How to Master a Media Interview

If you had to face a media scrum today, how well prepared would you be?

Are your interview techniques at a level that you would be confident in delivering your message so that it could not become distorted by the media?

You could be faced with media representatives from multiple platforms, all with their own agenda and all capable of changing the message you want to get across if it is not properly communicated.

This is your guide on how to prepare for a media conference and ensure that your key messages are translated sharply and correctly.

Deliver your messages the same way you would on social media

Media outlets love to pick out sound bites from interviews – these are short extracts that are succinct and concise and deliver the main points in a nutshell. Ultimately, they stand out well as quotes in written copy and as literature snippets for television, radio and online news.

Take this into consideration when preparing your responses to interviews by boiling your key messages down to simple, short and punchy quotes. The easiest way to do this is to think in social media terms: would someone tweet your message?

Ensuring you’re able to deliver these tidbits effectively ensures you’re more likely to have your key points shared prominently, but also cuts out any room for misinterpretation or manipulation along the way.

Be ready for the hard questions in your media interviews

Too often, people prepare a statement for an interview but will don’t necessarily prepare for the questions that will come with them. Depending on the reason for the interview in the first place – the history and the context – these queries can be confronting and challenging to respond to.

Understanding the techniques employed by journalists is important, allowing you to prepare hard-hitting responses in advance.

For example, you could be faced by a challenging or hostile media environment, especially if there is controversy surrounding your company or an individual/group within. How will you respond?

Don’t rely on the protection of ‘off the record’

Sometimes during our preparation for refining our interview techniques, we forget about what we say outside of these formal settings. It is wise to assume the cameras and recorders are always recording (even if they’re not allowed to be) and any casual conversation outside of interview parameters can still be used by media outlets.

While this is not a solid ethical practice, media outlets have used comments their talent thought was off the record before.

Conclude strongly

Commonly, interviews are wrapped up with a question inviting you to offer any additional information you would like to contribute. Think of this as an opportunity to cement your key messages and leave a lasting impression that solidifies your stance.

Need help with your media preparation and interview techniques? Contact Saltwater Media Solutions on 1300 968 265 for help in being confident, energetic and delivering the message you want to get out through.