Media training tips – tip #1

95749409 So…you're going to be interviewed on your local TV noon news segment.  Or you have reporters calling because your company is in the middle of a controversial issue.  Or it might be that a blogger wants to do a digital interview using web cams.

No matter how friendly, how laid back or how intense a media interview might be — there are some basic rules you should remember to take full advantage of the opportunity (or to mitigate the damage if that's the scenario.) 

I'm going to share a series of tips that will help you make the most of your 15 minutes of fame!  Today, let's talk preparation.

Prep:  Your interview is actually won or sunk in the prep or lack thereof.  You want to be very mindful of the message you want to convey.  Yes…THE message.  A single message.

Ask yourself this question:  What's the one thing I want people to know and remember at the conclusion of this interview.  Whatever it is…. you insert that answer into the first real question you get asked.  (after the niceties about having you on the show etc.)

Let me give you an example.  Our Adopt a Charity, Amanda the Panda really wants people to understand the work that they do and who they serve.  So…if they were doing a noon show interview about their upcoming ThrowBack Golf event (dress like an old time golfer, etc.) here's how that first question might play out.

Reporter:  Thanks for coming on the show.  Tell us a little about your upcoming golf tournament.

Executive Director:  Thanks for having us on, Brian.  As you know, Amanda the Panda works with kids from six to seventeen who are hurting because someone they love has died.  We offer all of those services for free.  Which is why we're holding this fantastic golfing event where everyone is going to dress like turn of the century golfers and help us raise money.

Did she answer the reporter's question?  You bet.  But first…she delivered her main point. Rarely is a reporter going to say:  anything else you want our viewers to know?  So don't wait for the perfect opportunity.  Make the perfect opportunity — with the first question.

In getting ready for your interview….use these questions to get clear on the key points you want to drive home:

  • What is the one thing you want the audience to remember?  (This is the point I was talking about above)                          
  • What are the three key facts you’d like to mention?
  • What is the phrase you want to repeat at least twice?
  • When people hear the name of your organization, we want them to think (phrase) in their head:

I know it sounds incredibly simplistic, but trust me, even this much prep will put you far ahead of most people who step in front of a reporter's microphone.  Stay tuned for tip #2.

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