Magic Media Interview Moments-Are You Prepared?
Brushing Up Your Interview Skills
Although this post is aimed a bit more at those who are newer to the game of getting media attention and what to do with it once you get it, we suspect a few old-timers could also use some brush-up on their interview skills as well. Only the questions might change.
OK, you’ve been doing your homework.
You have been sending your local news releases out regularly when suddenly one day the front desk calls and tells you a local TV news person you’ve been wooing (who noticed you originally because you sent them a VIP card and a great news release) is on the line. Wow! … flurry of excitement. You hurry to your office, take a deep breath, and pick up the phone.
You discover they are interested in the news release you sent out about your upcoming local charitable event. Woo-Hoo! Lightning strikes …. a ‘magic moment’ opportunity … a media interview.
Are You Ready for Your Media Interview?
Being prepared to ‘make the sale’ to someone in the media means you need to be comfortable and conversant talking about two things right at that moment.
Number 1 – Your Recent News Release
Your caller assumes you are the subject matter expert (SME). That’s why they called you. If your name is on the release, on first contact people grant you that authority.
How well-versed and conversant you are on your topic, and how you come across answering their questions is important. Having background knowledge on your cause, thus your passion about it, and knowing what you wrote in your own news release goes a long way to preserving that credibility. Too many, “I don’t know” or, “I’m not sure” during your media interview eats away at your credibility and may diminish interest.
Number 2 – You!
Your passion and personality, your ability to share who you are, what you believe in, and what you are doing in an easy-to-follow, simple explanation is important. This takes pre-call, pre-interview rehearsal time practicing your answers to some of the fairly standard questions you might expect to be asked. You need to ‘get your lines down’ as actors say.
You know the media likes ‘brief’. They appreciate the quick-communicating ‘sound bite’. These ‘bites’ are the most likely phrases to get ‘quoted’ in print, or edited into TV interview moments during segments. Having a few ‘sound bites’ at your fingertips is good.
Preparing to Share You
There are some fairly standard questions you might expect an interviewer to ask. Having a few pre-considered answers with those ‘sound bites’ at your fingertips, improves your chances of coming off as a fun interview during a magic moment. Here’s a short list of questions designed to stimulate your thinking down that track. How would you answer these?
- Tell me a little about yourself.
- Why did you choose to become a salon professional?
- What is really special and unique about your salon?
- What are your thoughts on what we’re seeing in hair fashion this season? Where do you see it going next season? Beyond? Why?
- What is it you offer your clients that’s unusual and not easily found at other salons?
- Tell me about the community/cause-related activities you and your salon are involved with.
- As a professional, what products do you think are absolute ‘must-haves’ for your clients?
- Are there any simple regimens you can recommend your clients to do every day that will make a significant difference to how they look during the day?
Get Practice, and Have Some Fun Too
Remember when you played ‘pretend’ as a kid. A friend ‘pretended’ to be someone else, and you ‘pretended’ you were someone else, and the two of you pretended together. It’s what actors do every day they are working … they play pretend, rehearsing to become natural ‘pretending’. Playing pretend works … and it’s fun. J So here’s our suggestion:
- Find a friend you trust that you can ‘play’ with.
- Both of you sit down and develop good answers to the above questions.
- Stick a video camera down and turn it on. (gasp)
- Have your friend pretend to be the TV interviewer interviewing you.
- Now switch roles.
- Do that over several times.
Did you laugh a lot?
How horrified were you? 🙂
Did you both get any better after a few repeats and answer rewrites?
We’ll bet with practice you get really good at this … when it doesn’t count … while you’re playing. You’re also going to feel so much better going into your next ’magic moment’