News Media Interviews – 7 Tips on How to Prepare For Mainstream News and Feature Media Interviews

Today, many business people are focused on social media, new media and on-line media. While these efforts are important and necessary for marketing, traditional media outlets are still important and can play a major role in your business success.

So, the question is, “Will you be ready when Oprah or Donny Duetsch from The Big Idea calls?”

You will be if you prepare now. Following are 7 tips for conducting successful media interviews:

  1. Define your agenda: decide what you want the audience to do. Buy your services? Attend your event? Support your cause?
  2. Know your story:to effectively assert your agenda, you must deliver your message confidently, calmly and concisely. You are the expert on your topic. Stay focused on your agenda during the interview.
  3. Develop key talking points with supporting proof points: prepare three key points you wish to make during the interview. Then support each talking point with three points that offer tangible proof including stories, case studies, and other examples.
  4. Know the interviewer and the media outlet: before agreeing to an interview, do your due diligence. Research the media outlet and the interviewer. A quick Google search will give you an idea of what to expect and how to best prepare for the interview.
  5. Prepare the interviewer: reporters are very busy and anything you can do to help them is greatly appreciated. To this end, provide background information as well as sample questions on your topic. You will often find that they will use these exact questions.
  6. Anticipate questions and controversy: Your preparation is not complete without anticipating questions and controversies that could arise in the interview. Create a list of all anticipated questions. Then answer each question. Be sure to include the ones that could be asked – remember; “if you dread it, you’ll probably get it.”
  7. Practice, practice, practice: nothing takes the place of practice. It alleviates pre-interview panic and post-interview remorse. To hone message points and to prepare for actual interview questions, even the most polished spokespeople find there is simply no substitute for practicing out loud. Better still, role play with a buddy or coach. Are your answers coming across? Are they concise? Are they believable or do they need more support?

Follow these tips and you will master mainstream media opportunities. And, who would not want to be interviewed on the Today Show?