Business Buzz
November 7, 2017
How can you prepare for a media interview?

I remember my first conversation with my public relations manager concerning media interviews. Being a public relations executive at a global, award winning market intelligence and marketing consultancy firm in the UK meant that I would summarize detailed reports into about two pages of highlights for major magazines, such as Marketing Week; furthermore, not only was excellent writing a requirement, but also verbally communicating those key market intelligence points, so that the company could be seen as a leader in its field.

This type of promotional value was very useful for the business, but only because I was well-prepared and in the right state of mind. The key thing to remember is that if you are enthusiastic, you will perform better, but if you are not really bothered and just doing it because your manager says you need to, then you will come across as being uninterested and that is not a good look for the company you are representing. So, if you must do that interview, bear these tips in mind.

1. Research… Research… Research – Look at your media interview as preparing for a new job. There is no harm in reaching out to the media outlet to have a clear understanding of why you are being interviewed. It is important to understand what the reporter is looking for and to anticipate possible questions. Know your company; e.g., if you are a spa owner and you are being interviewed about the growth of spa or therapeutic services in SVG, then prepare yourself not only to comment on your business, but on general trends in the industry that you have noticed; you would want to gather facts, statistics or anything that will support the topic.

Your research should also involve finding out e.g. will they include your photo or is it an on-camera interview? This will have implications for how you dress. I have seen interviewees present themselves for interviews and then comment they didn’t know their photo would have been taken, otherwise they would have dressed differently.

2. Keep it simple! Why not create an outline of your key message with a few supporting points that you want to discuss? Remain on-topic, so you cover your entire intended message. This extends to radio interviews about your product/business – the radio announcer will be spontaneous and try to make the interview fun, but you still need to remain on track and ensure you get your message across. Establish your talking points and repeat them in slightly varying ways. At times, businesses make the mistake of saying too much or going off on unrelated tangents, which bury the more important information.

3. Prepare and practise – Prepare for your interview by running through your talking points with your colleague. I always do mock interviews or presentations before I do my interviews or before hosting a show. Consider recording your practice session with your phone, so you can examine your body language – remember you want to appear professional, so check eye contact, inflection, articulation and the speed of your speech.

Candice Sealey is the founder and principal marketing and PR consultant at Ignite! a full service marketing and PR consultancy that helps businesses owners/marketers to promote their businesses, to raise awareness, attract new customers and increase sales. We help you work out what marketing is needed; we bring a fresh approach, make it happen, leaving you free to concentrate on dealing the other areas of your business.

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