This is the latest in a series of posts about how to prepare and carry out a successful media interview. Part One is here and Part Two is here.
When it comes to media training, it's important to separate the myths from the realities about interviews. For instance, one myth is that the reporter is your friend. Another is that during the interview you're speaking to the reporter or host. Let's define reality in each case.
MYTH: The reporter is your friend.
REALITY: No matter how friendly the reporter or host is and no matter how long you may have known him or her, they are not your friend. Their job is to conduct a thorough, compelling and possibly entertaining interview. They are not their to promote you or your ideas. That means it is your job to look out for yourself and to successfully communicate your message.
MYTH: You are speaking to the reporter or host.
REALITY: Whenever you speak with a reporter or answer questions from the media you are actually speaking to the public. You're speaking to their listeners, viewers or readers. The public sees you, not the reporter. That means you need to maintain your composure, no matter how irritating the question. It also means that you have a golden opportunity to present your message.
Interviews can be tremendous platforms. Just remember the dynamics and the reality of your situation. Then, make them work to your advantage.