What is a media interview?
A media interview is what it sounds: an interview with a journalist or other member of the media, for publicity purposes. In public relations, these interviews are meant to provide information and detail, create interest and build awareness. There are many kinds of media interviews, from television to radio and print.
How a Media interview works
It is informative
The most basic goal of a media interview is to provide information to a member of the media, who will then circulate it through some sort of news outlet. There are many types of media interviews. Interviews can be done a number of ways, as journalists are at work on more platforms than ever before. No matter if its by phone, TV or radio -- the goal of a media interview is to get positive information out about a client and build interest in the client's work or goals.
It spreads your brand
Media interviews are a major tool in getting your brand out there. Gaining coverage from a media entity directly impacts the number of people who see or know about your product. The amount of coverage you get and the media type will dictate just how many consumers you reach. If you want to build interest and awareness, use media interviews to spread your brand.
It's unpredictable to some degree
You. Must. Prepare. No matter how light the topic, or how well you know the journalist, a media interview is always somewhat unpredictable. Anyone heading into a media interview should have a list of topics, a general outline of their answers, a list of overall goals for the interview, and a plan to handle sensitive questions. It's a journalist's job is to ask questions, regardless of how they make you or your client feel. The key to handling this well is preparation.
Media Interview Best Practices
This is worth a second mention. Media interviews are one of the most effective ways to get information out into the world. It's a chance to build interest and provide details. But none of this can be done effectively without preparation. Ask questions and protocol before the interview. Get numbers and data in front of your, rehearse tough answers and expect the absolute worst.
Be respectful and ethical
If you want to stay reputable in the journalism world and the world in general, be respectful and ethical. Respect a journalist's time and their job -- which is to ask tough questions. Don't take it personally. Sell the story you want to sell about your client, but don't stretch the truth into a lie. You'll get caught, and you'll lose credibility and trust.
Landing a high-profile interview doesn't just help spread the word about that client or product. It also shows you know how to reach the heavy-hitting media outlets in your space. Be sure to get contact information and follow up with the journalist who conducted the interview. Work on cultivating these relationships. When a journalist is in need, find them a story. Then down the line when you need publicity, they will know you are reliable and worth their time.