Five Steps to Mastering Your Next Media Interview

You have agreed to do a media interview so now you have to face the firing line, so to speak.  Here are some ideas that can help you sail through your next media interview.


Regardless of whether you are launching a new product or responding to a crisis, the objective of any interview should be to promote your brand/company in a positive light and to get the best possible outcome from the interview.  Here are five things you can do to master your next media interview.


1) Preparation is key.  Start by making a list of every possible question a journalist may ask including a ‘worst-case-scenario’ line of questioning and devise ideal responses to ensure you ready for any question, including the tricky ones.


As Henry Kissinger, a master of interviews, once remarked during a press conference whilst Secretary of State, “Does anyone have any questions for my answers?’


2) The journalist is asking the questions but you are the one managing the responses. There is no point in participating in any interview if your key messages aren’t communicated.    A solid understanding of your company’s key messages and thinking of different ways to say the same thing provides the foundation to get your message across (almost) regardless of the question asked.


3) Investigate the publication or media program beforehand – it will help you understand the type of questions that may get asked and even more importantly the audience reading, watching or listening so you can pitch your answers accordingly.


4) If the interview is conducted on television or radio, use your body language and tone of voice to create a positive impression. Viewers are likely to read into body language despite your response, which may be positive, so shifting in your seat nervously or buying time by reaching for that glass of water will tell the audience things that may work to contradict your response.


5) The interview itself is a great opportunity to establish your credibility, build rapport with the interviewing journalist that will hopefully develop into an ongoing relationship.


Last of all, try to relax and enjoy the interview –it is likely to be the one of many and each interview is a valuable learning process.