In this video, Upright Position Communication’s CEO, Paul Wilke, and Senior PR Strategist, Janie Gianotsos, discuss the four Cs of successful media interviews and how they can help you master your next media interview.
We help many of our clients with media training. Media interviews can invoke fear and nervousness. The next time you’re interviewed, bring in the four Cs for a little peace of mind. Master these and you’ll do just fine.
The First C is Confidence.
It’s normal to feel like you don’t have it all together, perhaps feel nervous or worry that you won’t have all the answers. The best way to boost your confidence is to practice and prepare for your interview. When you know your topic, your talking points, and what questions you might be asked, taking time to practice and prepare will help you come across confidently. And if you’re genuinely uncomfortable with the subject matter, it’s okay to decline or ask to postpone a media interview too.
You are the subject matter expert in this conversation; the reporter is coming to you for your information. If you remember this throughout the interview, you’ll have more confidence and less nervousness.
The Next C is Comfort.
Comfort is so important; we talk about this all the time with our clients. Is your chair comfortable? Are your clothes comfortable? Fortunately, with Zoom, we can be business on the upper half of our body, and if we want bare feet and sweats on the lower half, that’s okay. No one will know if you’re digging your toes into the carpet to keep yourself from getting nervous. Find what makes you comfortable, figure out what feels good in your body, and do that. If you’re uncomfortable in your interview, it will come across in your energy and answers, and people will notice.
Comfort Helps with Credibility, our Third C.
First, know that the reporter selected YOU for the interview, and they believe you’ll contribute to their story. In their eyes, you’re already credible. Here’s another tip to help you feel credible when talking to them.
We’re using Zoom for everything, and people are comfortable with the platform. It feels easier to talk on camera since many of us already spend hours a day talking to each other through our computer screens. Reporters now use Zoom as their primary go-to source for interviews; this is great news for the interviewee.
Zoom makes it easy to use sticky notes, even small teleprompters as memory aids. You don’t need to memorize your talking points, even if you’re doing a live interview. Keep your sticky notes right under your camera, so you can take a glance without looking up or down. When you’re easily able to nail your talking points, you come across as more credible.
And if the reporter chooses to interview you by phone, it’s even easier to keep your notes in front of you, even open resources on your computer, so you can confidently answer questions.
Finally, Take Control of the Interview.
Remember, you don’t need to answer every question, and taking your time to respond is okay. Pausing may feel like an eternity when you do it, but others won’t perceive it as nearly as long. Learning how to pivot or bridge when you don’t want to or can’t answer a question is an essential skill to keep you in control.
At the end of the interview, reporters almost always ask, “Is there anything you’d like to add?” Instead of saying, “No, I think we covered everything,” use this moment to take control and bring home what’s important to you and your organization. Reiterate a vital point, remind the audience of upcoming events or opportunities, share how people can reach you, or set up a teaser for news you plan to share later. Take advantage of this open-ended opportunity.
The Four Cs are Important Concepts to Master.
And we’d like to add that all four have relatively equal weight, but if we had to choose one, Comfort really makes a difference. Embrace being comfortable in the interview setting. Plan the space so you’ll feel at home, especially if you’ll be at home.
Ready for more in-depth training? We’d love to help you and your team master media interviews and feel more comfortable answering interview questions. Reach out to us to schedule a training and learn more!