Media interviews can be intimidating but they don’t have to be if you take time to prepare. While you are an experienced professional, you don’t speak to the media every day. The reporter likely does conduct interviews daily. You need to make sure you are ready for anything that may come your way. Here are a few pointers for getting through that tough media interview.

Broadcast/internet or print

  • Determine if this is an interview that is beneficial to your cause. Maybe a written statement would be better?
  • Know the difference between “off the record, on the record” and “for background only.”
  • Research the reporter.
  • Develop three messages you want to express in the interview.
  • If you are asked a question you can’t answer, redirect. “I can’t comment on that but what I can tell you is_____.” You should then circle back to one of your three messages. If done correctly, this is effective.

For television and radio

Assume the microphone is always hot. Don’t feel the need to make idle chitchat with a microphone nearby that may be hot. It’s okay to have a lull in the conversation. This is often where people make mistakes.

If you are counting only six pointers, you’re correct. There’s more to be learned. Let me help you prepare for media interviews so you are at your best. As a broadcast journalist for two decades, I can walk you through what is likely to happen in a media interview. We can also help you prepare a communications strategy for a big announcement, news conference or trial. Email me at [email protected]