A few weeks ago we had folks from the Leadership Institute to teach a class for some of the staff on media relations and messaging. The instructor/facilitator for the 1 1/2 day class was Beverly Halberg of the District Media Group:
District Media Group (DMG) will help you develop the skills and confidence necessary to interview with impact. Learn the proven techniques to present your “best self” on camera and maximize every interview opportunity.
Beverly did a great job of walking us through the preparation process for both live and recorded interviews, and how we should structure and time our answers. We spent a good part of the day doing mock interviews, which were recorded, and critiquing ourselves and each other. The first run though I was amazed at how out of practice I was at putting together concise answers in front of a camera. The second set was much better and when I had a taped TV interview the following week it went much better because of it.
One of the striking thoughts in doing interviews is realizing that when you’re on camera you and the reporter do not likely have the same goals. That doesn’t mean that the interviewer is an enemy, but in some sense (like in a chess game, for example) he or she is an adversary. The goal of the TV interview is to provide a good story that will attract viewers and ratings. The goal of the person being interviewed is to accurately represent his or her topic or organization. Sometimes those goals are parallel, and other times they’re not. So things like not answering every question just as it’s asked, while rude in everyday conversation, need to be considered so that your goals in the interview can be accomplished.
I highly recommend District Media Group if you want to up your media relations and public relations game. Beverly was a great facilitator and was able to grasp what we do and how to communicate it very quickly, and had a ton of practical advice for us going forward.