The key to a successful broadcast interview is all in the preparation.


Don’t be a rabbit in the headlights

Broadcast interview hesitation - it’s a PR nightmare. We’ve seen it with politicians, celebrities and high-performing business people. Naturally, even the most confident people can crumble under intense or awkward questioning.
A broadcast interview, no matter what the subject matter, should be seen as an opportunity to help position your business. Even if you are under scrutiny, it’s an opportunity to have a voice on the matter, perhaps apologise, be human and ‘set the record straight’.
The key to a successful broadcast interview is all in the preparation. Here we’ve compiled a few top tips as to how you can best prepare for your moment of fame:
  1. What is the purpose of the interview? Is it a positive PR-generated piece or is it journalist-led? If it’s the first case then ask your PR company to prepare a briefing session for you. If it’s the latter, don’t be afraid to ask the media outlet what kind of questions they will ask. 
  2. Are you the right person for the interview? We tend to ask the boss to step into the limelight, but they're not always the best person for the job. For example, if your business has conducted ground-breaking research then the lead researcher could be the best person to explain the results.
  3. Present yourself in a way that is representative of the business.
  4. Swot up. Familiarise yourself with the subject matter – knowing your subject will help put you at ease.
  5. Familiarise yourself with the person interviewing you and with the media outlet. Understand their agenda.
  6. Practise. Try answering questions in front of a mirror. What does your body language say? Do you move around a lot when you get nervous? Unfold your arms and try to put yourself at ease.
  7. Whether it’s a pre-recorded interview or a live interview, interviewees should always be professional and ‘on message’ both in front of the mic/camera as well as off mic/camera. Remember that outtakes can be shared in many ways and the last thing you or your business need is to ‘go viral’ for all the wrong reasons.
  8. Expect tough questions, even in a positive PR piece. A PR representative can request that the journalist doesn’t ask about a certain subject but that doesn’t stop an investigative journalist pursuing it, in fact it will more likely give them ideas.
  9. Make the most of the opportunity. You will get very little on air time so think about how you can weave in the key messages, whilst answering the questions asked. Be succinct but also be mindful of why you are there.
  10. Take advice from a professional. Media training could make the difference between a PR success and a PR fail.
If you are preparing for a broadcast interview and are interested in media training or if you would like to talk to a member of the team about securing interview opportunities, call us on 01904 610077.
The Partners Group


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