Media interviews can be a scary scenario for many people. Often, it’s fear of the unknown.
For other people, media interviews are a breeze. Why? It’s very likely that these people are prepared. They turn the unknown into the ‘known’ by planning. When you know where you want to go, you can plan an effective path to get there.
There are many, many tips about doing media interviews. Here are three tips that I believe stand out for anyone wanting to perform better in media interviews:
1. Use it as your opportunity, not the media’s opportunity. That’s right. A media interview is YOUR opportunity. That’s the way you should view it. Be prepared to say what you want to say. And repeat it in different ways. Make sure you get your point across.
2. Make a memorable impression. There’s no question that reporters have their favourite sources (you probably know this if you watch the same newscast and see the same individual being interviewed on a regular basis). Reporters know these people are highly quotable, entertaining and provide exceptional value to readers, viewers or listeners. It’s why they go back to these sources over and over again. Watch these sources and learn why they are so successful and media-friendly. You’ll notice two skills: 1) They provide full-sentence ‘sound bites’ that are based on pre-planned messaging; 2) They make sure their ‘sound bites’ also speak to an audience (in other words, the audience’s ‘why should I care?’ answer is built in to the messaging).
3. State your organization/company name. Repeat. State your organization/company name. Do you get the point? Your organization or company name is a huge part of your branding. You want to communicate that branding as much as possible, within reason. For example, try to avoid substituting your organization name with the words ‘we’ or ‘us’. Don’t say, “We are working with Canadians to protect forests and critical coastal habitats….” Instead, say, “The Boreal Forest Conservancy is working with Canadians to protect forests and critical coastal habitats….” Name recognition is a major component of marketing, public relations and communications. That won’t happen if you’re not repeating your name often.