Monday, May 18, 2009

What's the secret to a good interview?

When a client comes to Louisville for spokesperson training, or we go to the client, they want to know the "secret" to doing the best interview possible.

The "secret" is not one thing. It is NOT missing "one thing"

There are some basic, and relatively simple steps, to a successful and effective encounter with a reporter. If you skip or miss one of these steps you will not do as well.

1. Don't agree to an interview without first agreeing on a topic/subject/angle. If a reporter calls and wants to interview you about safety in the workplace, ask her "what about safety in the workplace." Take a little time to get a better defined subject, so you can actually prepare for the interview, not guess at what the reporter is really looking for.

2. After you agree on the subject, set a time and location, and tell the reporter how much time you have for the interview. Never ever agree to an open-ended interview.

3. If there is a "secret" to a successful interview, this step comes closest to it --take the time to identify the audience or audiences you will be talking to. It's not the reporter. Who will be reading or listening or watching this story and what do they already know about the subject. Are they advocates, adversaries or ambivilant.

4. Once you know the subject and the audience, then it gets a lot easier to identify the message you want to deliver and how best to present it.

Every enounter with a reporter is an opportunity. If you fail to take full advantage of every opportunity, shame on you.

No comments:

Post a Comment