MEDIA INTERVIEW REMINDERS
-- Know in advance the subject matter of the interview, other sources and reporter's knowledge of the topic.
-- Plan 2-3 key messages; be ready to bridge to answers.
-- Dress conservatively, sit erect, keep eye contact, smile.
-- Stay on the record: nothing is "off the record."
-- Listen to the question, but still look for ways to convey key messages (a question is only an opportunity to respond).
-- Don't repeat negative language or false assumptions from the question. Tell the real story.
-- Don't answer hypothetical questions, speculation, "what if" questions.
-- During a print interview, if your answer is complex or sensitive, it's permitted to ask the reporter to read back what he/she heard you say to be sure it's what you intended to say.
-- Relax, be confident; you know the topic better than the reporter.
Before the interview:
-- Plan ahead, anticipate the kinds of questions you might be asked.
-- Watch the program you will be on, or listen to the show.
-- Know your ideas and goals.
-- Time your answers (10-30 seconds for TV).
-- Prepare questions for the host.
-- Practice, practice, practice.
During the interview:
-- Arrive early.
-- Be a nice person.
-- Know what you must get across.
-- Get fired up before the TV program starts.
-- Present your main point first.
-- Answer questions honestly.
-- Watch out for efforts to put words in your mouth.
-- Assume nothing.
-- Don't lapse into industry jargon, acronyms or technical terms.
-- Take your time.
-- Be colorful in your answers. Use language that makes an audience sit up and listen.
-- Never say "no comment."
-- Do not be curt, even with the dumbest question.
-- Do not begin with trite phrases such as, "I'm glad you asked that..."
-- Be relaxed, confident and honest.
After the interview:
-- Practice some more.
-- Get feedback.
WHEN IS IT NEWS?
When is it news? It is news when it contains one or more of major ingredients of human interest, namely:
-- When it is new; e.g., a new trend or industry issue.
-- When it is novel; e.g., identical twins suffer identical injuries.
-- When it relates to famous persons; e.g., any entertainment column.
-- When it directly important to business people; e.g. information about taxes or statistical analysis of numbers.
-- When it involves conflict; e.g. land development battles, divorces, athletic contests.
-- When it involves mystery; e.g. most crimes.
-- When it is considered confidential; e.g., information that was previously concealed.
-- When it pertains to the future (plans for improving the city).
More Ways Your Company Can Make News
-- Tie in with a news event of the day;
-- Make a analysis, economic forecast or prediction;
-- Issue or diagnose statistics;
-- Adapt national reports and surveys locally;
-- Conduct a poll or survey and release the results;
-- Contribute to a local community charity fundraiser;
-- Make an award;
-- Stage a seminar or special event;
-- Write an opinion piece of the newspapers;
-- Announce an appointment;
-- Celebrate an anniversary.