Picture this, you step into your interview and confidently shake the journalist’s hand. You field questions with ease and provide valuable information for their story. You confidently speak about what your organization is doing to help transform lives, with case studies to boot. Your ingenuity shines through and connects you with new clients and supporters who read the article.
When it comes to public relations, we often find that clients, even veteran CEOs, are hesitant to talk to the media. The best remedy for stress and nerves is preparation! Taking the time to get ready for your interview can help you better share your story and connect with readers in a way that invites them into the story. You can have all the resources to nail your interview! See our most important tips below.
Remember the purpose of your interview – Your main role in this situation is to serve the reporter, the publication and its audience. It can be easy to get caught up in wanting them to say all the right things about your organization. But, at the end of the day, the reporter writes the story and you are there to be a resource.
Be concise when describing your organization – Practice speaking about what makes you different, the value you bring, who you do it for and what you offer.
Prepare a few, key soundbites – A strong soundbite includes a supporting piece of data and a key message you want to get across.
Stay away from industry jargon – Remember that most readers or viewers will only have casual knowledge of your industry, so you should speak to the everyday consumer (talk like you’re speaking with a 5th grader!).
Be positive and conversational – A great attitude and enthusiasm about helping others shines through on camera or in your printed words!
Don’t say “off the record” – If there’s anything you don’t want printed, don’t volunteer it!
Be prepared to veer off topic – Familiarize yourself with current events or topics that might relate to what the interview is about. Even if the journalist doesn’t inform you that they might come up, your conversation might end up heading that way. For example, if you own a bakery and there’s a massive butter shortage nationwide, you might be asked about how this will impact costs.
Review recent articles or stories from the journalist – This is especially true if they have written something else about your niche! One way to stay on top of trends is by visiting trends.google.com.
Now be confident and go nail your interview! Remember that you are in this position because of your unique knowledge or story, so savor the chance to share it.
Always remember to thank the journalist at the end and follow up with a thank you note or an email. Showing your gratitude can go a long way and helps you to build a long-term relationship with reporters and publications.