If there is one thing I love it is this: public relations, or more specifically media relations. I love writing press releases, scheduling media interviews, and most importantly being in front of the camera. Just kidding—but I do LOVE the chaos of back-to-back-to-back on-camera interviews. Bring it on, ask me the tough stuff, and let the cameras roll!
I love everything from the initial research, writing, and editing of a press release to cultivating relationships with media personnel, to tracking and analyzing the end results.
Today I had one of those days—a beautiful media firestorm filled with sending out press releases, scheduling interviews and getting in front of the cameras—it inspired me to share 5 tips with you that will help you ace your next on-camera interview!
1. Ask the reporter for potential questions in advance
If you have the opportunity, ask the reporter who will be interviewing you to provide you with a few of the questions they may ask you during the interview. This will not only help you prepare, but will make the interview process smoother so you don’t your time or the time of the reporter. They are on a harsh deadline, you know!
2. If possible, wear pants
I know that sounds strange, but when you’re being interviewed on camera, you’ll wear a mic pack. Dresses and mic packs don’t always mix well and can be awkward. So, if you have the opportunity to plan your outfit before your interview, pants are always a great option so you can hook the mic on your shirt, run the cable down your blazer and clip the mic pack to your back pocket.
Today, I didn’t have time to plan—I was wearing a dress, so I had to awkwardly hook my mic pack on my boot, which was fine, but pants would have been easier. (:
3. Bridge and block
Two words: bridge and block. Bridge and block is a concept that just takes practice. Some reporters aren’t always trying to make you look good: SHOCKER! When you’re asked a question you can’t answer, don’t want to answer, or maybe you seriously just don’t know the answer, bridge and block. Build a bridge from the question, and block it as you transform your response into something positive. Pow, pow. (:
4. Be yourself—don’t sound rehearsed
There is a difference between practicing your responses, and rehearsing responses. Be yourself—you don’t want to sound like you stayed up all night and memorized your answers word for word. It’s just a little awkward—you want to be real and authentic. If you know your topic and have a general idea of your responses, you’ll do amazing, sweetie.
5. The most important part—the thank you note
Number five is the most important. After the interview be sure to send a thank you note to the reporter. This helps cultivate a positive relationship between you and the media. In my experience, thanking reporters after an interview, or even just a story from a press release you sent out, is very much appreciated and remembered by the reporter.