For more information on mastering media relations, listen to Episode 5 of our podcast, Revitalise & Grow or take a look at our blog on: The importance of face-to-face journalist meetings in a digital age.
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