February 22, 2012

Lights, Camera, Action! (or how to prepare for interviews with the Broadcast Media)

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Your excellent planning and proactive approach to your PR has worked, and now you have the opportunity for a TV or radio interview. It’s a unique experience being interviewed by broadcast journalists, whether live or recorded, and you need to be able to think on your feet and deliver your key messages in an engaging fashion. As with many things in life, preparation is the key to ensuring you make the most of this opportunity.

V Formation’s public relations expert Diane Wood shares with you a selection of tips for preparing for a fluff-free interview:

Checklist for Broadcast Media Interviews

  1. Before the interview, decide exactly what it is you want to say, highlighting one or two key points, and keep these front of mind to maintain focus throughout the interview.
  2. Get your key points across, regardless of questions and distractions. Make sure your answers are simple, to the point, and don’t use acronyms, clichés or business-speak, jargon or catchphrases.
  3. Don’t let the interviewer butt in without a fight.
  4. Politely refute any incorrect statements.
  5. Stay off the defensive.
  6. Don’t get angry.
  7. Avoid getting sidetracked; remember your one or two key points.
  8. Be positive.
  9. Look and sound alert.
  10. Try to anticipate surprises and let the viewer/listener know about any surprise questions or angles that do occur.
  11. Avoid addressing the interviewer by name.
  12. If the interviewer rephrases your statements, make sure they are right. Correct them if they aren’t.
  13. Try and minimise the ‘errs’ and ‘ums’, ‘so ons’ and ‘so forths’.
  14. Don’t worry about filling any embarrassing silences, leave that to the interviewer.
  15. Only hesitate if it is deliberate; it is okay to be considered with your response.
  16. Know the facts; remember you are the expert (which is, after all, why the interview has been scheduled!).
  17. Don’t volunteer irrelevant information.
  18. Watch for the interviewer getting in a damaging or inaccurate last word.

Still feeling wobbly? V Formation can put you through your interview paces and help you feel confident about facing the broadcast media. Get in touch to find out more.


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