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3 tips to prepare for an interview with media outlets and journalists
Media training: 3 Tips to
Prepare for an Interview
with Media Outlets and
By Sarah Sinclair
Being interviewed on camera can be daunting, but it
doesn’t have to be.
When it comes to being comfortable on camera and
developing and keeping good mutually beneficial
relationships with media outlets and journalists, here’s
some simple rules to follow.
1. BE AVAILABLE AND FLEXIBLE
Getting the opportunity to be part of a story is really
the biggest challenge of all. This is why it’s important
that if you or your organisation wants media
coverage, try not to turn any requests down.
If you get a reputation for saying no, journalists will
More important than that, if you have sent out a media
release make sure whoever is handling the media
enquiries has their phone on hand to answer
immediately and you are available to do multiple
interviews throughout the day.
It sounds simple but sometimes opportunities are
missed because a phone went unanswered and
another story was pursued.
It’s important to be flexible as well, breaking news and
busy schedules mean that interviews may be brought
back, forward or even cancelled, you need to be
prepared for that and willing to accommodate time
2. KEEP IT CONCISE
Don’t waffle, if you can manage it. Saving time will
always get you in the good books. Obviously you
should still speak conversationally but there’s no point
going completely off track or trying to push too many
That’s because a television story is generally around
one minute and twenty seconds long, some are only
3. BE CONFIDENT
More often than not if you’re being interviewed about
something, you’ll be an expert on the topic. If you feel
nervous, remember that you’ve already got the
knowledge to answer the questions that’ll be fired at
If you don’t, and a question falls outside your
expertise, then be honest, and seek clarification on
what they want to know.
Interviews rarely go for very long, because journalists
are strapped for time and often juggling multiple
stories in several locations.
In most cases, you’ll only be asked a few straight
forward questions, unless it’s about something
If you follow these rules, then you’ll more likely be
contacted again for interviews even if you don’t send
out media releases.
That’s the position you want to be in. An expert that’s
called upon regularly to provide trusted commentary.