Worst-case scenario…you are just told you have to do a media interview in five minutes. Far-fetched? No.
It’s not uncommon for reporters to call, send an email, text or even post something on social media that begs a quick response. Even if they aren’t specifically calling to request a formal interview with you, you know you or someone in your organization needs to talk to them…NOW.
So, how do you prepare?
The best thing to do is take a minute to think about what that one over-riding message needs to be. What is that one thing that their readers, viewers or listeners absolutely need to know, clearly and unequivocally?
Once you’ve written that down, come up with the top five questions they may ask, including the questions you don’t want to hear. Think about what they expect to hear from you and what they want to get you to say. Then think about what you think their audience needs to know in that context. And then think about how that one over-riding message you just came up with can fit into your response to all five questions.
In five minutes, that may be all you can do to prepare, but it’s a crash-course in media preparation. The key thing is you cannot afford to skip this important public relations process in preparation for any media interview. You have to go in knowing what you want to say, what the reporter wants to get you to say, and what they may ask.
Do you want to talk media interviewing? Get in touch. I’ve done a lot of media coaching and media training on just this sort of thing.
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Tim is the author of the forthcoming book called “The Essential Crisis Communications Plan: A Crisis Management Process that Fits Your Culture.” He is founder of O’Brien Communications and has provided crisis communications and issues management support to clients from Fortune 100 firms and national nonprofits, to emerging start-ups.
Tim has handled hundreds of crises, large and small over decades, working with some of the most iconic brands in the world along the way. To receive updates on when his book will be available for you, click here.