10 Questions to Ask: Your Media Interview Rights

Guest Post by Jeff Davidson

You have many rights where the media is concerned. When a reporter (from either broadcast or print media) calls you for an interview, rather the other way around, there are 10 questions to ask:

10 Questions to Ask Before a Media Interview

1. What is the topic of the segment or show or feature?

2. When is the interview?

3. Where will it be? (If you prefer it at your office say so.)

4. How long will it take? (20-30 minutes is plenty for radio or TV; print or Web may take a bit longer.)

5. Who will conduct the interview? (Then watch, listen or read something by this person to gain knowledge of his or her style.)

6. Will you be alone or on a panel?

7. If on a panel, with whom?

8. Why you?

9. Will it be aired live (unedited) or taped?

10. When will it air?

The more you know, the more prepared you can be, and the better the interview you will offer.

When a radio or print reporter calls and wants to do an interview on the phone, get their number and say that you’ll call them right back. In those few minutes, rehearse your three positive points, say them out loud, take a deep breath and call back, keeping the deadline in mind.

Record Every Interview

Why do this? First, you have a record of the interview: exactly what was said in case there are any later questions. Equally important, you learn from your interviews. Keep in mind those answers that you handle well and work on those that you didn’t.

Consider that some of your clients or prospects may be interested in the interview, or you may want to use parts of it in a newsletter or annual report.

Act Naturally

During the interview, talk naturally without using jargon, acronyms, technical terms, or alphabet soup. Pretend as if you’re talking to your mother. When possible, use word pictures. For example, instead of 47,000 square feet, say the size of a football field. Also, always look directly at whoever is talking, as though you were in someone’s living room. Don’t look at the camera.

If it’s ten seconds before show time and you blank out and forget your entire interview strategy, at the least, smile and be open. You have a glorious marketing opportunity. Take it.

About Jeff Davidson

Jeff Davidson, the internationally recognized expert on work-life balance, holds the registered trademark as the Work-Life Balance Expert®. He is the author of several popular books including Breathing Space, Simpler Living, and The 60-Second Organizer. He is an Advisory Board Member on The Organized Executive, a monthly publication of Columbia Books.

In 2013, Jeff had eight books published in Chinese, including Simpler Living, The 60-Second Innovator, The 60-Second Organizer, The 60-Second Self-Starter, Ten-Minute Guide to Time Management, and Ten-Minute Guide to Project Management.

Jeff Davidson is on the web at http://www.BreathingSpace.com.

About John Kremer

John Kremer is author of 1001 Ways to Market Your Books, the Relationships Matter Marketing program, and many other books and reports on book marketing, Internet marketing, social media, and book publicity. -- .

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  1. Jeff,

    Excellent points. When you work so hard marketing a book, and you finally land an interview, it’s always tempting to be very coy and overly deferential. And nobody wants to go in blind.

    On the other hand, there is such a thing as asking too much of a reporter or journalist. One thing to never ask for: the interview questions ahead of time. This is a fast way to look like a real noob and not be taken seriously.

    Otherwise, I have to agree with the article! Keep branding and marketing those books — media attention will come eventually!

    Mickie Kennedy

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