Turning inner space into outer space

June 9, 2014

Tips for a successful media interview

Cutbacks in the news industry are making it tough on journalists, but businesses looking for publicity can take advantage of that, says Elisha McCallum, vice-president of the Vancouver public relations firm FleishmanHillard.

She spoke Monday morning at a workshop organized by Kamloops Innovation.

Reporters are under pressure to do more work in less time, plus they are expected to provide updates around the clock, McCallum said.

So they appreciate as much pre-packaged content as they can get for their stories. This includes photos, videos, backgrounders, fact sheets, plus someone who can be interviewed.

Once you’ve successfully pitched a story, it’s a good idea to be prepared for an interview, she said.

Make sure you have three key messages that you want to come through no matter what twists and turns the interview might take. If a question takes you away from your message, use bridging statements to get back on track.

If you do get a difficult question, ask for clarification so you have a chance to collect your thoughts, McCallum said. And if the question has negative words in it, don’t repeat those words.