5 Media Interview Tips for Brands

Media interviews can be a minefield for brands.

How do you navigate a one-to-one with the press or broadcast media with aplomb and, crucially, keep your credibility intact?

There’s no substitute for experience, of course, but there are a few simple techniques that will help ensure even the most inexperienced can emerge from a media interview with honours and bag those crucial column inches or broadcast seconds to provide your brand with a priceless marketing boost.

While it is important to always maintain your professionalism, it is every inch as crucial that you be yourself. Don’t put on airs and graces. While journalists are well attuned to spotting fakery and breaking through facades, they appreciate nothing more than someone being both natural and engaging.

The best interviews are jargon-free. Complicated ideas are always best communicated in the simplest terms. Journalists really appreciate someone who does this for them – it makes their job much easier if they don’t have to comb through reams of jargon and science to get to the heart of the matter. Simple sound-bites are also far more likely to be published or broadcast.

A combination of knowledge and personality is always a winner in media circles. The media’s job is to present new factual stories in an interesting way to engage their readers, viewers or listeners. If you can be engaging, entertaining and also impart new knowledge then you’re going a long way to doing their job for them and you’ll quickly become a journalist’s best friend.

You need to be aware of all the important headline issues surrounding your speciality. In the same way you would expect a ‘football expert’ to be aware of the news agenda surrounding the game, you must familiarise yourself with any current affairs ‘headlines’ surrounding your field.
Prepare contemporary responses that fit in with your brand personality in the event a question concerning the latest ‘industry debate’ is asked.

You may sometimes be in a situation where a multitude of media wish to interview you for a new product launch or announcement. Just because they are all journalists, it doesn’t necessarily follow that they’ll all want the same things from their interviews.

A ‘lifestyle’ journalist interviewing a beer company, for example, may have a specific interest in any one of a number of subjects – fashion, culture, food, music, nightlife – or just be there because your brand is currently considered ‘cool’. Each will require a slightly different approach.

Give the journalist something tailored to their specific interest – it not only shows you care, but it means your interview is far more likely to resonate with them and, therefore, win your brand precious column inches.

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