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How to effectively leverage a media interview

Earned media is one of the most powerful traction strategies to help your startup reach multiple audiences. Even a seemingly unimportant media interview can be read, heard or watched by millions of people and shape the future of an organization.

Business leaders, startups and enterprises need to master media skills to take advantage of and control interviews to promote, sell and share their messages. It pays to prepare and ensure each opportunity is maximized to effectively meet your business objectives.

This series of articles will walk you through what you need know.

Why is preparing for a media interview so important?

  • Interviews are opportunities: They are chances to get your message in front of a potentially wide audience, including prospective customers, partners and investors—at no cost.
  • Improving your interview proficiency allows you to take control and maximize the return as much as possible.
  • While there is tremendous opportunity, there is also tremendous risk, particularly if you aren’t adequately prepared.

Who should do the interview?

Even an introverted and shy person can deliver a fantastic interview with enough practice, preparation and coaching. Interviewers often look to the founder or CEO; however, if they are unavailable or there are multiple founders, you may have to choose between potential interviewees.

The ideal person is:

  • Well-informed, reliable, credible and articulate
  • A reliable expert in the area
  • Someone who provides a dynamic, relevant and compelling story
  • Someone creative enough to provide a fresh angle to each media outlet, such as a different quote or analogy

Read more in this series:

  • Media interviews: Know the context and your goal: What to do when the media asks for an interview. Ask the right questions so you understand the context, media outlet and topic.
  • Develop your key media messages and support them: Set an agenda, identify the audience and determine your communications objectives.
  • Master speaking techniques for media interviews: How to take control of the interview by using bridging, flagging and cherry-picking. (Coming soon)
  • Understand media questions and how to respond: Recognize questions and learn how to address them. (Coming soon)
  • Preparing for a media interview: Know what to wear, where to look, what to avoid and how to approach each medium. (Coming soon)