Exciting news! You’re booked for an interview with a reporter. It can be a phone interview, Zoom interview, on-camera interview, and it can be pre-recorded or live. No matter the type of interview, here are HJMT Public Relations Inc.’s top 5 tips for how to best prepare for a media interview.
Get the questions beforehand
Often you or your publicist can ask to receive a copy of the questions before the interview so you have ample time to prepare before the interview itself. It’s always a good idea to ask, just know that sometimes the answer is no.
Is the interview videotaped? If so, it’s a good idea to set up a mock interview and record yourself. Then, play back the recording and critique your body language. Do you look relaxed? Are you talking too fast or too slow? Perhaps you’re using your hands too much. Look at the video and try to improve the way you come across on camera.
Leave the industry jargon behind
We know you’re an expert in your industry, but for a media interview, remember that the viewers/listeners/readers most likely are not. Use simple answers that convey your expertise, but don’t leave the audience questioning what you really meant to say.
There are times when Hilary JM Topper is recording her small business podcast, Hilary Topper on Air, and the guest barely lets her get a word in! While the media wants you to be able to give more than one-word answers, make sure your answer is concise and straightforward. And, stay on topic! Don’t go off on a tangent.
Be grateful and appreciative
Thank the reporter for their time and tell them how much you appreciate the opportunity to be interviewed. A thank you still goes a long way and with the proper media relations tactics, you can develop a real relationship with the reporter where they may be inclined to reach out to you for your expert opinion again.
Need help with media training? We have decades worth of experience coaching our clients in order to be best prepared for a media interview. Reach out to us to learn more!