How you are perceived and how you present yourself on camera, radio or in print is critical to branding you and your organization. It’s important to be consistent with how you want others to perceive you and what you want your target audiences to understand about you and your company.
A reporter calls requesting an interview. Now what? Ultimately, remember you are in control of the conversation. Having a strong media interview game and positioning your brand appropriately for how you want to be seen is in your hands. This can be intimidating, but certainly doesn’t have to be. In fact, it can and should be an opportunity to showcase your expertise, the services your business offers and contributions to the community.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind to get comfortable with media interviews:
Tip #1 – You’re never “off the record.” It seems obvious, but if you don’t say it, it can’t be aired, printed or repeated. Only say what you want included in the story. Really, this goes for all conversations that are not confidential.
Tip #2 – Have your “elevator speech” ready not just for a reporter but for anyone who asks, “What do you do at XYZ Company.” This should be less than 30 seconds and should become second nature.
Tip #3 – Ask for the story topic and if you can get the questions ahead of time. Many times you will get them! And sometimes, you can reply via email. Remember, though, that this tactic takes away many of the benefits to speaking with someone personally and opportunity for conversation that may only come about as a result of the back-and-forth nature of an in-person interview.
Tip #4 – Reflect on your goals for the interview…maybe the top three points you want to get across in the piece. Regardless if the reporter asks the question you need asked, offer the information. “May I also add that….” Or, pivot from a question, such as “Great question, I would like to also suggest…” You want to walk away feeling confident in the information you shared. If you happen to think of something that was left out after the fact, you can always contact the reporter.
Tip #5 – Offer to be a source for future stories on related topics. Be the expert on your field. Reporters always need sources that are accessible and willing to help.
BOLD clients receive assistance handling media inquiries, which might consist of things like preparing and practicing for an interview or drafting statements. What else do we do? BOLD is a full-service marketing agency with expertise in not only public relations and brand development, but strategic planning, social media, web + digital media, customer experience and market research.
Get in touch if you’re interested in working with us. We would love to chat with you.