A recent client asked us to prepare a one-page “media interview crib sheet” for their spokespeople – as well as providing the normal individual feedback and our e-book, the Rough House Guide to Interviews which they receive.
So here is our Rough House Media Interview Crib Sheet
1. Prepare: know who (is the audience), what (are your key messages and what examples can you use to illustrate them), where (is the publication), when (is it going out) and why (are you doing it).
Infographic: how to prepare for a media interview
2. Focus on delivering your key messages – preferably in the first question, reinforcing this throughout the interview, then repeating it with the last answer.
3. Tell stories, use examples, anecdotes and personalisations to bring your answers to life and emphasise your points. If you can’t give an individual example, paint a picture: “Imagine you are …”.
4. Using powerful, positive, language: responsibility, practical solutions, resilience will help people remember your media interview.
5. Use statistics to prove your points: don’t over-complicate them and make sure they are clear.
6. Journalists love accusation and arguments, so don’t mention anything potentially controversial which you’re not prepared to expand on, as they may well pick up on it.
7. Using context in a media interview is really helpful for putting issues into perspective.
8. Avoid jargon & technical details, and don’t get caught up in procedures and the intricacies of bureaucracy.
9. In a print/radio interview, you could have a crib sheet with key words/prompts on it to remind you of key messages or examples. Don’t however, be tempted to read these.
10. Finally – and very importantly, don’t make things up!