A media interview can be nerve-wracking if you’re not prepared, but it doesn’t have to be that way. As an expert in your field, you have unique insight into the industry that others can benefit from, so don’t be afraid to share that information with the public through the media! Just remember that journalists are looking for particular kinds of answers during an interview, so follow these helpful tips to make the most of your time in front of the camera.
1) Getting ready for your media interview
When you’re talking with a journalist, it’s not enough to be an expert—you need to be articulate and media-savvy. All journalists hope for a few great quotes, but what they really want is a well-prepared subject who will provide useful information and contribute intelligent insight about an issue. The more you help them achieve that goal, the more likely you are to get good press from your media interview. Identify whom you’ll be interviewing with in advance—and give yourself ample time to do your research before speaking with them.
2) Do your homework on the interviewer
The success or failure of your media interview depends in large part on how much research you do before you sit down. Journalists are professionals, and they’re looking for intelligent people who are interesting to talk with, not random facts. If possible, do some basic background research on their work and be prepared to discuss why your particular story fits into their beat or publication's mission. Remember that journalists are also human beings—don't be afraid to take it up a notch by giving thoughtful insight.
3) Prepare for the questions
When you're giving a media interview, it's easy to be intimidated or nervous. It's important to know exactly what topics will be covered and how best to respond. Keep your answers concise and to the point, don’t ramble. You can ask the journalist how long you should take for each answer. Good preparation always beats blind luck.
4) Don't forget your elevator pitch
If you've been given an opportunity for a media interview, that's great! Make sure you prepare by making up your elevator pitch. Your elevator pitch is essentially an extremely short explanation of what your company does and why it does it. It can be as short as 15 seconds, but should contain all necessary information.
5) Send good information
This doesn’t just mean you need to send along your press release, contact information and bio. Create an online press kit that will help journalists find more information about you. Use your company or personal website as well as social networks, blogs and e-newsletters to showcase past successes and highlight expertise. Make sure your Rolli profile is up-to-date so journalists can easily learn more about you before they speak with you. Sending over an interesting infographic about your company may be enough to get them interested in learning more during their next story on companies like yours.
Here is to growing your name and brand for years to come.