Spotlight on: Preparing for interviews

By Vanessa King · September 24, 2015

There are a few weeks left in this election, meaning there’s more than enough time left to connect with journalists and insert your organization in the public dialogue. If a reporter reaches out for an interview, make sure you’re prepared.

Before the interview, don’t be afraid to ask the reporter what questions he or she might ask. This gives you more time to prepare answers to more complicated questions. It can also help the journalist by letting you point the reporter to a better source for certain information or provide helpful documents for background information.

It’s also important to know your messaging. Go beyond memorizing key and supporting messages – make sure you understand them and can say them without appearing robotic. It’s best to have a messaging document prepared well in advance and ensure your executive team and spokespeople are comfortable with its content.

Finally, review your interview to see how you could improve next time. Interviews are a learned skill, and you’ll get better at them over time. If you aren’t often in front of the media, ask a coworker to interview you and provide feedback.


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