11 Jan 2019

How to prepare for a media interview

Preparation is everything for media interviews. Prepare for them as you would for a client meeting. Find out about the interviewer, their audience and what they want to achieve from the engagement.

Prepare three messages that you want to communicate and use them to frame your responses. Think about proof points to backup your messages – such as statistics or client examples – and how your messages relate to wider trends.

Be quotable. Develop one or two memorable sound bites and relevant analogies or anecdotes.

Think about potential pitfalls and be prepared to bridge from them to safe space. Set boundaries, you want to be helpful but remember that you don’t have to speculate or talk about things you don’t want to.

Practice with a PR adviser, colleague or tolerant family member ahead of time.

The best interviews feel like a genuine conversation. Be flexible and lead the conversation if needs be.

Listen hard during the interview for verbal cues and take a second or two to consider your answers before responding.

Don’t fill silence, that’s when people tend to go off message. Remember you can’t be quoted as saying something you didn’t.