Speaking to the media can be daunting, especially if it’s something you’re new to, but it doesn’t have to be.
Journalists and the media organisations they work for have a job to do, just like we do. They need to file a story to educate or inform their audience, whatever that audience may be.
There are a number of different ways you may be approached by a journalist. If you don’t have a PR agency to defer the enquiries to, you can expect to be contacted by phone, email, or even via direct messages on your social media accounts.
The following tips may be useful to you when you are approached by a journalist:
- Avoid doing an interview on the spot
- Find out a little about the journalist and the publication they work for
- Find out what the premise of the story is – it’s important to know what is expected
- Ask whether the interview will be on TV, radio or in print/online
- Get back to the journalist in good time
Once you have established the above, and decided you will participate, remember to:
- Try to relax – Keep the interview conversational but do your best to speak with confidence. Most journalists will put you at ease. Try to develop a positive relationship with the reporter and be polite and friendly. You will get more comfortable the more you do these kinds of interviews.
- Do your research – it’s a good idea to identify three or four points you would like to convey about the subject matter you’re being questioned about and a couple of additional facts that can add authority to the story.
- Remember that nothing you say is every really ‘off the record’ – Don’t be caught out by thinking the interview is over and then speaking openly. A journalist is always looking for their next story and you don’t want to wind up with egg on your face.
- Try and pivot off topic if things get pointy – considering the state of the building industry and the economy right now, it’s likely that journalists may be looking for emotion and that could mean tough questions. If you get asked something you don’t want to answer, just try and pivot away from it or acknowledge it and defer to a key message of your own.
- Be interesting (and interested) – Journalists – print or broadcast – are all about gleaning interesting quotes and colourful anecdotes, so at the very least ensure you look and sound like you want to be there and if you can offer some expression and quotable short sharp key messages.
- Think about your presentation – No one expects you to be all suited up, but it is worth noting that how you present yourself is important when it comes to broadcast interviews, and of course photoshoots if they’re required. Don’t wear hats or sunglasses and try to avoid bold patterns and stripes. Where possible wear a branded shirt or cap, so you can proudly promote your brand.
If you would like to discuss how Elevate can partner with you to grow and protect your brand through a bespoke PR program, please contact us today on firstname.lastname@example.org or call Mel Deacon on 0418 814 782.
We’d love to hear from you.