Media Training Excerpt: How to prepare for media interviews

Posted by on February 28, 2014

In my career, I’ve been fortunate enough to attend several media training sessions for a variety of clients and industries. What’s amazing to me, though, is how the basic skills of media training apply universally. And because of that, Marketwave recently developed a structured curriculum for media training.

Care for an excerpt? Here’s a taste of tips we share in our media training workshops:

It's not only about why your news is relevant, it's about why your audiences should care.

It’s not only about why your news is relevant, it’s about why your audiences should care.

About Interviews
Okay, it’s nerve-wracking. For some folks, it’s intimidating. But despite the hesitations about media interviews, they’re a spectacular opportunity to tell your story. And really, interviews are just a way to carry on a conversation between you, the interviewer and the audience.

Here’s something to consider: the reporter is really just a conduit to the ultimate audience. And the interview is just a forum. The reader contributes through comments and feedback. Your job: engage, entertain and inform.

But How Can I Prepare for Interviews?
The first thing that you, as the expert or spokesperson, does when preparing for an interview is to research the reporter. What have they written about previously? What tone do they take in their stories? Do they have certain questions they ask often? What makes them tick?

It’s equally important to understand the specifics of the interview, starting with the story angle the reporter is taking toward your story. It’s smart to ask beforehand so that you can be well-prepared to answer their questions and provide them the information they need. And really, it’s all about collecting insights and answers to questions (that you ask yourself, that you ask your PR consultant or that you ask the reporter). Among them: 

  1. What’s the reporter’s goal in talking to me?
  2. What’s the story here, really?
  3. What would the headline of this piece be and how can I work toward that?
  4. What are current trends/industry news that could be brought up during the interview?
  5. How long will the interview last?
  6. What’s the reporter’s deadline?
  7. What’s the estimated publication date?
  8. How can I best give the reporter the information they need while reinforcing my key messaging?
  9. Who’s going to be reading/watching/listening to this down the road?
  10. How can I be timely, yet ensure the information I’m giving is evergreen and applicable in the future?

If you’re interested in learning more about Marketwave’s media training services, drop us a line and let us know!

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