Media Interviews


-- Know in advance the subject matter of the interview, other sources and reporter's knowledge of the topic.

-- Plan 2-3 key messages; be ready to bridge to answers.

-- Dress conservatively, sit erect, keep eye contact, smile.

-- Stay on the record: nothing is "off the record."

-- Listen to the question, but still look for ways to convey key messages (a question is only an opportunity to respond).

-- Don't repeat negative language or false assumptions from the question. Tell the real story.

-- Don't answer hypothetical questions, speculation, "what if" questions.

-- During a print interview, if your answer is complex or sensitive, it's permitted to ask the reporter to read back what he/she heard you say to be sure it's what you intended to say.

-- Relax, be confident; you know the topic better than the reporter.

Before the interview:

-- Plan ahead, anticipate the kinds of questions you might be asked.

-- Watch the program you will be on, or listen to the show.

-- Know your ideas and goals.

-- Time your answers (10-30 seconds for TV).

-- Prepare questions for the host.

-- Practice, practice, practice.

During the interview:

-- Arrive early.

-- Be a nice person.

-- Smile.

-- Know what you must get across.

-- Get fired up before the TV program starts.

-- Present your main point first.

-- Answer questions honestly.

-- Watch out for efforts to put words in your mouth.

-- Assume nothing.

-- Don't lapse into industry jargon, acronyms or technical terms.

-- Take your time.

-- Be colorful in your answers. Use language that makes an audience sit up and listen.

-- Never say "no comment."

-- Do not be curt, even with the dumbest question.

-- Do not begin with trite phrases such as, "I'm glad you asked that..."

-- Be relaxed, confident and honest.

After the interview:

-- Practice some more.

-- Follow-up.

-- Get feedback.


When is it news? It is news when it contains one or more of major ingredients of human interest, namely:

-- When it is new; e.g., a new trend or industry issue.

-- When it is novel; e.g., identical twins suffer identical injuries.

-- When it relates to famous persons; e.g., any entertainment column.

-- When it directly important to business people; e.g. information about taxes or statistical analysis of numbers.

-- When it involves conflict; e.g. land development battles, divorces, athletic contests.

-- When it involves mystery; e.g. most crimes.

-- When it is considered confidential; e.g., information that was previously concealed.

-- When it pertains to the future (plans for improving the city).

More Ways Your Company Can Make News

-- Tie in with a news event of the day;

-- Make a analysis, economic forecast or prediction;

-- Issue or diagnose statistics;

-- Adapt national reports and surveys locally;

-- Conduct a poll or survey and release the results;

-- Contribute to a local community charity fundraiser;

-- Make an award;

-- Stage a seminar or special event;

-- Write an opinion piece of the newspapers;

-- Announce an appointment;

-- Celebrate an anniversary.

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