How To Prepare Your Media Spokesperson
If a company doesn’t have a dedicated media spokesperson, the CEO or VP of the department often gets interviewed. If getting interviewed isn’t something you usually do, the idea of being interviewed can be very daunting. But it doesn’t have to be this way as long as you know what to expect.
There are two types of environments you may likely face. Below we will show how you can ease any anxiety you may have. And understand what the media is thinking so you how to prepare yourself.
1. Profile Piece
The first environment is when the media is coming to you, and they are doing more of a profile piece about your company or your product. Chances are, they reached out to you and expressed interest in learning more about the fantastic work you’re doing.
As the media spokesperson, you can trust that this type of outreach, is generally favorable. One where they want to do a sit-down interview. They may want to tour the facility or see the product.
There are a few things to keep in mind as you prepare for your profile piece:
- Print Interview – If this is a print interview, it’ll likely be you and the reporter sitting down as they’re taking notes and recording you. The questions they ask will likely mirror what you’d expect in an interview. As you’re crafting your message, make sure you prepare with proper soundbites, and positive messaging. Preparation is key.
- Television Interview – If this is a television interview, you can expect a camera crew to set up, which will be a production. They will want to film generic shots of the building, and possibly you and the team in action. This can take a lot of time, so be sure to ask about this.
As you prepare for your profile piece, it is essential to maintain your executive presence, especially if this interview is done on camera or virtually. In our #1 LinkedIn Learning e-course, Executive Presence On Video Calls, you will learn key strategies, including what to wear on camera, the perfect camera setup, and more. These strategies will ensure you maintain your executive presence at all times.
A profile piece is a great way to promote your company and take advantage of the media’s interest in you. In our e-course, Media Relations Foundations, you will learn more about leveraging the media and preparing your message when being interviewed.
2. Crisis Situation
The second type of environment you may find yourself in is a crisis situation. The media may be demanding more information. This often happens in a press conference scenario where you will see multiple cameras set up and a podium upfront.
You can expect to prepare a crafted statement and plan to read it aloud in this situation. The media will use this in full or in parts to address you, and your company’s point of view.
Once that’s done, depending on how comfortable you feel, you can open up the floor to media for them to ask you any questions they may have.
Another thing you want to prepare for is your body language. Reporters are really good at picking up body language cues. The more relaxed and in control you seem, the more certain your answers will appear.
- Shoulders And Hands – You will want to avoid fidgeting too much. Your body should be used to accentuate points, and drive what you are saying home.
- Eye Contact – Be sure to maintain proper eye contact. This means looking at the camera or whoever is in the audience as you give your statement.
💡We recommend the e-course, “Crisis Communication” to help you learn more about what steps you need to take when a crisis arises.
When preparing for a crisis situation interview, be sure to prepare your statement ahead of time. Practice any curveball questions that may come your way. Being prepared will help you appear relaxed as you give your statement.
In the end, media interviews can be nerve-wracking. If you know why you are being interviewed, and know what to expect, you can better prepare for any questions that may come your way.
Do you want to learn how to prepare your media spokesperson? Join our private communications group, where you can work with our Soulcast Media team on your communications every month!
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