Mastering Art of Media Interview Essential Dos And Donts
Media interviews are a significant platform for leaders to elevate their brand’s presence and communicate directly with their audience. But, to truly shine in the spotlight, it’s about more than just answering questions; it’s an opportunity to paint the big picture and to convey your key messages.
While the following tips provide a starting point for interview readiness, partnering with your PR agency for in-depth media training is essential. Such training will comprehensively cover both the theoretical framework and practical nuances, equipping your senior management with the tools to deliver impactful messages.
Preparation is key:
Dive deep into the media format before your interview. Whether it’s radio, TV, or print, understanding the specifics will help you tailor your responses for maximum impact.
Arm yourself with facts:
Compile a few talking points with relevant statistics and data that underscore your message. Use these to bolster your arguments and showcase your expertise.
Beyond answering interview questions, focus on delivering key messages. Also, remember that media’s interest lies in how your company’s actions and vision contribute to larger societal narratives, not just in the internal workings of your organization. Your messaging should, therefore, resonate with the larger ecosystem, illustrating how your brand is a pivotal player in shaping the industry and benefiting the community.
Don’t answer questions out of your area of expertise:
CEOs should be strategic in responding to questions, especially when they fall within the expertise of team members like the finance department. It’s crucial to stay within the bounds of your strategic role and offer commentary from that point, diverting queries to the appropriate experts within your organization where needed.
Stick to business vocabulary:
Avoid using overly technical terms. Use plain language to ensure your message is accessible and resonates with a wider audience. When speaking with industry-focused media, you can adjust your language to better suit the target audience. It’s advantageous to ask an editor about the outlet’s readership beforehand, so you can use technical terms that will resonate with that particular audience.
Don’t speak off the record:
Treat every comment as if it might appear in print or online. Always communicate with the assumption that your words could be shared with the wider audience, and exercise caution to avoid any remarks that you wouldn’t want to be made public.
Don’t forget your body language:
In video interviews, your gestures speak volumes alongside your verbal responses. Maintaining eye contact, nodding, and leaning slightly forward can convey engagement and confidence. On the other hand, crossed arms may suggest defensiveness, and lack of eye contact can be interpreted as disinterest or evasiveness. Be mindful of your facial expressions, gestures, and posture, as these non-verbal signals can reinforce your message or, if not managed well, potentially contradict your words.
Taking these key points into consideration and with the support and direction provided by your PR team, you will be well-prepared to excel in the interview, achieving all your desired objectives. These objectives include gaining significant exposure, attaining extensive coverage, and effectively conveying crucial messages to your target audience.