How to Survive a Media Interview27 Nov 2014
Paid and free media interviews are essential exhibitor tools at trade shows such as Hi Europe. While paid media interviews help exhibitors stand out in the crowd and drive booth traffic, free media interviews during the show can do the trick—and can carry weight long afterwards. Both media interviews can draw visitors to your booth, […]
Paid and free media interviews are essential exhibitor tools at trade shows such as Hi Europe. While paid media interviews help exhibitors stand out in the crowd and drive booth traffic, free media interviews during the show can do the trick—and can carry weight long afterwards. Both media interviews can draw visitors to your booth, generate quality leads to your website and build your company’s prominence in the industry. However, free interviews are not easy to score and require some creative strategic planning.
5 steps for planning media interviews
- Do your homework: Research and prepare interesting and relevant information for your interview. Reporters will ask questions not only about your products but also about the competition, market trends, etc. Knowledgeable experts are highly preferred and, this could be your industry debut as a thought leader. Be well-armed; have all the answers ready in advance.
- Gain an advantage: Ask your PR agency to get the questions in advance whenever possible.
- Provide newsworthy material, not old news or, worse, “fluff”: Editors and reporters are extremely busy during trade shows, covering the most exciting events and stories. Don’t waste their time with recycled news or self-serving hyperbole; help them look good by introducing a buzzworthy concept or a brand new angle.
- Contact journalists once or twice via email and phone before the show; don’t bombard them. Secure a scheduled time or day for the booth visit, if possible.
- Write a succinct compelling email subject line: In the message body, expand on why they just must interview you. (Always keep it short!)
Top 7 Tips on Acing Your Media Interview
- Shape your message: Prepare one or two key messages to communicate during the interview. Structure your responses to place your key messages front and center.
- Give it a positive spin: Create a transition to move from discussion topic to the message you want to communicate. First, answer the direct question. Then, transition to your message. Try phrases like:
- “Before we get off that topic, let me just add…”
- “Let me put that in perspective…”
- “Yes. And it’s also important to remember that…”
- Speak strongly and clearly: If your soft voice on the backdrop of a noisy booth affects video quality, it may doom your interview to the cutting room floor.
- Shape your body language: According to business coach Dr. Amir Helmer, your physical movements should be “round and soft.” Sharp gestures may be perceived as aggressive.
- Capture visual attention: Holding a visual demonstration of your company’s healthy ingredient in a final product can “eye capture” your audience. Some interviewers are not sure what to do with their hands during the interview. A good eye-capturing visual can solve this problem.
- Be on time, but be patient: Make time to be available for the interviews. Reporters are booked solid at tradeshows and they might be late for your meeting. So schedule extra time after the interview in case it runs over.
- Stick to Business: Even if the reporter is a close friend, stick to the matter at hand: promoting your message.
With all these things to keep in mind, remember: you are the expert; the reporter is eager to learn from you!
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