5 Tips to Rock your Media Interview
Get ready to shine!
You’ve been working hard to develop a new product and it’s finally ready to launch. The moment has come to tell the market that it’s available. You write a press release, send it out through a newswire service and reach out to your media contacts. With some work and luck, and because your product is stellar, you receive good traction and the media is very interested. You land your first interview and it’s set for tomorrow… and it’s on live TV.
Here are five tips to get ready to deliver your message with confidence.
DO YOUR HOMEWORK.
Get a sense of the overall angle and reason for the interview.Find out why they are interested in your product. Sometimes the interviewer will provide questions in advance so you can prepare accordingly, but don’t get too caught up with the questions… you don’t want to seem canned when answering them. In many cases, they are used to guide you but will likely not be asked verbatim. Oh, and there is a possibility that you may be asked questions that were not shared… so be prepared to talk about your product from a functionality perspective as well as from a business angle. You may also be asked to comment on any other relevant facts that communicate its importance to your target audience and that of the media outlet.
KNOW YOUR INTERVIEWER AND THE AUDIENCE.
It goes without saying that every media outlet has a focus and unique target audience. For example, Breakfast Television has a broad audience and the interview will likely be relaxed – meant to appeal to all listeners. In this case, keep the conversation easy to understand… don’t get too technical. Alternatively, if you are being interviewed on a business show, you still need to keep technical information to a minimum, but you may want to introduce data and metrics that support your business case and market relevance. It’s also a good idea that you watch a past interview to get a good feel for the style of the interviewer and the segment. It will help you decide how you want to conduct your interview and how you don’t. It will also give you a sense of how to dress for your TV appearance. You’ll want to make sure that your attire conveys your brand image but that it is suitable for the audience. Use your judgment but a good tip is to avoid heavy prints and lots of bling, and try to wear a jacket or something that will be easy to hook the microphone to.
GET KEY MESSAGES OUT IN THE RIGHT WAY.
This is the most critical! List out 3-5 main messages and stick to them. Make sure you get them across during the interview by always bringing your conversation back to them whenever you can. This takes discipline as it’s very easy to get distracted by a topic that diverts your message elsewhere but is most important if your product has a controversial element to it. Key messages generally include content surrounding your product’s unique selling proposition (USP), its viability, price, market potential, and where to buy it.
DURING THE INTERVIEW, MAKE SURE TO:
- Avoid jargon
- Repeat salient points in different ways
- Use examples/anecdotes to illustrate relevance
- Keep your message simple and relatable to your audience
- Use silence strategically: pause to give yourself time to think… don’t ramble just to fill conversation lulls
- Mention your brand name as much as possible without sounding too promotional
- Control the message by bridging it together: “The real issue is…. and our product is a great solution..
- Don’t avoid tough questions… use them to bring your key messages back into the fold… and never lie!
- Always be prepared!
- Look at the interviewer and not the camera
GET IT OUT THERE.
Use social media to alert your followers that you will be on TV so that they can watch you live. You may also want to notify your database that you are going to be on live TV and provide them with the details. And make sure to post the interview link on your website, although this may require approval from the media outlet. Leverage all coverage that you receive as third party content lends credibility to your brand and provides another touchpoint for your target audience. It helps tell your story through the eyes of a known resource which will likely pique stakeholder interest.
You’re now ready to shine, so remember…
- Become informed so that you are prepared
- Consider conducting mock interviews and get media training if you have time
- Know your interviewer, the show and overall angle of your interview
- Look the part
- Speak in terms that your audience will understand
- Let people know how and where to buy your product
- Enjoy the ride!
Follow these tips to improve your media interview skills. Email Zenergy at firstname.lastname@example.org for media training or other media relations needs.