Even professionals in specialized roles or management positions often feel hesitant about speaking to the media and may not know what to say when interviewed by the media.
Whether it’s your first interview or you’re already familiar with the process, handling interviews carefully is essential to ensure their success.
Effective preparation and training on various aspects, from the content of your responses to the use of body language during interviews, can result in favorable media coverage.
First and foremost, professionally tailored media training is crucial for building valuable trust and relationships with the media through personalized preparation.
The purpose of this training is to enhance performance in front of microphones and cameras, confidently address a variety of topics that journalists are interested in, and respond to questions clearly and effectively.
As industry experts, PR professionals can provide precise advice and guidance to enhance media relations skills.
Points to consider when preparing for media interviews.
Here are five important points for conducting effective media interviews.
1. Prepare well for the interview
When preparing for an interview, it’s important not only to anticipate the types of questions that might be asked but also to research the journalist. In addition to preparing answers to potential questions, it can be helpful to study what recent articles the journalist has written, their question style, the topics their program focuses on (for television interviews), and what recent topics they’ve been emphasizing. This research can assist in anticipating various question patterns and being well-prepared for the interview.
2. Be clear and concise.
Select the key messages your company wants to convey in advance and communicate them effectively and clearly.
Clarity is essential in this regard. To avoid getting “off track” during the interview, it’s recommended to identify the messages and content that your brand wants to convey in advance and focus on highlighting the aspects you want to emphasize during the interview.
Always be mindful that your answers are clear and to the point to make the conversation more impactful.
Utilizing supporting elements such as reliable data and sources effectively can lead to even better results.
3. Maintain consistency in your brand messaging.
Interviewers often ask questions that explore the relevance of your organization’s vision and societal role, in addition to seeking topical information.
Ensure consistency in the messages you convey as a company and clearly articulate your company’s stance on current major hot topics.
4. Recognize your company’s weaknesses and understand the market.
Interviewers may ask uncomfortable questions.
In such cases, it’s best to respond with sincerity rather than avoiding the question or simply saying “no comment.” You can say something like, “I cannot provide an answer at this moment, but I will address this in writing later.”
Let’s make every effort to avoid being misunderstood by journalists and causing incorrect assumptions.
Providing new topics of potential interest to the media and being prepared to offer appropriate responses can lead to better outcomes.
5. Train your verbal language and facial expressions.
Be mindful of every aspect, from your speech to your posture and gestures, when answering in an interview.
Tone of voice and facial expressions are also elements that can influence how the message is perceived by the audience. Indeed, the verbal message is often confirmed by facial expressions, contributing to the avoidance of misunderstandings.