This week, I asked some of our travel, transport and aviation clients: “What is the best media training tip you have ever been given?”
A simple question, but the responses demonstrated the vast breadth of skills and considerations that need to be taken into account when being interviewed over the phone, on camera, or face-to-face with a journalist.
Spanning a wide range of companies and industries, from MRO software providers to infotainment platform developers, it is clear to see the universal importance of interview preparation and the value that media training brings to any individual giving interviews on behalf of their business.
Here is a selection of my favourites:
“Only talk about what you want to talk about, don’t go off script and try to please! Any question can open up to your agenda.”
“Try to think like a reporter. What will they be interested in? What’s the hook?”
“Don’t rehearse your answers word for word – if it sounds rehearsed people won’t feel you are genuine. Give yourself bullet points to remember and don’t panic if you aren’t getting every single point in.”
“Remember that broadcast interviews are designed for soundbites. You will be one short section of a 60 second to two-minute news report. Keep your answers to 10-20 second clips.”
“Smile (if the topic is appropriate obviously!) – it may sound like telecoms speak but smiling, even on a telephone interview, will ensure your enthusiasm comes across.”
“So much of communication is nonverbal – think about your body language, how you are standing and what you are wearing to ensure it’s sending the right message.”
“Make an effort to be interesting! Think about how your business fits into current trends and draw parallels that make you relatable to a bigger audience. Metaphors, as long as they aren’t overused, are great for explaining and relating B2B ideas to non-trade publications.”
And if in doubt…
“If someone asks you a question you don’t want to answer, bore them with a tedious response until they change the subject!”