How To Prepare For A Media Interview

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You have read articles advising on attaining press coverage, you have perfected your press releases, you have contacted all the relevant journalists on your media list and you have secured some print and radio coverage. Then the email comes – a television programme would like to interview you. Once you stop dancing around the kitchen, you need to prepare for this opportunity.

I attended for my first live TV interview today for a morning chat show on Ireland’s TV3 (unfortunately the link isn’t available yet to show you amongst their highlighted clips) and here’s some tips from my first live TV experience.

How To Prepare For A Media Interview

How to prepare for a media interview 1. Celebrate: I danced around the kitchen and squealed like a mad thing!

2. Maintain Contact: The researchers will have various questions for you so remember to provide them with your phone number should they need it.

3. Have Photos and Bio Ready: The researcher required high res photos of my book, of my farming family, a biography and answers to a few questions so they could prepare some graphics. This was handy as I then knew what some of the questions would be focused on.  Always have high res photos available.

4. Main Points:  I also submitted details regarding what I would like mentioned – e.g. that the book is available in all bookshops and that I will be signing books at an event next weekend.

5. Hair and make-up – I queried if I should arrive ‘made up’ or if they would prefer to do my make-up. I was told to arrive with make up and they would ‘touch up’ if necessary. I was also advised to have my hair ‘done’ which confused me as my ‘doing’ of my hair involved washing my hair daily and letting it dry naturally. It never looks that much better if done by a hairdresser so I decided to opt for my ordinary look and it was fine.

6. Time of arrival – I was told to arrive 40 minutes before my allocated slot, I arrived an hour early but stayed in the car park. It was clear that they didn’t want people waiting around for ages beforehand.

7. Appropriate Clothing- Should you dress smart or casual? Colourful or neutral? I checked the colours of the decor, it had a red sofa with orange cushions so a red or orange outfit were going to be out. I wore a black/grey/white dress with a hot pin bolero cardigan – smart yet casual. Comfortable yet helped me to feel confident as I felt it looked good.

8. Three Main Messages – Have three main messages in mind that you wish to communicate but bear in mind that the conversation will be guided by the questions the presenters decide to ask you. I only got to mention two of the three but the interview seemed to go so quickly, I didn’t mind.

9. Nerves are good – to an extent! I was nervous when I was waiting in the carpark but was fine when I went in. The butterflies turned to a little surge of adrenaline. If you think you are going to be nervous, practise answering various questions the day before and get someone to help you by giving you feedback.

How to prepare for a Media Interview

10. Settling in – It is the presenter’s job to make you feel comfortable and relaxed. It is much easier to chat if they are smiling and nodding at you. If it is a TV interview, they will look like they are hanging onto your every word. However, if it is radio, they might be looking at their notes or for something under the desk and it can be a bit unnerving as you try to keep talking but just keep at it. Don’t forget to get a photo taken with the presenters (I did, but they haven’t sent it to me yet and the interview isn’t available as a separate clip which is a shame, hence poor quality of photo!).

How to prepare for a media interview The TV programme also shared the image of my book on their facebook page to publicise the interview. It has had over 200 shares and almost 200 comments which also means that the photo is working to spread awareness as well as generate sales.

The benefits of a TV interview go much further than the actual day it is shown on television. Yes, there will be a flurry of sales but there may be more press coverage on the back of the media interview. So far, I have had an extra local radio interview and a magazine has contacted me to do a feature. A television interview definitely gives your product (and you) extra kudos.

Have you been on television as a result of your business? What long term benefits did it bring and do you have any other tips to share? If you have any further questions to ask, please ask away in the comments below and I will answer if I can.

If you would like to learn how to get more PR from your blog and other social media platforms, we have a one week online course running in June. 


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  • Dee Sewell

    Handy to know what to do, will bear it in mind when they come pounding on my door :) ) Glad it went well for you.

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