Media 101

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Media 101

  1. 1. Media 101: The Art of the Interview
  2. 2. Introduction <ul><li>This training covers reporter etiquette and basic interview tips, how to get your message out, how to prepare and answer difficult questions and the tricks reporters may use to get you to drop your defenses. </li></ul>
  3. 3. Interview Tips: Timing <ul><li>Call reporters back promptly. If the reporter doesn’t hear from you they will move on. You don’t have to grant an interview right then, but you want to establish your interest, get more information on the story and ascertain their deadline. </li></ul><ul><li>Even if a reporter calls for a “quick comment,” you still don’t need to respond immediately, make notes about the points you want to make, and then call back soon as soon as possible. </li></ul><ul><li>Try to Get your key message(s) across early in the interview and repeat them throughout. </li></ul>
  4. 4. Interview Tips: Research <ul><li>Know who you are talking to. Find out as much as you can about the journalist who will be interviewing you. </li></ul><ul><li>Know the facts! Never guess or make things up. If you don’t know and answer, tell the reporter you will find out and get back to them. </li></ul><ul><li>When appropriate be prepared with simple, concrete solutions. </li></ul><ul><li>Make sure to correct misconceptions. If an interviewer misstates something or has a fact wrong, correct them </li></ul>
  5. 5. Interview Tips: Style <ul><li>Keep your answers short. Develop sound bites: short catchy phrases that convey your message powerfully and succinctly. </li></ul><ul><li>Avoid jargon and acronyms. </li></ul><ul><li>Be careful not to make flip, wry, or sarcastic comments that can be taken out of context and don’t lose your temper with your interviewer -- they always get the last word. </li></ul>
  6. 6. Interview Tips: Media Tactics <ul><li>Be prepared for the bias toward the negative in the media. Reporters probe for the problem or controversy. Focus on the issues and how to solve problems. </li></ul><ul><li>Reporters aren’t your friends. Avoid going “off the record” and don’t confide anything you wouldn’t like to hear on the nightly news. If you do not want to be quoted you can provide information “on background”. However, if you go that route, be very clear with the reporter that they are not permitted to quote you and the information is for background purposes only. </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t feel obligated to fill silent pauses. You may end up saying more than you want to. </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t answer questions that feel too personal. Just bridge back to one of your key messages. </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t be led into hypothetical situations; you can say, for example, “Well let’s talk about what’s really going on” and bridge back to your message. </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t fall for the “Isn’t it true that…” line of questioning. This puts you on the defensive. Don’t begin your answers with “no” or act flustered. Merely correct the record and bridge to one of your main messages. </li></ul>
  7. 7. Hard Questions: Why? <ul><li>It is important to realize that reporters may ask difficult questions for different reasons. </li></ul><ul><li>The reporter wants to give you an opportunity to answer tough questions so you can present your side to an audience which might not agree with you. </li></ul><ul><li>Controversy adds to a story, if they can they will seek to illicit a controversial quote that will make their story more interesting—do not take it personally! </li></ul><ul><li>They are seeking to trip you up. The reporter sees things from the other perspective and is trying to illicit information to undermine your point of view. </li></ul>
  8. 8. Hard Questions: Tips to Keep in Mind <ul><li>If the question is hard because you don’t understand it do not hesitate to ask the interviewer to clarify their question. Never feel self conscious about asking journalists define the terms that they use or restate the question. </li></ul><ul><li>Develop a series of anticipated difficult questions and develop well crafted answers to practice. </li></ul>
  9. 9. Broadcast Tips: Appearance <ul><li>Dress </li></ul><ul><li>Have a couple of options for attire, business attire as well as causal dress </li></ul><ul><li>Where solid bright colors but avoid Red </li></ul><ul><li>Avoid all white, all black or busy prints, especially ones with small patterns </li></ul><ul><li>Facial Expressions/ Make-up </li></ul><ul><li>Be aware of facial expressions, practice speaking in the mirror and take note of times when you frown and smile. </li></ul><ul><li>If it’s a hot day, bring powder for your face and or/tissues to wipe off perspiration </li></ul>
  10. 10. Broadcast Tips: What to do with your Body <ul><li>Where to look </li></ul><ul><li>Look at the interviewer, not the camera </li></ul><ul><li>Avoid shifting your gaze, look in the same general direction throughout the interview </li></ul><ul><li>How to stand </li></ul><ul><li>Stand upright but not too rigidly. Placing one foot slightly in front of the other helps to keep you from rocking </li></ul><ul><li>Keep hands on a podium, clasped in front or behind your back </li></ul><ul><li>How to sit </li></ul><ul><li>Sit upright 1-2 inches from the back of the chair to avoid slouching </li></ul><ul><li>Smooth clothing to keep it from bunching or bulging </li></ul><ul><li>How to sound </li></ul><ul><li>Vary tone, intonation and emphasize important words </li></ul><ul><li>Make sure not to speak too quickly remember to take a breath before starting a sentence </li></ul>
  11. 11. Broadcast Tips: Suggestions <ul><li>What to avoid </li></ul><ul><li>Avoid excessive hand gestures, they can be distracting </li></ul><ul><li>Avoid tapping your foot or a pen </li></ul><ul><li>Avoid saying pause words (uh, um, like, you know) </li></ul><ul><li>During the interview </li></ul><ul><li>Assume you are always on the air. No off-the-cuff remarks </li></ul><ul><li>If you are being taped, stop if you make a mistake, and start over </li></ul><ul><li>RELAX: Try to enjoy the experience and focus on the content of what you want to communicate. </li></ul>
  12. 12. Practice, Practice, Practice: have a colleagues test you by asking hostile questions.

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