In interviews, always remember The #1 Rule: “You are delivering a message, not answering questions.”
Messaging takes work. Practicing takes time.
- Know what your messages are
- Begin where you want
- Consistently deliver messages
- Assertively bring the message into the interview
- Do not merely reply to questions; answer them, but move to your messages
- Repeat, repeat, and repeat
What are messages?
- Key points that need to be stressed in an interview
- A point you want the audience to know and remember
- Answer why the issue/program/policy is important
- Answer what it will accomplish in ‘the real world’ – will it matter to your father or spouse??
- (Consider whether it adds a new ‘angle’ to a current news story)
Deliver Messages in Quotes and Sound Bites
- Most of the time your interview will be reduced to a five to ten second sound bite in a television or radio news item, or a one to three line quote in a newspaper or magazine.
- Obviously you cannot force the reporter to quote you in a helpful way instead of a harmful way. All you can do is encourage the reporter to use a quote or sound bite that reinforces your message.
- The key to getting your message across in the news item is to prepare a couple of irresistibly quotable quotes and be sure to get them across in the interview.
- And, repeat, repeat and repeat.