The best media interview guests are those that have deep knowledge of their subject matter and understand how to talk about their topic in the context of current events, in an engaging manner.
This may sound like a tall order, but if you break it down, you can create a system to keep yourself media ready every day. This blog post addresses why you should know your facts if you want to book more interviews.
If you are representing a product or service, know the details of it. You should know exactly how it works, whom it serves, how much it costs, the greatest benefits it delivers, how it compares to similar products and services, and other details.
If you are a subject matter expert, stay aware of academic or institutional studies that relate to topics you discuss. You could be asked questions about them, but you may also find it useful to reference studies to support your responses to questions.
Stay abreast of trends and shifts in your industry. Read the journals or trade publications that pertain to your industry. This may be obvious for people who are positioning themselves as experts. For others, such as athletes who may want to become sportscasters, demonstrating that they have an understanding of the sports industry will position them well. An actor who may want to become a spokesperson for a product line or a cause can position himself or herself for such opportunities by introducing relevant topics in media interviews.
The morning of an interview, scan the news so you will be prepared if an interviewer refers to a major world event. Think about how any of the world events might affect your industry or your projects. A good journalist may ask you how a specific event will affect your customers or fans. If you can add an interesting perspective to current conversations taking place in the world, you are more likely to book more interviews.
Be ready to talk about more than just yourself or your products or services. Even if most of the questions that journalists ask are about you, a media interview provides you with an opportunity to share more of your mind and heart with the world.
If you go into an interview without knowing the facts of your business or projects, you could be caught off-guard and appear to be uninformed or lacking credibility. This could throw the entire interview and damage your reputation. On the other hand, if you prepare well for every interview, you are more likely to be an engaging, confident guest or interviewee with whom the media will enjoy working.
This post was written by Lisa Elia, a Los Angeles-based media trainer, presentation trainer, pitch coach and communication expert and speaker. She trains clients for media interviews, speeches, investor presentations and promotional videos. With more than 20 years of experience, Lisa has prepared clients for interviews with TODAY, GMA, The Wall Street Journal, CNN, ESPN, and hundreds of other outlets. Lisa has shared her expertise with national media outlets that include Inc., Entertainment Tonight, E! and many others.
To discuss your training needs, contact the Expert Media Training office at 310-479-0217.
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