Ten Tips for Giving an Interview

If a reporter is on hold on your phone, in your lobby or on the way over, take three deep breaths, visualize a calm place (the beach usually works for us) and consider the following:

  1. An interview is NOT a conversation – the only one “sharing” is you, so you control the message!
  2. Honesty is the ONLY policy – if you cannot tell the truth for matters of confidentiality, say so and move to another item of interest for the reporter.
  3. People remember the ANSWER, not the question. Rephrasing a bad (or negative question) only underscores the issue. Start the answer with a positive statement and move on to the issue (or to another issue.)
  4. Turn a negative into positive (Consider the difference it might have made had former President Nixon said “I have been completely honest with the American people” and not “I am not a crook”; although then refer back to point #2 and #3.)
  5. Never say “No comment” – use the opportunity to make a point that is positive, even if it does not address the question asked.
  6. Nothing is “off the record” – understand the reporter has a job to do.
  7. Speak in sound bites – short, complete thoughts – to make yourself quote-worthy.
  8. If you are finished, stop! Make your point and then wait for the reporter to lead into the next question. Silence sometimes really is golden.
  9. When returning calls, call the least important publication first in order to get your bearings.
  10. When in even the slightest doubt, call a professional. In an age when the public has immediate access to news, obtain the guidance of people who know how best TO prepare.

For more information, contact a.s.a.p.r. at 443-944-9301

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