How to prepare before an interview with the media

2022-04-12 by EPR Staff
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Media interviews are opportunities for companies to share messages with the public. To influence a journalist’s opinion, preparation is needed. Such interviews are essential to establish a brand, and also provide an opportunity for people to learn what an organization is about. To ensure that a person emerges victorious from an interview, given below are certain tips that might prove to be helpful.

Discover the angle

It is important to do a bit of research about a media outlet before agreeing to participate in an interview. Does the media outlet have a particular stand on issues that are relevant to a company’s message? Research should also include finding out about the format of interview a given journalist prefers. One should have a clear idea about the approach a journalist will take, and should prepare accordingly. Following the journalist on social media will also enable one to learn  about them. This knowledge can be used later in the interview to make it appear authentic.Running through questions that are likely to come up is also important.

Consider the audience

There are different types of audiences to consider while planning for an interview. The audience of an interview is composed of the audience of the media outlet and the audience one is trying to reach. A media interview should be treated as an opportunity to grow the target audience for a brand, and hence one should ensure that the message remains true to the core values of the brand one represents.

Be quick in responding

Journalists always have deadlines to meet. They expect quick replies to calls for interviews. A quick response always makes a good impression on journalists.

Do not sound scripted

During an interview, one should not appear scripted. That always has a negative impact. While it is useful to rehearse what one is going to say during an interview, it is necessary to make sure that one does not appear unnatural. One can offer unique perspectives or talk about old topics in a new way. Remaining self-assured is important.

Be ready for challenging questions

While giving an interview, it is important to be somewhere quiet, so that one does not get disturbed or interrupted. One has to go to media interviews prepared for challenging questions. Whether it’s the local news or something with a greater reach, it is important to keep in mind the key message one wants to convey during the interview. The primary goal of the interview should be to pass information with clarity. One should sound friendly and engaged. Journalists might still pursue a question that a guest is not ready for, or adopt a combative style. It is helpful in this scenario to relax and figure out what can be said that appears valuable and insightful to listeners and viewers. If the questions are tricky, one should feel free to challenge the interviewer with valid points. If a journalist asks  a question one doesn’t want to answer, one can use phrases like, ‘what’s more important is…’ and include the key message one had intended to convey.