Keys to Effective Media interviews

 The media has a significant impact on individual’s views and decisions. Talk media- either television, radio or the internet—is an effective vehicle to deliver information.

Whether the media contacts your office or you contact them, the best way to elicit interest from media producers, if they don’t contact you first, is to provide them with a unique  angle on your work.

Once you have established a general sense of the topic that you will address, discuss it with the news reporter or producer. Outline the points to be addressed in the order of listener interest. Write up the points and review them with the producer.

Your message needs to be clear and concise and you should review the points before the interview as well as anticipate difficult questions on the subject at hand and practice answering them.

Prepare yourself by knowing your subject and what listeners might ask you. Take into consideration questions that your clients have asked in the past about the topic at hand because these are likely to be the same questions that you find yourself answering on the air.  If during the interview you find that you are not being asked the questions that you prepared to answer, then do not be afraid to redirect the interview.  It is always acceptable to jump in and say that you would like to add something else.  Remember that this is your interview; take control of it as best you can.

Some interviewers will ask a controversial question or questions that will put you on the spot.  There are ways to get around this.  You can answer a question by pausing and saying, “That is an interesting question.  Let me answer it this way…” If you do not have the direct answer to a question, provide something that gives confidence to your listeners that you have a general knowledge of the area being addressed.

When dealing with callers, prepare yourself for the types of questions that may arise.  Be sure and look at the topic that you are addressing from every angle so that you are less likely to have to deal with something that you do not wish to address.  Handle a curveball from a caller just as you would one from the interviewer.  Be polite but succinct.  Remember that you have a limited time allotted to address everything that you intend to discuss.  If you find that a caller’s question is very personal and detailed, then courteously answer it in a limited fashion providing the bare facts.  You canalways offer that the caller can contact you by e-mail or phone or through your website for further discussion. Provide an answer generic enough that it may help other people in a similar position.

Your self-projection will be what has the greatest impact on most watchers and listeners.  During your interview it is imperative that you project confidence, ease, friendliness, and warmth. It may help if you interject an anecdote or two.

When doing media interviews, remember that you don’t have to or want to promote yourself directly. Just being on the air is promotion because you are representing yourself and your business.

While being interviewed you should keep in mind that fifty percent of all communication is nonverbal.  Body language is very important.  However, if you are on the radio then you will not be able to rely on body language to convey the image that you would like to have.  Instead, you must focus on your tone, the pitch, and the pauses of your voice. Use a friendly tone that is not too casual, but one that lets the listeners know that you are approachable.

When appearing on television, you also have to take your appearance into account. Dress appropriately for your line of work. Suits are appropriate in many situations. While on television, you also want to watch how you present yourself physically.  Be aware of fidgeting or other habits that might make you appear nervous or insecure.  If you would prefer not to have to deal with your appearance, radio may be the better option for you.  Being on the radio is easier because you can really focus on your message without having to consider your body language or dress code. However, this is now changing with the use of webcams and video taping during radio interview.

In summary, when used with prudence, preparation, and knowledge of the medium, the media, be it radio or television, or the internet, can provide you with a low-cost/no-cost method to deliver your message.


Leave a comment

Avatar About the Author:

previous arrow
next arrow