Conducting Media Interviews

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  • 1. Media Training
    “Interviewing 101”
  • 2. Interviewing Overview
    Interviewing 101
  • 3. Interviewing 101
    An interview is not:
    A conversation
    An opportunity to show how funny you are
    An opportunity to show how much smarter you are than the reporter
    An interview is:
    An opportunity to make a reporter understand and believe what you are talking about
    An opportunity to convey the important points that are critical to your objectives
    A chance to mitigate damage or change opinions
    An opportunity for your voice to be heard
    Interviewing 101
  • 4. Newsmaker’s and Reporter’s Roles and Responsibilities
    The right to bring up relevant topics and points not specifically asked for in questioning
    The right to correct misstatements and misinformation during an interview and before they appear in the news
    The right to reasonable access to legitimate news sources
    The right to ask any question that is important to their audience and the story you have agreed to be interviewed about
    Interviewing 101
  • 5. “Their” Interview Goals
    To clearly understand your point of view
    Balance what your saying with what other experts or the industry is saying
    Challenge points that are untested, unproven
    Provide their audience with a balanced and objective look at you, your brand and your products
    Remain unbiased and objective
    Provide their editors with a solid piece of reporting that looks at issues from all sides
    Meet their deadlines and space requirements
    Interviewing 101
  • 6. “Your” Interview Goals
    Understand the reporter’s level of knowledge about the subject and ensure that they can properly articulate your side of the story
    Deliver the points you want to see
    Support those points so they (and you) will be credible
    Frame the story the way you want to see it reported
    Mitigate what detractors have said
    Get the reporter to see you as an authority who is helping them understand the subject matter
    Interviewing 101
  • 7. “Your” Keys To Success
    Mentally prepare a “game plan” before the interview about how you can get your message across.
    Develop three or four key messages prior to an interview
    Stick to your area of expertise
    Be enthusiastic about your subject matter
    If you have an important point to share, tell the reporter
    Keep your responses short and on point
    The interview isn’t over until the reporter is gone
    Never say ANYTHING to a reporter that you wouldn’t want to see in print
    Interviewing 101
  • 8. Preparing For Interviews
    In most cases, this will be the job of your PR Team:
    Determine the direction of the story
    Actual questions are preferred
    Themes and topics are more likely
    Do homework on the reporter’s beat and reputation and the news outlet he/she represents
    Find out who else the reporter is interviewing
    Set a time limit and location for the interview
    Interviewing 101
  • 9. “Your” Interview Preparation
    Practice creates effective interviews
    Rehearse, don’t memorize
    Craft key messages into “sound bites”
    Provide color and offer insight
    Prepare for the “other side of the story” so you can address criticism
    Expect the unexpected - Fear no question
    Interviewing 101
  • 10. “Their” Interview Preparation
    Search past articles about:
    The subject matter
    The company
    The product
    The person being interviewed
    Research recent and past litigation
    Interviews with “go to” “experts”
    Discussions with colleagues
    Interviewing 101
  • 11. Types of Interviews
    Interviewing 101
  • 12. Types of Interviews
    Print Interviews:
    In depth look at issue – details and facts are paramount
    You may end up taking a large amount of time educating the reporter or providing background
    Use this time to set up your key points
    This will also help establish your credibility
    Print interviews are normally longer than broadcast or radio interviews
    Print interviews create a permanent record that often shapes future interviews (Web-based searches by future reporters)
    Answers can be more in-depth, but be careful, try to stick to sound bites.
    Interviewing 101
  • 13. Types of Interviews
    Television Interviews
    Increased emphasis on look, tone and delivery
    Personality comes more into play
    How you say it can be as important as what you say
    Don’t wear shirts with drastic color changes from your skin color
    Don’t wear crazy patterns
    Don’t sway, no darting eyes
    Look at the reporter, not into the camera
    Watch “filler” words
    Understand in advance how long the piece is likely to be, that will shape your delivery
    If it is a 30 second story, need to stick to top line message points
    If it is a five minute piece, more depth is possible
    In all cases, speak in sound bites. If you don’t edit yourself, they will
    Interviewing 101
  • 14. Types of Interviews
    Radio/Phone Interviews
    Voice is critical – convey confidence
    Energy must come across – if you don’t care why should anyone else?
    Provide depth to answers (especially when you are live)
    Consider your audience before the interview
    Have your message points written down in front of you
    Interviewing 101
  • 15. Interview Techniques
    Interviewing 101
  • 16. How Reporters Get What They Want
    Interviewing 101
    “Ice breaking”
    Casual talk
    Silence can be deadly
    Lobbing softballs followed by a question that takes you by surprise
    Editing and paraphrasing
    Playing both sides against the middle
    Rapid-fire questions
    Asking several questions in one
    Constant interruptions of your answers
  • 17. The Inverted Pyramid
    Tell your story with the headline first
    Follow with your key messages
    Add in supporting details
    Interviewing 101
  • 18. More Ways to Succeed
    Don’t repeat negative words / issues or raise them yourself
    Beware of getting bogged down in details
    Avoid slang that the audience will not understand (Speak in layman’s terms)
    Talk from your audience’s viewpoint
    Tell the truth. Never lie
    Bring up points you want covered
    Interviewing 101
  • 19. Managing Difficult Questions
    Interviewing 101
  • 20. Three Common Traps
    Guessing, speculating, opining
    No comments
    Off the record
    The microphone is always “hot” and the camera is always “on”.
    Don’t say it, if you don’t want to see it in print...Don’t do it, if you don’t want to see it on TV…
    Interviewing 101
  • 21. “Bridging”
    Must Air
    … But the fact is…
    … From my perspective…
    … I don’t know the answer to that, but what I do know is…
    … I can’t get into that, but what I can discuss is…
    … Yes, but…
    … Here’s the way I look at it…
    … I would describe it differently…
    … If I may, let me address a more important point…
    … That’s one view, but the way I look at it…
    … That’s a common misperception, the way we see it…
    Must Air
    Must Air
    Must Air
    Interviewing 101
    Must Air
    Must Air
    Must Air
    Must Air
    Must Air
    Must Air
  • 22. Reminders
    Prepare your messages and rehearse
    Remember, first impressions are lasting
    Imagine your interview being replayed over and over, how did you do?
    Interviewing 101
  • 23. Comfort, Confidence & Control = SUCCESS
    Know your objective
    Focus on your audience
    Select key messages
    State them well
    Be credible
    Interviewing 101
  • 24. Key Messages
    Message Point
    Message Points
    Message Points
    The Industry
    Message Points
    Interviewing 101
  • 25. Likely Questions
    Interviewing 101