Preparing for a media interview takes some time to get right.
I attended a business expo In April and met one of the editors at the local Amador Ledger-Dispatch newspaper. She said the paper prints local business profiles and offered to publish a story about Butow Communications Group.
I accepted and on May 29 I spoke to a reporter at Ledger-Dispatch headquarters in Jackson. When I left the building, I chided myself because I thought I could answer all the reporter’s questions easily and I didn’t.
After I returned to my home office, I e-mailed the reporter to thank her and sent her some additional information, which she added to the article.
The article appeared on June 4 and it presented my business in a good light, though I wonder why the reporter included an extra service I don’t offer.
Here are some things I learned from my experience and from reading online about preparing for a media interview.
- Always prepare and don’t think you know all the answers.
- Ask the reporter about the interview topics so you know them. The reporter asked me some community-related questions and I stumbled through the answers.
- Make a list of key message points, and here’s a good article on the Change Conversations website about creating a strong message.
- Have strong quotes ready for the reporter, which I lacked.
- Be concise. I prattled on during parts of the interview.
I also did some things right:
- Wear business attire. I wore my business polo shirt and hat because the reporter took pictures after the interview.
- Thank the reporter. I thanked her after the interview and after the article was published.
- I highlighted my community connections by going off-topic a couple of times.
In sum, I learned from this experience and this article is an important building block for my business. My next challenge: build on it.