Interview Do’s & Don’ts – How to Speak to a Reporter

We’ve heard it from many a prospective client. “I was interviewed for an hour and they gave me one quote!” “When the story finally came out, I wasn’t even included!” and the ever so popular “But I didn’t say any of those things! The reporter got it all wrong”.

Be prepared! Being quotable takes practice.

 Don’t be misconstrued – make sure you summarize your answers and email them to the journalist after the interview.

 Do fact check the story by asking the editor to repeat your answers before their deadline closes.

 Do mentor the editor. He/She is expecting to speak to an expert in their field (that would be you while being interviewed). Be sure to speak with a voice of authority.

 Don’t forget to practice before the interview. Learn to think like a reporter and write down all of their possible questions and answer them in your head before the real interview.

 Don’t be factitious. You don’t want to sound like you are speaking in mere “talking points”. An interview is the perfect time to tell the world your fascinating story with as much detail as you can give them.

 Do mesmerize the media with your industry expertise and pepper your answers with interesting and enlightening facts about your business.

If the interview is in person, try to bring as much energy and passion to the table as possible. Even if you were up all night doing research, don’t give the writer a somnolent gaze. Be prepared.

Editorial coverage can raise awareness of your brand/company and products and services. If you are asked to take part in a story that will increase your influence, be sure to be prepared with a company backgrounder, fact sheet, your profile and press releases for the reporter to review when writing their final copy.

2 Comments

  1. Great tips – sometimes easier said than done (hence our current administrations need for a teleprompter at every dog and pony show)
    Where can someone get a quick prep course the day before an interview?

  2. While we don’t recommend waiting until the day before an interview to prep, we do counsel and media train clients to help them put their best face forward. You can email us if you need help.

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