Have you been contacted for a media interview to speak about your small business; nonprofit organization; or a special event or promotion you are coordinating? Whether you have an upcoming interview or whether you hope to have one in the near future, there are several ways to prepare for an interview with the media.
Below are a few things to keep in mind.
Respond to the media in a timely fashion. If a reporter or journalist contacts you for an interview, respond to him/her in a timely fashion. If you have a publicist or communications representative, ask them to serve as your liaison. Even if you have no comment, let the reporter know that. You never know when you might need to reach out to this media outlet, so you want to be respectful and acknowledge their request with a reply. If you want to participate in the interview, responding late could cause the reporter to move on to another story subject.
Inquire about the details of the interview. Find out what type of interview this will be. Will it be an email interview, physical interview, or Skype interview? Ask the media outlet for the theme of the interview, as well as what questions or type of questions they plan to ask. Some journalists will not provide questions in advance, but it doesn’t hurt to ask. Other key details include confirming the date, time, and location of the interview. An interview is your time to shine. Thus, if time allows, inquire in advance about what materials/content the media outlet needs for a successful story. Key items to potentially share include a press kit, key brand images/videos, and/or an event flyer.
Communicate your brand message effectively. No matter the type of interview, it is crucial to express your brand’s story in an effective way. If you receive the questions in advance, answer the questions and rehearse your responses. If the interview will broadcast on television or over the Internet, download a free app or use your computer to video record yourself answering the questions. Ask someone you trust to watch the interview and ask his or her thoughts on how you can make it better. If you don’t have the questions, create questions that you think the journalist may ask. (Did I mention you should research the media outlet, so you can become familiar with their audience and their style of editorial?)
So how do you make sure you stay on track with your brand messaging? A helpful checklist of questions include:
- Do my answers complement my brand’s mission?
- What is an important story about my brand that should be shared? (An example is how /why you started your company; how/why you developed your product or service; what motivates you to do what you do?)
- What sets my brand apart from others?
Following these tips will help you prepare for meaningful media interviews that bring the right exposure to your brand.
Wishing you all the best, Business Rock Stars!
Have you participated in a media interview before? How did you prepare? Leave me a thought below or tweet them to me at @bestrategicPR. #BeStrategic #media #interview