Successful Media Interviews

Media interviews are an excellent way for your brand to gain greater visibility. More importantly, they enable you to showcase your point of view. Or show how you are solving a customer challenge.

Unfortunately, too many subject matter experts (SMEs) are unprepared to fully maximize each interview. They are “passive” participants. They simply answer each question without providing additional value for the reporter, or for their brand. Because of this, these SMEs are leaving their knowledge on table.

Here are three tips to help you or your SMEs maximize every interview. With these tips, you can go from “passive participant” to an expert media resource.  You’ll be able to help a reporter while furthering your brand or organization’s goals.   

Tips for Successful Media Interviews

 

1. Develop Your Talking Points

Before each interview, write down the 2 or 3 points you want to communicate. Talking Points are not taglines. Nor are they fully written-out sentences. They are phrases that allow you to communicate a major point or theme. They should be relevant to your brand and what the interview is about.  You can think of them as “anchors.” These “anchors” will allow you to stay focused and on message. 

Let’s say you are being interviewed about trends in sustainable design. Here are some potential talking points:

  • “We’ve been making fully sustainable products for more than 2 decades.”  This Talking Point allows you to establish your credibility. You can also use it to expand on your sustainable products or processes.
  • “Our customers continue to request new sustainable innovations.” This Talking Point enables you to show where the market is heading. It also allows you to talk about your customers and how you are helping them.

2. Make Your Points Relatable

It’s important to think of a media interview like a presentation. Just like when you’re presenting to a customer, you want your messages to be understood.  What’s the best way to do that? 

Try using a story. Stories are relatable and memorable. A story can be as simple as describing the first time your team attempted to market a sustainable product.  You can briefly describe the starting point (beginning), the steps you took (middle) and what happened (end).  

Try using analogies. This is a great to explain numbers or data. Here’s an example:  “We recycle about 2 million tons of cardboard each year. That’s the equivalent weight of 100 SUVs.” 

3. Be a Trusted Resource.

So what determines a successful interview? It boils down to two things: Did the reporter get what she needed for the article? Did you advance your brand? If you gave the reporter great insight, reliable information and a few dynamic quotes, she will feel confident returning to you for future articles. If you were able to communicate your brand’s key messages and how you’re meeting your customers’ challenges, that’s a success for you.

Next Steps: Consider a Media Training Session 

Hitting a home run every interview is not always guaranteed. That’s why we advise our clients to participate in media training with us. A robust media training session can ensure you and your SMEs are armed with the right strategies and techniques.  

Don’t leave your knowledge on the table.  And like that old show business saying: “Leave your audience wanting more.”

If you’re interested in a media training session for your organization, please contact Matt Spaulding at matts@spauldingcommunications.com 

To learn more about our Media Training, download a sample Media Training Agenda here.  

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