How to: handle media and deal with interview requests.

journalist2Public relations and journalists are almost inseparable. Journalist can moan for hours how they wish PR wouldn’t exist, but PR is still their no.1 source for great stories.

But how should PR professional deal with a journalist, I hear you ask?

Here are 10 tips, I learned today:

1. Think about whether you should turn the interview down or take it. In most cases PR should never say ‘NO’ to media coverage opportunity, but to every rule there will be an exception. It is better to have your say in the story, even if the story is filled with negativity.

2. Ask for the name of your interviewer, so you could carry out a research about them and get to know what kind of journalist you’ll be dealing with.

3. Ask about the story they’re working on. Be a good listener, let them speak, ask follow-up questions. You need to understand it well, so you could brief others if needed.

4.Ask them who else they are going to interview, you need to know all the circumstances. It may give you a hint on the story’s angle.

5.Ask journalist what format is the story going to be? Is it radio, print, television – live, pre-recorded? It may help you choose the best key persons to represent the company.

6. It is okay to ask: “Can I call you back?– give yourself some time to do your research and preparation.

media7.Know the publishing/airing date. It will help you to understand how long will journalist work on the research for it.

8. Ask journalist if there is anything you can help them with – such as send some photos, video material – visuals is always a great thing.

9. Ask subtly about the angle of the story, like “are you approaching this story from a particular perspective?” Journalists hate being asked what is their story’ angle, so be gentle about it.

10.Preparation is the key. “Fail to prepare or prepare to fail”!

Furthermore, you can watch this video if you wish to learn more about effective media interviews.

 

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