PR Q&A | What are some secrets to giving a great interview?

Eye on media’s needs — If you make your media contact shine bright, then you will shine bright too. This applies for print as well as broadcast interviews. Discuss in advance the focus your interviewer is planning to take so you can be prepared to the max. Listen carefully to your interviewer’s questions and give them the goods they want.

Educate and entertain — Especially in broadcast interviews, make sure you’re poised, and your confidence, wit and wisdom shine through. Be prepared, but be relaxed. Establish a good rapport with your interviewer and carry on as if he or she is an old friend. Remember to provide content that highlights your expertise and is valuable for the audience at the same time. Smile and be at ease. This is your moment!

Great sound bites — Keep your points concise and memorable. Review your key messages and practice anecdotes and sayings that the audience will remember. Avoid run-on answers. The best way to do this, again, is to really listen to the questions your interviewer asks you, answering them as directly and succinctly as you can. Pay attention to queues from your interviewer. Their body language or expressions will tell you when they are ready to move on to the next question, or want you to expand or clarify a point you have made.

Interest and Enthusiasm — Research your interviewer to familiarize yourself with their style and interviewing techniques. If you know the journalist’s work, you can look for ways to connect with their experience by referring to past articles or programming they’ve done on the topic. Provide the latest, most original information you can on the topic, and always look for opportunities to provide your unique perspective.

Build a relationship — Giving a great media interview will lay the groundwork for your relationship with the journalist interviewing you, and for future media opportunities. Show them you can deliver a professional interview that meets their needs and exceeds their expectations. Do that, and you are on your way to a long-term, mutually beneficial relationship. The key is to be prepared. Know your interviewer, their audience and above all, the key messages you want to share. Before you have your first media interview, be clear on what defines you as an expert — your interests, talents, skills, education, hobbies and perspectives that set you apart from your competitors. Your personal brand is where your expertise and your passions meet. Know that, and you will be able to connect with the media in your interview in a way that’s authoritative, compelling and leaves the media wanting more.

By |2016-10-13T16:38:16+00:00December 10th, 2010|

About the Author:

For 30 years, Drew Gerber has been inspiring those who want to change the world. As the CEO of Wasabi Publicity, Inc., lauded by the likes of PR Week and Good Morning America, he sparks "aha" conversations that lead to personal and business success. His PR firm is known for landing clients on Dr. Phil, Oprah, Anderson Cooper, The Wall Street Journal, Inc., Entrepreneur, and other top media outlets. Wasabi Publicity lives to launch conversations that make a difference and change the world.

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