7 things to ask before agreeing to a media interview
Your first thought is: “Cool!”
Your second is: “Now what?”
The good news is that you have an interview. The bad news is that you should never have gotten this far without having an experienced PR person to guide you.
That’s because there are many other important questions that need to be asked before agreeing to any media interview. For instance:
- Does your target audience consume this media?
- Are you familiar with the reporter’s work?
- What kind of angle does the reporter have in mind? Is it positive?
- What are the most likely questions the reporter will ask?
- Are there any hot-button issues that could come up during the interview?
- What type of media is it? Print, broadcast, digital, etc.
- Knowing all this, what is the risk vs. benefit of participating?
If you don’t know the answers to these questions, you’re not ready for an interview. You’re ready to call a PR professional who will find out the answers to these questions and more.
What’s your goal for a media interview?
My goal is to prepare clients for whatever comes their way. I want to help them achieve their business goals and to feel comfortable and confident during every interview. Sometimes that means saying no to an opportunity.
For example, I had a client whose friend connected her with a business reporter (without my knowledge). She was thrilled about the prospect of an interview. Hey, any coverage is good coverage, right?
Wrong. You want your media relations plan to advance your business plan.
In this case, the reporter covered startups. While my client’s business might have been considered a startup in some aspects, the real goal was to attract customers.
Since the product was food-related, I suggested we bypass the business section of the paper and approach the food editor instead. The result? A column by the editor that generated plenty of interest from not only customers, but from other media.
The lesson? Slow down, be thoughtful and evaluate each media opportunity to determine if it’s a good fit before saying yes.