Doing a Media Interview? Try These Tips


Speaking with the media can be tough, especially if you’re not used to doing it. Christina Khoury of PRbreakfastclub.com offers some quality advice for businesses (it’s actually for PR pros to pass on to clients) about how to get your message across effectively in only 5-10 minutes, so you come across a little more like George Clooney, and a little less like Rod Blagojevich or Animal from "The Muppets":

Prepare. Inform your client about the outlet, host, market, and if you’re lucky the questions that will be asked (don’t count on it).  Note: no matter how much you prepare, prepare for the unexpected and plan for possible damage control.

Draft no more than three talking points. If there are more than three, clients feel rushed to make sure every point is discussed and it makes the interview seem less conversational.   Work with the client so that he can discuss the points comfortably with improvisation instead of memorizing them.  This will help create a more genuine interview.  If needed, index cards are beneficial but should only have key words instead of phrases in case your client forgets something.  And if he does,  it’s not the end of the world.  Stay positive, give feedback, and move on to the next one.

This is not an advertisement. Be careful how many times your client mentions his product.  If the audience wanted to watch informericals they would turn on the TV in the middle of the night.  No one wants that during prime time.  My rule of thumb, especially for short interviews, is to mention the product twice.  Once in the beginning and once at the end as a call to action to communicate where or how to purchase/experience said product.

Smile. It’s easy to sound monotone on interviews especially if they are over the phone.  By smiling clients can change the entire tone of their voice and people are more inclined to listen to a voice that is inviting.

Relax, breathe, and have fun. I’ve had clients sing on the radio, tell embarrassing stories, and some hosts have even professed their love for some clients.  Just have fun.  No one wants to listen to anyone that takes themselves too seriously, especially during drive time.

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