Most media interviews are conducted against the background of a complex issue of some type. You might, for instance, be talking about a breakthrough in research or a brilliant new product your company has recently brought onto the market. Hawkeye Media are the experts at helping you get your message across to the Media.
Interviews are time-sensitive which means there is only a short period to get your message across clearly and coherently. That generally means simplifying what you say to the audience, doing this without being misunderstood while still being engaging.
It’s not an easy thing to do so here are our top tips for getting it right first time.
- Focus on What it Means for Your Audience
We can often get tied up with what any new development or problem means for us. It’s perfectly natural to take that point of view and focus on how it’s great for your business or what the effect is going to be.
The problem is that your audience is probably less concerned about that as they are how it is going to affect their lives.
The key with any complex issue is to look at it from the POV of your audience and come up with a few reasons why this is important for them. It’s the old features vs benefits debate and is less about what your product or service does and more about what it delivers. It’s the same if you are managing a crisis – what does this mean for the average person in the street? How are you going to help them?
Focusing in this way will also give you the opportunity to narrow things down and simplify your approach during the media interview.
- Know What to Leave Out
Before you start your media interview, it’s important to know what is vital for your audience to know and what can be left out. Self-editing is an essential part of giving media interviews. Remember, you only have a short period of time to get your message across and you don’t want to waste time talking about things that don’t actually matter.
- Simple Explanations Need Simple Language
You might have all sorts of different terms and definitions in your industry, but they probably won’t be suitable for a media interview. At all times, you should look to keep your language as simple as possible.
If your audience is scratching their heads and don’t understand the words you are using, then you have lost them, and your message won’t get across. Keep your sentences short and to the point and use everyday words. If you do need to use a technical term, then make sure you quickly explain it.
- Don’t Rush or Ramble
Nerves can play a big part in a media interview, especially if you’re doing it live. Get into the habit of taking your time and not rushing through what you have to say. It’s okay to be enthusiastic but don’t let this bubble over into being incomprehensible in your haste to get everything out there.
Another major mistake is to ramble too much. This usually happens when you aren’t properly prepared and means it is difficult for the audience and the journalist interviewing you to figure out what you are actually saying.
Keeping things simple during a media interview is an art in itself. If you can look at things from audience point of view, however, it should help you to refine your responses and ensure you get your message across clearly and succinctly.