Publicity: Nailing a Media Interview, Part I

The most important thing to remember for any interview: stay on topic. I ask clients to repeat this like a mantra before they go on the air, or even when on the phone with a reporter.

A print reporter gets maybe 700 words to do your story. A TV or radio reporter has two minutes. So your interview shouldn't be hours long.

Don't give them more than they need. It's too overwhelming for them, and can divert the story to a tangent. Tangents have a place ? in intellectual dialogue; when you're talking among colleagues. Remember this formula always: in mediaworld, almost all the time, tangent = someone else's story, not yours, getting talked about.

Sure, you can become a reporter's friend by steering them to new resources, trends, and information. But don't feel obligated to point out all opposing points of view, or to lead them to those who may dispute you. Who needs that?

Remember... becoming buddies with the press is a good thing ? but our ultimate goal is to attract prospects and clients.

To avoid these pitfalls, practice your answers to the questions you expect before the interview. Whether it's on- or off-camera, your interview has no "do-overs." So make your mistakes while practicing for it.

Ned Steele works with people in professional services who want to build their practice and accelerate their growth. The president of Ned Steele's MediaImpact, he is the author of 102 Publicity Tips To Grow a Business or Practice. To learn more visit http://www.MediaImpact.biz or call 212-243-8383.

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