After your PR agency successfully pitched you or your business to the media, you landed a fantastic interview opportunity with a notable news outlet. Now it’s time to prepare. As a spokesperson, it is crucial to work with your PR team to prepare for your interview. Without adequate preparation, the public could quickly forget about you or, worse: perceive you or your brand negatively because you were unprepared. A PR agency knows how to transform spokespeople with little to no media training into exciting, attention-grabbing, and informative interviewees.
Read on to learn the importance of being prepared for interviews.
Understand The Format of The Interview
On-camera interviews are wildly different from print media. It’s crucial to understand the format of the interview ahead of time so you can properly prepare. If you’re speaking to a TV reporter, you should know in advance if it’s a live segment or pre-recorded interview. Live TV provides the opportunity for you to be conversational – keep sentences short and sweet and feel confident in your ability to speak on behalf of your brand. Pre-recorded TV segments and print interviews also provide chances for you to correct yourself if you stumble. However, it’s important to only share information you would want to see in a story. Nothing is truly “off the record.”
Read Up on The Journalist and Media Outlet
Every media outlet has its own unique niche. Two distinctive news outlets may want to cover your story for two completely different reasons depending on what the beat is. For example, your cocktail bar recently launched a new summer menu. One reporter may be interested in covering the new menu for a story about the best summer cocktails in Las Vegas. A second reporter may want to write a story about how the liquor used in the cocktails is from a woman-owned spirits company. Understanding each journalist’s individual niche will help you get the most out of your interview.
Create Potential Questions and Talking Points
In true editorial coverage, you cannot control what the story will include word-for-word. However, if you are prepared with your top-line talking points during the interview, you’ll be able to confidently convey your key messages to readers or viewers. This is your time to shine and share you or your brand’s most important news. A great PR agency will help you develop these top-line messages ahead of time so you are able to effectively get your message across.
Practice Answering Questions Ahead of Time
We’ve all seen those TV interviews gone wrong. The interviewee is ready to go. They’re nicely dressed, their makeup is done, and their hair is ready, but the second the camera turns on and the reporter begins to ask questions, they can’t remember the well-thought-out answer they imagined in their head.
Effective media training is essential for preparing and executing a great interview. Many public relations professionals, including several of us here at The Vox Agency, are former journalists and can anticipate the types of questions you may be asked. It’s imperative to not only come up with a list of potential questions before an interview but also practice your answers beforehand. A good publicist will also develop all potentially combative, hardball questions you could be asked. The best scenario is to walk away from the interview feeling prepared and empowered; the worst scenario is being asked a hard question on camera you didn’t see coming.
The Vox Agency has grown into one of the travel and tourism industry’s most reputable boutique publicity and marketing agencies, respected for its expertise in representing tour companies, attractions, destination dining, and non-profit organizations, as well as providing crisis communications strategy. We provide our clients with in-depth training and briefing memos encompassing detailed information for upcoming interviews to ensure success. For more information on The Vox Agency and our services, visit thevoxagency.com.