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How to Improve Your Media Interview Skills

Meeting the press is always a challenge. Here are some ideas to help you master the art of promoting your company through a media interview.

Instructions

  • Step 1: Dress appropriately Dress appropriately. A shirt or cap with your company's logo may be suitable for less formal press interviews, but others may require business attire. If you're in doubt, err on the side of dressing professionally.
  • Step 2: Assume nothing Do not assume any of your remarks will be taken "off the record." Assume everything you say is subject to being quoted.
  • Step 3: Have an agenda Prepare. Try to distill your message into no more than 3 main points, and have those points clearly in mind when speaking to reporters.
  • TIP: Have statistics available to back up your points. Be familiar enough with relevant facts and figures to discuss them.
  • Step 4: Remain calm Remain calm during the interview. If someone asks you a question that upsets you or that you didn't see coming, take a deep breath and pause before answering.
  • Step 5: Don't get flustered Don't allow yourself to get frustrated by a barrage of rapid-fire questions. Stay calm, finish your answer to the question you are addressing, and then select one of the other questions to answer.
  • Step 6: Provide a summary Provide reporters at the interview with a one-page summary of the points you want to make. This will prevent your being misquoted. Now go home and wait for the interview to appear on the 6 o'clock news.
  • FACT: In 1977, Sir David Frost interviewed former president Richard Nixon after he was impeached. More than 45 million Americans watched the interview.

You Will Need

  • Appropriate attire
  • Agenda
  • Summary
  • Statistics (optional)

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