By Susan Carol Associates PR
The keys to a successful interview are making your position clear to the reporter and acting professionally.
Getting Off to a Good Start
When the reporter first calls…
- Get the facts (reporter’s name, number, deadline and reason for call)
- Get back to the reporter well before deadline
Preparing for the Interview
- Know the subject.
- Practice likely questions and your answers.
- If the subject is controversial, imagine yourself remaining calm.
- Consider visual aids or written materials for the reporter.
- Get straight to the point, then expand on the subject.
- Get your main point across.
- Use simple language and avoid jargon.
- Defer on answers you do not know.
- Tell the truth.
- Clarify comments that were misstated or misunderstood.
- Try to promote a balanced perspective on controversial issues.
- Stay on the record, even if the reporter is your best friend!
- Offer to be available for follow-up questions.
- Never say “This is not a story.”
- Never say “No Comment.”
- Never ask to review the story in advance.
- Don’t wear busy prints or white (uniforms excluded).
- Relax. Treat this as a one-on-one conversation.
- Try not to be interviewed against a white wall.
- Try to answer in sound bites — brief, quotable statements.