Giving Effective Interviews during a PR Campaign

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An important aspect of the PR profession is interviewing with PR and media agencies during PR or corporate communications campaigns. This article discusses a few tips that will make the interview process easier and help you successfully promote your company.

  • Inform media and press agencies in your area that you have news to report and are available for interviews. Respond promptly to interview requests. Consider beforehand if you want to call a combined press conference or interact with each agency independently. Depending upon the agency you inform, it may take a few hours or several days to respond to your interview request. Do not be disappointed if some media outlets do not respond at all.

  • Most reporters work according to deadlines and are usually quite busy. Therefore, you need to be flexible regarding interview duration and location. If you are too choosy, you may lose out on an important opportunity to further your PR or corporate communications campaign. Select a date, time, and location that suit your needs and the reporter’s, but be willing to work with the other person’s schedule.



  • Arrive prepared. It is always a good idea to carefully plan what you would like to convey to the media. Make sure your corporate communications or PR strategy forms the core of your interview message. Also, build your plan by asking yourself the following questions:

    • What ids the objective of this interview?

    • What is it that I want to communicate?

    • Which market segments are going to benefit from this interview?

    • What is the response that I expect because of this presentation?

  • While you are speaking with media representatives, ensure that what they write is in tune with what you wish to communicate. If reporters wish to quote you, ensure that what they write down supports your communications strategy and will be properly contextualized. Anything that the media misquotes or writes out of context could backfire, creating a PR crisis for your organization.

  • Reporters usually have predetermined questions to ask during interviews. Rather than letting the interview process become a one-way street, attempt to make it dynamic.

  • During the interview, provide answers that are relevant to your intended audience. Avoid being overzealous or too technical. Do not use slang or jargon. Speak in a professional yet friendly tone.

  • If you feel uneasy during the interview due to the nature of the questions being posed, politely decline to answer inquiries you feel uncomfortable with. You do not want to say something inappropriate or incorrect offhand and have it quoted later.

  • Do not say anything you do not want to appear in print. Even if you mention to reporters that a particular comment is “off the record,” the more unscrupulous among them might end up including it as part of the main interview, which could result in a PR or corporate communications disaster.

  • Quite often, you may have information for which you do not wish to be identified as the source. In such cases, clarify to reporters that you do not wish to be identified and quoted in connection with the information.

  • After the interview, do not expect to read your story immediately. Only a handful of reporters will show you drafts. However, it is perfectly acceptable to call the interviewer to explain or emphasize a point that you failed to discuss or highlight during the interview.

On the net:Media Interview Tips
www.evancarmichael.com/Public-Relations/202/Media-Interview-Tips.html

PR Interview Tips
publicaffairs.uiuc.edu/pr/tips.html If this article has helped you in some way, will you say thanks by sharing it through a share, like, a link, or an email to someone you think would appreciate the reference.

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