Interviewing Tips When Being Interviewed By The Media – Amy Vaughn

Be The Change For Your Community Logo Interviewing Tips When Being Interviewed by the Media Amy Vaughn Nonprofit 101

“It is always a risk to speak to the press: they are likely to report what you say” Herbert Hoover

  • Before any interview with media, make sure that you are following your organizations policies and procedures regarding media interviews. Do not get yourself in trouble unnecessarily.
  • Communicate that you have contacted the media with all appropriate staff members who need to know or who would be taken by surprise when the media appear. I have a funny story about this if you’d ever like to hear, just ask! 😊
  • Relax – You are just having a conversation with the person interviewing you. How many people do you carry on conversations with on a daily basis? This is just a person, who if the story is to generate positive public relations, is only there to HELP you!
  • Be confident – You know the information, you know the significance, you know the importance of communicating it clearly – do not let the cameras intimidate you. Stand tall and share the information confidently and professionally
  • Look professional – Bright colored clothes are preferable. Avoid busy patterns.
  • Think before you speak – a pause is perfectly fine in order to gather your thoughts – in fact, preferable over not pausing and saying something incorrectly or in a way that can be mis-construed. Unless this is for a live segment, you do not have to be in any hurry.
  • When possible, always keep information you are sharing positive.
  • Smile a genuine smile
  • Think in terms of sound bites and/or printable quotes – Short sentences that pack a punch, have significance, and sound appealing when spoken or read.
  • Don’t overshare – there are some things that the public doesn’t need to know and in some cases, really shouldn’t know (inner workings are called “inner workings” for a reason)

Once you’ve received positive publicity with any media outlets, a handwritten thank you will go a long way. Be intentional with your interactions with them. What do you want to see happen, and determine what will help you accomplish that result.

If you become friends with the media, should a story come along that could potentially damage your organization, if they like and respect you, it will give them pause before tackling the negative story angle. Remember the quote: live your life in such a way that should someone say something bad about you, no one will believe it. Make the media struggle to believe anything negative!

Be the Change is honored to be offering a more in-depth opportunity to learn best practices when working with media professionals in the very near future. On April 11th and 12th, 2023, Be the Change and Travers Training & Consulting are offering a two-day lunch and learn series, with one day focused specifically on how to write an effective press release, and giving participants the opportunity to gain insight and personally interact with two seasoned television news reporters/anchors. We hope you will join us! To reserve your spot or for more information on the event, please call Amy Vaughn at 573-231-1775.