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Make the Most of Your Upcoming News Interview

Are you getting ready to appear on the news? Here are some tips and tricks to help you take your interview/live spot to the next level!

So, you have an interview coming up.

Whether you're nervous or just unsure of what to expect, we'll walk you through the process so you know how to make the most of this exciting time for your brand/business.

  • Ask for a general understanding of the article: Never ask a reporter for their questions in advance. It's a waste of time because either they won't give them to you or what they actually ask when the time comes may be totally different. Instead, ask to clarify their angle and exactly what they're hoping to explore during the interview. This allows you to be more prepared and research specific themes, pull data or even display relevant products.

Related: Do you need help sharing your story? Our "Pitching Your Story 101" includes a press release template and more than 100 tips to get picked up!

  • Watch more TV interviews: Watch as many TV interviews as you can. Get familiar with what works and what doesn't. Are there certain questions they always ask? Is there a way of speaking you like more? Was there something a business owner did that stuck with you? This research helps you see what you like and don't like. The easiest way to do this is to just turn on the news, but there are many posted on YouTube as well.

  • Practice as often as you can: As you're getting dressed, talk to yourself in the mirror about your business. It helps loosen the tongue. It also helps to ask colleagues/friends to play the role of a reporter and take you through some practice questions. They can pick out what you do well or what might need to change. They can also remind you about key product/business/brand points you may have forgotten!

  • Work on your posture. It seems like such a small thing but posture can help you seem more authoritative to viewers but also signal to your brain that you're confident, helping your answers flow freely. So root through the feet, push up through the upper body, square your shoulders back and smile. It's also a good idea to Wear colors and an outfit that grounds you or makes you feel confident. Don't wear something that makes you feel hot, stuffy or uncomfortable because you'll spend the entire interview fiddling with your clothes.

  • Have your call to action ready: If someone watching your interview wants to get involved, do they know how to? Your call to action is essentially what you want the audience to do and gives them clear directions on how to do that. Want them to purchase from your brand? Donate to a cause? Go vote? Be clear about that directive AND how it benefits them– not just you and your brand.

  • Schedule the interview around a busy time so that your clients and customers see you getting interviewed! Your first thought is probably to have the reporter come to your quiet office to talk. But that's no fun. Instead, try to schedule your interview for when your store is busiest or you're having an event. Why? It makes for better b-roll and background. Having people milling about, shopping, eating and/or laughing adds a great sense of humanity and fun to the story. Don't forget, most reporters have high-end microphones that you either hold or that clip on. These do a great job at isolating your voice but if ultimately, the scene is too loud, reporters are great at finding quiet, nearby places. But it's key you get that bustling scene first!

  • Be ready to take behind-the-scenes shots and stills: Sometimes the article won't be published for several weeks or the package won't air for months. However, you probably don't want to wait that long to brag to your audience. Instead, try to capture some of your own footage and media. You can set up your phone on a table to record and then cut out clips later or just hand your phone to a colleague or employee and ask them to take photos and short videos. Post this content on your social media and watch as your followers and fans get excited for you!

  • Be ready for the "anything else" section? Every good journalist asks this question, typically to end the interview. This is the one question you can guarantee will come up and so you should prepare for it. This is your chance to connect further with the audience and discuss detailed information the journalist may not have known to ask. See this as your bingo freebie and mention upcoming events, sales, etc.

  • Relax. Finally, relax! Remember, that above all else, this is an awesome opportunity for you and your brand. Even if you mess up (and everyone does) remember that the journalist wants the package to look good too! They're unlikely to publish major gaffes. So, take a deep breathe and remember your talking points. Then, do your best!


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