Media Training – How to make the most of media interviews

What comes next when you do media interviews with journalists?  How will you know if and when the feature is published?  And what does it mean if your contribution doesn’t make the final edition?

It is extremely rare, though very welcome, to be told when an interview you’ve given appears in print.  So in the main, you’ll have to watch out for your publicity yourself.  And never ask the journalist to supply you with a copy of the finished piece.  You’ll have to do that as well, with the help of your local friendly newsagent and some shiny coins.

Some journalists approach many experts for interview simultaneously, assuming that a certain percentage won’t reply or will be unsuitable. I get a lot of requests like that on a Friday afternoon, when people are panicking. So if your comments aren’t used it could just be that somebody similar was also approached and replied before you. Either way, again don’t expect to be told. You’ll know if something good apears because you’ll get increased website traffic and hopefully some new clients on the phone.

Don’t spend too much time on answers to email interview questions, because at most only a few sentences will be used. In the past I used to spend ages crafting fulsome answers, only to find chunks of them turning up in the copy, uncredited.  Ain’t doing that no more.

Always think about whether you can use the material created by an interview in a number of different ways – maybe as the basis of other features or material for your website. If you re-use the material then giving interviews becomes a great use of your time.  You might call it multi-tasking at its best (though in my case it’s simply the result of being both terribly busy and terribly lazy).


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