Going on air? Prepare, prepare, prepare.

Written by Jim Walsh - July 2018

It may seem self-evident but preparation is key to presenting yourself and your organisation for media interviews. The preparation has to be based on knowing what the style of the medium is, the audience, the context of the request for interview and the logistics. You also need to consider whether the interview will be live or recorded, will it be for press, radio/ or TV and will it take place in person or by phone or Skype.

Our media training is always bespoke and focussed on the client’s needs as well as the ethos and reputation of the organisation. Usually the person being trained knows their subject very well. The issue is usually how they will present that information and their ability to think fast when being questioned.

Here are the top 10 questions you need to ask yourself before agreeing to a media interview:

  1. Why am I being asked and who will be conducting the interview?
  2. What is the ethos and approach of the medium or interviewer involved?
  3. What information will they be seeking?
  4. Is there a business or personal advantage in agreeing to be interviewed?
  5. What do I want to achieve out of the interview?
  6. What are my key messages and can I deliver them briefly and coherently?
  7. Who is my audience? (Understand that listeners, readers or viewers will include specific stakeholders in your organisation.)
  8. Have I identified the issues that I want to avoid and how will I respond if they are raised?
  9. Do I have an opening and closing position. (You may not always know how the interview will be brought to a close).
  10. Am I prepared for criticism of my performance by colleagues or other media outlets?

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