Preparing for an Interview

Preparation Tips

  • Cultivate media relationships. Make the time to develop a working relationship with editors, producers, publishers, owners, feature/editorial writers, reporters.
  • You are the expert. Help educate the reporter before the interview.
  • Identify your communications message and prepare three key "talking points."
  • Prepare an opening and closing statement.
  • Do your homework. Know the facts. Know your position. Practice.
  • Determine questions you hope won't be asked; then practice answering them.
  • Find an angle. Identify or create a local hook that links your story to a national one or to other community events/issues/concerns.
  • Find out who the reporter is – their position and who else is being interviewed.
  • Know others positions. Find out/identify their key points.
  • Know the format, theme and audience of the show. Establish ground rules, and find out what will be covered and how much time will be allowed for the program.
  • Identify the person who can best represent your point of view.
  • Read/listen to the latest edition of the newspaper/radio/TV news program before you do your program. A late-breaking story could affect your presentation.
  • Arrive early – check out the setting, your appearance. Talk to the reporter about what will be covered, offer points you'd like to discuss. Do not have any caffeine.
  • Be available for follow-up. Reporters often need more info.
  • Relax and be yourself.

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