Media Interviews-Learn To Shine

interview

It can be a love-hate relationship. You want the news media to cover your story, you just don’t want to be the one going on-camera to talk about it. Working with the media is something you want to learn to enjoy. As a former television reporter, I’ve put together some simple steps that you can use to make your time in front of the camera a little more comfortable.

Ask Questions – Find what the reporter is looking for. Where did they get the story from, what is their angle and what is their deadline? You need to know what they want to talk about, so you can be ready to answer all of their questions.

Know You Material – Be prepared for the interview. Do your research, have interesting facts and stories to back your materials up. You’re being positioned as the expert, so know what you’re talking about and practice giving your answers ahead of time. Try and focus on 3 to 4 key points that will help you get your point across.

Know Your Audience – While you’re the expert, talk to people, not at them. Speak clearly and in a manner that they’ll understand. Never get too technical because you’ll loose your audience. Make someone understand why this information is important and why they should care. Give personal experiences to demonstrate your points.

Get To The Point – Answer the questions and do it quickly. You want to speak clearly, slowly but also try and get your message across in 10 seconds. Reporters are allowed a limited time to tell a story, so they are looking for “sound bites” to place in their story. While you may think your message needs more time to get across, if it’s too long, it runs the risk of being taken out of the story.

Body Language – Realize how you say something also sends a message. Make sure your body language says your open and you look and act like you’re having fun. The reporter should work with you to create that comfort level, but it’s also something you need to do on your own. Make sure not to cross your arms, appear friendly and keep your eyes focused on the person doing the interview.

Interviews typically take less than 30 minutes to do. When it’s done thank the reporter for their time and ask when they think the story might air. For a reporter, a pleasant, prepared source is an incredible find and a resource they’ll turn to again and again.

February 2, 2011 · Posted by in misc  

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