Not to brag, but here at JSA we like to consider ourselves media mavens. We understand the complexities of your stories and what makes your company unique and we use those stories to engage your customers, prospects and, of course, the media. Pitching to the media is not always easy (check out our blog for more on that), but if done right, it will likely result in an interview.
Sitting down for a media interview should not be stress inducing, though it sometimes can be for those not properly prepared. That is why we’ve compiled JSA’s Interview Dos and Don’ts. The below tips will help you improve your interviewee style and tactics, plus we have included some common mistakes to avoid when chatting with the media.
In short, be confident; you are the expert. Happy interviewing and #HappyNetworking!
DO keep your answers short. Simply answer the question asked of you and then wait for the reporter to ask another. It is not your job to relieve awkward silences. Often times, reporters use that technique to get more information.
DON’T use technical jargon to relay a point. Instead, be clear and talk in lay terms so the majority of readers and/or listeners will understand.
DO prepare for likely questions. Define the top three points you would like to make about a subject or product. Gather facts, figures and anecdotes to support your points.
DON’T speculate. Sometimes journalists like to ask hypotheticals. Try to avoid answering these types of questions by saying, “I am unable to speculate on that, however…” and then shift the focus back to your main talking points.
DO identify anything you say as either fact or opinion. Your opinions are your own, but facts are facts.
DON’T say “no comment.” Instead, if you don’t have the answer to the question, let the journalist know you (or your PR agency) will get in touch with additional information. If you don’t want to answer the question, redirect the journalist’s attention to the focus of the interview.
DO be confident. Remember, you are the expert.
Looking for examples of how to conduct yourself during a media interview? DO Check out and subscribe to our JSA TV YouTube page!