General Interview Tips
- Make sure you get across your communications message and three talking points. Use one or two-liners that people will remember. End with a brief recap.
- Inform, motivate, and activate audience. Make your issue newsworthy and important.
- Think of ways to humanize your issue. Develop anecdotes.
- Give briefing materials to the interviewer, days before if possible.
- Be honest, positive, to the point. Keep your answers short.
- Use language that is natural. Avoid jargon and acronyms.
- Don’t hesitate to say “I don’t know; I’ll get back to you.” Then get back to them in a timely manner.
- Be human. Don’t be afraid to show emotion, but never lose your temper.
- Never go off the record, unless you know and trust the reporter [and even then it’s not a good idea].
- Never give a “no comment” response. Turn the question into a comment.
- Don’t repeat other’s terminology or their facts or figures; use your own data.
- Answer only one question at a time. If there are multiple questions, answer the one you want to address . . . then bridge to your key points.
- If the questions do not allow you to project your communications message, use the questions that are asked to bridge to your talking points.
- Take a second to think about your answer. Rapid responses appear rehearsed. The extra time will also help you to develop a more strategic response.
- Clarify any points that you think may have been misunderstood.