Category Archives for Media Interviewing Skills

15 more media interview tips – slow down your delivery!

1

Slow down your delivery; speak to the reporter's note taking speed.

2

Ask if they are getting it all down ("Am I going too fast?").

3

In a phone interview, listen to their keystrokes on their PC, and sloooow down.

4

Repeat your key messages at least three times for each key message.

5

Know reporter/blogger math: 6X1=0 ... 3X3=1
That is, six messages or more provided randomly will result in no retention. However, three key messages stated succinctly three times may result in the retention of one (which could be the headline or lead element in a story/blog, or evening news teaser).

6

Have handouts and written documents the reporter/blogger can take away or receive by e-mail.

7

Respond to reporter questions in writing by e-mail.

8

Rehearse and role play before the interview.

9

Speak in sound bites of no more than 10-15 seconds, pause, provide another key message.

10

Never repeat the negative; you will be the one saying it.

11

Avoid corporate speak and jargon; use plain language your mother would understand.

12

Ask to say it again; if you bloop or make a mistake in a statement, acknowledge it and ask to restate the point.

13

Don't ramble, get long-winded or wander off message; pause-- dead air is your friend.

14

You are never off the record; don't go there!

15

Articulate clearly and don't mumble.

15 tips to help you prepare for a media interview

1

Find out what others in your organization are saying, and be consistent with the organization’s views. Your Public Affairs Office or Marketing Department can help with clips and other background materials.

2

Determine the audience who will be reading the story, watching or listening to the broadcast.

3

Develop key messages. Tailor your key messages for that audience, remembering that often you will want to speak to multiple audiences.

4

Develop talking points to support your main points. Keep in mind the limitations of the medium as you prepare. Radio and television don’t allow for as much detail as newspapers and magazines.

5

Gather necessary background materials. Select handouts for the reporter.

6

Find out about the reporter’s style, reputation and past coverage. Have they been fair and accurate?

7

Role-play and rehearse. Have someone ask you the tough questions

8

Prepare to treat the interview as a presentation that will be interrupted by questions.

9

Select an interview venue you can control, if possible.

10

Set a time limit, preferably less than 15 minutes.

11

Practice delivering your key messages and using bridging techniques to get them into the conversation.

12

Take a few minutes before starting the interview to build personal rapport with the reporter, no matter the venue.

13

Feel free to ask about the subject areas the reporter will probably cover.

14

It’s OK to ask what other sources the reporter has spoken with or will use.

15

Never ask to read the story before publication. But it is OK to ask if they know when it will be aired or published.