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Media Training for 2014

10 Skills to Optimize Your Press Interview
by

Anita O'Malley

on 8 September 2014

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Transcript of Media Training for 2014

Defer financial questions to your comms director.
Send a thank you email to the reporter for their time.
Media coverage is a rich opportunity to increase your company/organization awareness---FREE!!
Any questions, comments or concerns?
We are available for assistance:
10 Tips to Optimize
Your Press Interview
There are many types of questions reporters ask. Some are straightforward, some not. Media training helps you to optimize the golden opportunities that press coverage presents your organization. If you follow these points, you'll be sourced again.
You may
be taped without being asked first.
#1 Get reporter’s credentials
• Before the interview, get the reporter’s name, affiliation
iii
and contact info. And make sure they have your info.
• Google their articles so you know their style and what
iii
types of questions they may ask you.
#2 Be Prepared
• Have 3 message points written out in front of you
to refer to.
• If you wish to be quoted, you must convert message
ii
points into sound bites.
• If you need time to research or formulate an answer it’s
ii
ok to

collect your thoughts and call the reporter

back in <15 mins.
#3 Never use "No Comment"
This tells the reporter that the subject is taboo and tips them off that it is worth pursuing.
If you are unsure of the answer or can’t discuss it, be honest and say just that.
You don’t want to be portrayed as guilty or hiding something.
#6 Be Concise
Keep answers short and to the point, avoiding one-word answers.
Use active verbs, speak simply, without jargon and acronyms the public might not recognize.
Use anecdotes and examples to illustrate your point.
#4 Don’t be afraid to say,“I Don’t Know”
When you’re not sure of a fact, be honest and admit it.
Don’t try to guess as you may be wrong; simply tell the reporter that you’ll get back to them with an answer right away.
Be sure to follow through.
#5 Never Speculate
Don’t pretend to know about something you don’t or even speculate on a topic.
If a reporter asks, “What if this happens?” don’t put yourself in a hypothetical situation, you can’t win with this line of questioning.
(cc) photo by theaucitron on Flickr
(cc) photo by theaucitron on Flickr
#8 No Gossiping
Only represent yourself and your organization and don’t answer for other organizations or individuals.
Don’t address probing questions about your business partners that are not public, or engage in industry mudslinging.
If a reporter frames questions to bring out conflict, don’t engage (front-loaded question with negative assumptions, either/or question=negative answer)
#10 For the record
From the moment the reporter walks in the room, everything you say is “on the record,” even if

cameras are not running and the reporter tells you

you’re “off the record.”
There is no such thing.
#9 Silence is Golden
• You don’t have to fill an extended silence, that is the
ii
interviewer’s

job.

Once you answer, stop and wait for the next

question.
• Don’t volunteer information unless it supports a positive point you want to make.
FINAL TIPS
Ok to ask when the story might
run but not
ok to ask if
you can review it first.
Your interview may be cancelled at
the last minute.
A lengthy interview doesn't mean a long article.
3
Media coverage is a rich opportunity to increase your
company/organization awareness---FREE!!
#7 Offer Backup
Offer additional background information to promote a better understanding of complex issues.
To reinforce your point, backup generalizations with statistics, examples and facts if you can.
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5
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Full transcript