January 29, 2024

How to Get Interviewed on the News

If you have a strong message, a good story and a connection to an issue, reporters are eager to interview you for their newspaper, radio or television show. Whether you are talking to one reporter or a group of reporters, these tips will help you make the most of your opportunity.

Prepare a list of key messages you want to convey in the interview. Choose three to five points that will serve as communication points or guideposts to keep your answers on track. Anticipate the questions that might be asked, and practice delivering a concise response to each, including a quotable quote or anecdote.

Be ready to pivot away from a negative narrative about your organization or the movement as a whole. Whether it is a rumor or a falsehood, dismissing a concern head-on can help prevent its spread. Pivoting back to a topic you are well-versed in is another effective way of diffusing a question you don’t feel comfortable answering.

Be respectful and professional in all interactions with journalists. Do not crack jokes or become overly familiar, and remember that the interview is a job for both of you. If you are interviewing for TV, it is helpful to learn in advance how your interview will be edited so you can be prepared. For example, your name may appear on screen and you may need to speak your full name when introducing yourself. Also, your clothing and jewelry can reflect on the camera, so choose clothes that are neutral.

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