Media Interview Do’s and Don’ts

by Jennifer Heinly (www.jandjconsulting.net)

Dos

  • Brief yourself on all the news or latest events in your field before your interview.
  • State the most important facts at the beginning of the interview.
  • Remember to get your three key messages across at least once in the interview.
  • Address the interviewer by his or her first name.
  • Avoid using jargon (even if it is commonplace in your industry).
  • Talk from the viewpoint of the public’s interest, not your own interest.
  • If the reporter asks a direct question, give an equally direct answer.
  • Tell the truth, even if it hurts.
  • If you don’t know the answer to a question, simply say, “I don’t know, but I’ll find out for you.” Then do it!
  • Take the opportunity if the reporter asks if there is anything else you would like to say at the end of the interview.
  • Say thank you after the interview is complete.

Don’ts

  • Don’t wait until you are asked specifically about your key points before you bring them up in the interview.
  • Don’t answer hypothetical questions.
  • If you do not want some statement quoted, do not make it.
  • If a question contains offensive language or words you do not like, do not repeat them even to deny them.
  • Do not exaggerate the facts.
  • Don’t ask for a copy of the reporter’s story before or even after it is published.
  • Don’t expect to be interviewed by reporters who understand your business or industry.

Book publicist Jennifer Heinly can be reached at jennifer@jandjconsulting.net

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One response to “Media Interview Do’s and Don’ts

  1. Very nice and good to read article.

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