How To Give A Good Interview: PR Tips for Dummies
October 28th, 2008 · No Comments
HOW TO GIVE A GOOD INTERVIEW 1. Do your homework Research the publication, show or website and who will be interviewing you. What is the reporter’s expertise and style? If you are being interviewed for radio or television, ask about the set up. Is the interview live or taped? Will you be sitting next to the host or in a studio? Will someone give you time cues so you know when to wrap it up? 2. You are always on the record It’s fine to make chit chat before the interview starts but remember that unless you explicitly tell the reporter something is off the record, she may use it. This is also extremely important to keep in mind if you are doing a television or radio interview. Never assume the mike isn’t on. 3. Ditch the talking points Be yourself! If there are specific points you want to make, memorize those little factoids but don’t sound scripted. I often practice in front of my husband or friends so I’m comfortable with my topic. Personal anecdotes help too. I love to tell of the time when I gave a national radio interview, all the while hoping that my twin babies in the next room would be sufficiently entertained by Elmo until I was off the air. 4. Don’t Play the Expert (If You’re Not) Know your stuff inside and out but it you’re stumped by a question, admit that you’d like to check before you answer. Then gracefully steer the interview to something you do want to discuss. I always like to say – “That’s a great question. What I can tell you is this…” Unless you are a politician, CEO or a celebrity, most interviews will be pretty friendly. There is no reason to pretend you have all the answers if you don’t. 5. Focus on the Interview If you are doing a telephone interview from home now’s not the time to put away groceries. Find a quiet space so you can concentrate. Turn off your call waiting if possible and make sure you have a hard line available instead of your cell. 6. Network News reporters are always looking for help. Stay in touch and suggest other opportunities to work together. 7. Tips for TV Avoid both large and small prints – especially black and white. Green is sometimes a problem. Avoid bright white. Never ever wear anything you have never worn before. Consider where the microphone will go.
Avoid linen and anything that bunches when you sit. Check yourself out beforehand and look for places where fabric pulls or gathers when you sit. Bring your make-up with you and never, ever show up to a studio bare faced. If you are lucky, the show will provide a make up and/or hair stylist for touch ups. Avoid flashy or large jewelry. Everything looks bigger on TV. The author is Los Angeles Incubator member Heather Cabot, Founder and Publisher, The Well Mom, Inc.
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