You’re about to have an interview with the media. Here are a few golden rules regardless of whether your interview is with the press, radio or TV.
Keep it simple. Don’t use jargon. If you need to use technical terms, explain what you mean. Never assume anything, even if you are talking to a journalist writing about your industry.
Be concise. Avoid rambling answers and keep it brief. This allows you to cover more territory without annoying your interviewer.
Get your key messages across. This is the real reason why you are talking to the media. Don’t wait for journalists to ask the correct questions to extract those points.
Relax, be yourself. It is important for television and radio that you are yourself. The electronic medium detects insincerity or pretension very quickly.
Always prepare for an interview. Although you are the expert on your subject, you need to prepare.
Be friendly, not meek. Never get abusive during an interview because you will lose the audience’s sympathy. But don’t be meek either.
Always correct a reporter/broadcaster’s mistake. If their inference or facts are wrong, correct them immediately.
No comment. Never say a bald “no comment”. Always give the reason for your refusal i.e. “I’m afraid I can’t comment right now because there’s a coronial inquiry underway, etc…” However, it is important to say you will get back to the journalist otherwise they will go elsewhere for the information and this could impact badly on your organisation.
However, if there are areas of no-go, make that clear at the start of the interview.