Media interviews can be difficult experiences, even for those who've done them hundreds of times. So, expect the butterflies in your stomach and sweaty palms. That's natural.
Preparation is always the best way to calm some of your fears and help you look and sound your best. Here are three key points to consider when preparing for an interview.
1. Determine your most important message and how you will say it. Don't simply respond to questions. Always take advantage of an interview to tell your story. That message should flow out of the context of the interview.
For example, if the interview is about your latest quarterly report, you can put the profits or losses in context with your overall mission. You might say, "Even though we had a successful quarter, we are reinvesting those profits right back into our (mission) so that we can do even more for our customers in the future." Look for opportunities to repeat that central message during the interview.
2. Anticipate what will be your toughest question and how you will respond. Hint: your answer should dovetail with your most important message (see #1).
So, if you're hit with a question about layoffs, you can respond with something like, "These are difficult decisions and letting good people go is never easy. But we want our customers to know that we remain committed to our (mission) and that we're doing all we can to meet their needs."
3. Learn as much as you can about the format (live, call-in) and the reporter/host. What's his or her style? Does he or she know much about the issue or your organization? A quick one-on-one interview will mean you have to keep your answers short and focused. A longer format will allow you to expand on your answers and even toss in a few anecdotes to make your point.
Preparing for a media interview involves so much more, but if you at least focus on these three steps, you're chances of success will improve greatly.
Contact us for more information on Mack Communications media training.