November 21, 2023

Do’s and Don’ts of Media Interviews

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Media interviews are an incredibly valuable tool for businesses and firms of all sizes. A chance to be interviewed by a local or national media outlet can improve your chances of exposure, whether you want to build awareness of your brand, publicize an upcoming event, showcase your firm’s success stories and expertise, educate the public, or tap into a new clientele.

In this article, we’ll help you discover insights on the intricacies of a media interview — from understanding what’s needed to master the art of poised conduct to learning how to craft impactful dialogue. Read on to gain valuable tips on navigating what to articulate, what to tactfully avoid, and what makes a media interview successful.

What is a Media Interview?

A media interview, or press interview, is a conversation between an expert in a particular field—aka YOU—and a journalist or reporter from a media outlet, whether it be print, digital, broadcast, or podcast. These interviews are a public relations (PR) tactic that will result in publicity for your firm.

Public Relations agencies in New York will agree that media interviews can help garner new clients and expose your firm to current and prospective audiences by sharing company updates, providing insights on a particular topic or event, publicizing your reputation, broadcasting noteworthy announcements, or effectively managing a crisis

What Are the Different Types of Media Interviews? 

As mentioned above, media interviews can take many forms. Print interviews are an opportunity to be quoted in a written piece featured in a newspaper, magazine, or online publication. Broadcast interviews are live or pre-recorded segments that appear on TV or radio. Online or digital interviews are becoming increasingly prevalent on social media, through podcasts, Instagram Lives, webinars, and more. (A New York digital marketing agency might be the best fit for online or digital interviews.) 

How Do You Nail a Media Interview? 

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Below are some tips on best practices to incorporate during a media interview. 

  • Do your research. Prepare ahead of time by researching the interviewer and media outlet. Gather important details on context, content, and the audience. This will help you become aware of where your messaging will be featured and who the target audience is.
  • Determine your primary messaging. Come up with at least three points you want to publicize in your media interview. Having specific examples and stories in your back pocket to support your three points will be very useful! The more targeted your messaging is to the news outlet’s audience, the more likely the information you share will resonate with them. A content marketing agency (New York) might be able to help. 
  • Speak positively and professionally. Nothing in life is perfect, but remember, your goal is to educate people, bring in new clientele, or build awareness. Speaking poorly about a situation or portraying a negative mindset won’t help your case. Remember, a media interview means you’re on blast — the information you share will reach tons of people!
  • Practice through mock Q&As. Conducting mock interviews with a friend or colleague beforehand can help you anticipate potential questions, determine what points you want to get across, and figure out how to say them eloquently. 

What Not To Do During a Media Interview

And now for the “what not to do’s”…

  • Don’t think “off the record” shields you. Anything you say to a reporter is essentially fair game unless you tell them otherwise. But even when something is designated as off the record, it’s out there. To be extra cautious, avoid discussing any topics you might be unsure about unless you implicitly trust the reporter and have a history with them. If you don’t want it published, it’s better to stay away from the topic altogether. Journalists and reporters are eager to unfold the most interesting content to their audience.
  • Don’t be shy. Advocate for your firm and your team. An upbeat, passionate, curious, confident, and positive attitude often attracts attention. Adjust your poise and attitude depending on the situation when necessary. 
  • Don’t use industry jargon. Legal jargon is complex and convoluted. Be sure to keep things simple. Consider your target audience, including their interests, preferences, dislikes, and knowledge base, when answering questions. Break it down simply so it’s understandable even to people who aren’t familiar with the intricacies of your work. 

Find a Top New York Public Relations Agency

Marketing firms (NYC) such as Horowitz Agency, offer public relations strategy and support, which often includes opportunities for media interviews. Horowitz Agency is highly rated as one of the top marketing and public relations agencies in New York and throughout the country. Our talented team crafts customized, unique PR approaches catered to our clients’ specific needs. Connect with us to discuss whether your firm should consider onboarding a full-service public relations agency to gain exposure to media interviews.

Read more about how New York City public relations experts can get you quoted in the media

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