7 December, 2011
If you fail to prepare, you prepare to fail – a well-worn phrase but it’s certainly true if you’re a spokesperson for your organisation.
Talking to the media can be a daunting task for even the most confident, but with a bit of homework beforehand you can make it a positive experience. Even if the subject matter is contentious, a good interview can make a significant difference to the way your organisation is seen by readers or listeners.
While the Leveson Inquiry continues to examine the behaviour of some national media journalists, it’s important to remember that in the majority of situations journalists are fair, professional, and genuinely want to hear your view on things. They are looking for information and insight, not salacious gossip.
Knowing who you’re talking to and why they want to interview you is crucial. Have a look at some of the articles the journalist has written in the past, or listen to or watch previous episodes of the programme you’ll be on, to gain a sense of their style.
It’s easy to recognise a spokesperson who knows their subject, has a set of clear and concise messages they want to get across, and is confident in the face of questioning. Interviews with those people have real impact, whether you agree with the content of what they’re saying or not, and the points they make can stay with you for a long time.
Our latest free guide looks at how to prepare for interviews. It offers advice on planning your responses, anticipating difficult questions and managing the interview once it’s underway.
If you’d like more support, or need an opportunity to practice what you read in the guide, we can organise bespoke media training for you or your team. Email Kirsty Kitchen at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.