Tips for dealing with the media

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With years of experience in both broadcast and PR, I’ve seen some of the most confident people I know turn into a nervous wreck once a microphone or camera comes into the room.

I think most people get a tingle of excitement and a rush of adrenaline when they’re asked to speak to the media, and unless you’re a senior person in a large company, it’s likely that your involvement with the media will be about something positive for you or your organisation, so don’t be scared! (If you are in that high-level position, or need help to get through a crisis, get in touch)

Main points to consider:

  • What do you want to say? Think of the main things you want to get across. Keep it to around three points (or key messages) and keep them succinct and to the point.
  • Stay calm, speak clearly. It’s easy to ramble, gabble and say nonsense when you feel under pressure to speak. Remember it’s your interview, you are in control of what you say and how you say it.
  • Speak to the interviewer in advance. This isn’t always possible, but a quick chat with a producer or journalist can help you to understand what they want and what valuable information you can share.
  • Practice. There are so many blogs, podcasts, community radio stations, local newsletters….. there’s bound to be someone who wants to speak to you! Outlets which are voluntarily run ten to be more relaxed, so you can get used to being in an interview situation without the high-stakes pressure.
  • Relax! People get excited about appearing in the paper or on TV or radio because it’s fun! If you’ve got something good to share, be happy to share it and enjoy the experience. You, the interviewer and the audience will all benefit.

If you’d like some help pinning down those key messages, deciding on those key phrases, or want to practice without any other listening ears, get in touch!

Image: Jorge Díaz [CC BY-SA (]

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