How to prep for successful media interviews

Blog Detail

Media Interviews are the perfect opportunity for a business to get key messages across to its audience.

However, no business should just rush into media interviews. Being unprepared can result in a bad interview, which could severely impact the reputation of the business.

Thorough preparation is essential. Seren Global Media has compiled a list of key points any business should consider, in order to prepare for a successful media interview.

Find out the angle

Thorough research should be done on the news outlet who is conducting the interview. The internet can be used to examine previous interviews completed by the news outlet, to grasp a feel for its “angle” and style of interview. By understanding a news outlet's approach, this will allow the interviewee to prepare accordingly.

Ask questions about the interview

Don’t be afraid to ask any questions of the interviewer. First and foremost, a business should identify the format of the interview. There is a different preparation for live and pre-recorded interviews, so it is essential you know which one it will be to avoid any surprises.

Other pre-interview questions should surround what the story is about, so answers can be adapted to the direction of the interview and allow for clear and effective messages to be communicated.

Finding out where the interview will take place is also key. If it's in an internal office environment, ensure that the company brand is in high regard through a clean and professional appearance.

Always Consider Target Audience

A business should look to use interview language which engages the news outlets audience alongside its own core audience.

Practice makes perfect

When conducting any media interview, the time beforehand should be used to rehearse answers so that the interviewee feels comfortable in what they are saying. Maintaining brevity in answers can be achieved through studying company key points, and how to integrate these into responses.

Really take the time to practice answers and note down the length of responses. Also, encourage feedback from colleagues, as this will help identify the strengths and weaknesses of responses. Feedback allows answers to be adjusted, forming them into the most succinct and natural versions.

Prepare to be challenged

Preparations should begin as soon as an interview date is given. The more time to prepare, the better.

Here are a few pointers to remember leading up to the interview:

  • Avoid saying no comment - this response can damage business reputation, implying that a negative answer is being hidden. Always try to answer with positive language when presented with negative questions.
  • Pregnant pauses - reporters may pause after replies to make the interviewee say something additional to fill the awkward silence. Always remember to stick to planned responses, making sure to not get side-tracked and discuss off-topic things.

“off-record conversation”

It is best practice to remain in the mentality that whatever is said is still on the record. During informal conversational parts of an interview, it is possible to be caught off guard. Therefore, it is important to take the time and listen closely to each question.

Do not be afraid to say no

Reporters may engage in odd-hour calling (early morning/late night) to seek out additional information about a company. If this is the case, do not hesitate to say more time is needed to collect thoughts and formulate an answer.

To find out more about how to effectively deal with media relations, get in touch with Seren Global Media PR on 01792 293 333 or email