1. Treat your communications with reporters before and after the interview as if they’re part of the “official” interview. Your interactions with reporters prior to an interview may help inform the questions they ask, and your follow-up emails may help the reporter remember to include a key point in the final story. 
  2. Visualize your audience when you talk. Visualize one specific person in your target audience that you need to reach in order to be successful. Be specific. Focus your answers on that one individual. If that person understands what you’re saying, odds are the rest of your audience will too. 
  3. Base your interview on the audience’s level of knowledge: If you’re speaking about climate change with a reporter who has covered that issue for a decade, you might be tempted to speak at a higher level by using acronyms or technical jargon. Don’t. The reporter isn’t your audience; the person you visualized is. Speak to the reporter as you would to your target person. Don’t call reporters by name: Many media trainers teach their trainees to call reporters by their names, arguing that doing so helps forge a warm connection with the interviewer. Perhaps that’s true. But it comes at too high of a price. When you call reporters by name, it makes it clear to the audience that you’re speaking to the reporter, not with them. 
  4. Treat every interview as a live interview as if you will not get a do-over.
  5. Don’t say in summary or in conclusion.  Check to see when an interview will air so you won’t date it.
  6. Some interviews may be conducted by a producer or cameraperson and can be repackaged for other networks, so don’t repeat the person’s name, unless it is a long sit down interview with 20/20.

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