5 tips to nail a media interview!


Media interviews are a great opportunity to talk about all of the exciting things happening within and outside of your business, and they can add a lot of value to a story that a journalist is reporting on.

Here at Puzzle PR, we understand that media interviews can be tricky, regardless of whether you are a confident and experienced speaker or someone who fears speaking on-air. That’s why we think it’s important to share with you our five best tips for TV Media interviews. Apply these tips and you will be sure to nail your interview time and time again!

1. Do some research before the interview

So, you’ve got an interview coming up and you’re excited (and maybe a little nervous too)! You tell your family and friends to record the TV, you get a plan in place so that you can tell everyone about your business being on air… but there’s something else you need to do before the big day: research!

It is important you do some research, before you even say ‘yes’ to the interview. Have you thought about how this interview will help your business, and if it’s the right story for you? Here are some factors you should consider before you do the interview so that you don’t get caught off-guard:

  • Media outlet - what media outlet will this interview appear in?

  • Name of the journalist - are you familiar with other stories they report on? What is their personal style of reporting and what types of questions do they usually ask?

  • Audience of the media outlet - what audience is the media outlet appealing too? Knowing your audience is vital when it comes to working out your key messages.

  • The narrative of the interview – what is the angle of this story? Get a clear understanding on why you are being interviewed, by asking the journalist what the story angle is. Consider whether the journalist is reporting a positive or negative story, and whether this story is something you can genuinely add value to with your interview

  • Others being interviewed for the story - is the journalist chatting to anyone else? Do they align with your values and your business, and could the other interviewee negatively affect the story?

  • Style of the Interview – is the interview a live or pre-recorded interview?

2. Prepare the key messages you want to get across in your interview

Now that you have researched the key facts, have an outcome in mind. Your interview is an opportunity to share the vision you have crafted for your business. Keep the key messages short, positive and to the point, while considering how they may work in with the story angle.

Consider supporting key messages with sound bite information such as specific facts, examples or meaningful statistics, analogies, metaphors and personal experiences to help get your messages across. Remember, the reporter is reporting on news, and will not include a sound bite that sounds like a sales pitch.

Clever one-liners that may help to get picked up and put into a story will assist with conveying your messages succinctly.

3. Think about the way you present yourself on camera

With research claiming that content is less than 10% of the presentation, and voice and persona account for the other 90%, it’s pretty evident that if you’re about to go on camera to do a media interview, you want to make sure you’ve got the basics covered.

Firstly, remember you are always “on”. Anything you say can be used and included in an interview – even when the cameras aren’t rolling. Stick to your key messages and try not to get rattled if the interviewer asks you a negative question or catches you off guard. You have control of what you say and how you come across.

Your body language also impacts your presence on camera. Smile; audiences respond better to someone who comes across as friendly. Stand up straight and speak with a clear voice. Be careful not to speak too loud, too quiet or too monotone…you need to strike the perfect balance!

Look at the reporter not the camera: you aren’t shooting a TV Commercial!

Also, take time to plan your wardrobe. No…this isn’t out of vain! The way you dress says a lot about your personal brand as well as your business. Do you need to have a company uniform, wear business professional, business casual or more of a start up/creative outfit? Try to stay away from small prints and stripes as these tend not to show up well on camera.

4. Stay on Track

Make sure you don’t ramble! Aim to answer the question in 7-10 seconds. The interview is not about you, it’s about your audience so keep that in mind when you are answering questions. Listen to the question carefully and take a second or two to collect your thoughts before answering. Answer the question, then get back to your key messages as soon as possible.

5. Relax and Enjoy!

Yes we said it, enjoy the interview process! It is only going to better you and your business.

The reality is, if you are being interviewed by media, there is a reason you are there. So, take a deep breath, remember that you are a professional, passionate about the cause and know your business inside and out.

Remain calm and collected and trust yourself. You have got this!

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