How to be prepared for an interview with the Media
The first rule to consider in an interview with the media is that the journalist is not my audience, he is just the intermediary. The journalist represents nothing more than a bridge that takes us to our audience, to whom we want to communicate our message.
When we communicate with the media, there are typically 4 types of message to consider:
- The fact / result
- The problem / solution
- The call to action
- The benefits
The fact and its result
This happens when the facts that we are explaining are connected with its implications. For example:
- My car got broken and therefore I was late; if the car had not broke, I would have arrived on time.
- I was sick, and therefore I did not work for one month; if I was not sick, I would not have stayed without working.
- A wall felt, and therefore the street was blocked; if it had not felt, everything would be working normally.
What this mean is that one thing is the result of other that happened.
The problem / solution
When a problem is described and then its solution is presented.
- There are several accidents on the road, we should do more awareness campaigns;
- Depression is increasing in Portugal, therefore only by investing in campaigns and support services will we be able to control the numbers;
- Child obesity is a tough reality, lets do promotional activities of healthy eating habits;
- Local commerce has been very affected with the pandemic, lets reinvent ourselves by doing more advertising and campaigns.
This happens when an action or intervention is asked from the audience´s side. This requested intervention is justified with the advantages that this action has. With a call to action, we are involving our audience with our speech.
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- Visit the Lisbon zoo and participate inn the campaign to raise funds for the protection of a certain animal that is in extinction;
Benefits such as the purchase advantages by the clients.
- buy the media training service today and give a boost to your confidence when speaking on camera or in front of your audience!
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In the interviews, there can be, in many different times, difficult questions from journalists, some of them on purpose. This becomes a challenge, as we should always provide an answer. However, in the pressure of the moment it may be a short answer such as:
- Maybe / Yes / No / Absolutely
We cannot escape from providing an answer, however we can guide the interview in a certain way, for example, be able to transit with a sentence that serves as a bridge between the question and my message:
- ”It is important to remember”, “However”, “But even more important”.
With the transition, I should again focus on my main message using the supports that were explained in a previous article and finish with a fine call-to-action to visit the website, buy the product or proceed to another action. 80%. should be used in the message and action, and only 20% of the answer should be used in the answer and transition.
And what about those cases in which the journalists questions present false choices?
It is true: In an interview, we can see ourselves towards the challenge of having to answer to a “this or that” question, that does not necessarily have a correct answer. As such, we do not have to answer in a linear way to that question.
We should demonstrate that the specific question does not allow us to make a true choice, as none of the hypothesis can be applied entirely. Lets suppose that the journalist asks something that forces us to choose between happiness and health, for example. In this case, I can dodge the answer to something like:
- Ask me to choose between these two is like asking me to choose between air and water. Both are necessary to live, and therefore, I hope I never have to make that question again in my life.
Lets suppose the journalist asks us if we prefer not to hear or see, or he asks us if we would prefer never to drink or never to eat. These are questions that do not have an assertive answer, as all the components are essential, as thus we would not be able to abdicate from any of them.
Another important aspect to consider is competition. This can be a sensitive topic to which we do not want to comment, and just explain that we will allow the other company, that offers similar products and/or services, to talk for itself. Our goal is not to say what other companies are doing wrong, but what we are doing to our clients best interest.
To follow up, we can add a series of positive aspects associated with our company. This transmits a good image of ourselves as professionals and people, as we do not need to downgrade other businesses or people to outdo ours. We let the work speak for itself.
To sum up, we should take into account that, by the end of the interview, if we add any information, this should be just a repetition of my previous message and we should not add new information’s to avoid the risk of the transmission of the information to be interrupted.