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How to give media interviews

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It is a good idea to have some media training before giving interviews. Too late? Then follow these guidelines and DONT PANIC


Before the InterviewEdit

  • Discuss all interview requests and other media opportunities with the communications or public information office in your organization.

Try and establish the motivation of the interview in advance.

  • Get the details about the interview.
    • How much time has been allowed?
    • Will it be live or taped?
    • If it’s a radio interview, will listeners call in with questions?
    • Will it be a panel discussion or a one-to-one interview?
    • If it is a print media interview, will a photographer be coming?
  • Develop three to five key points you want to communicate. These are the main ideas you want to include in some way in every answer you give. Get help to formulate these clearly in advance. It is worth writing them down for yourself in advance. You might also think about giving a copy to the interviewer.
  • Anticipate questions and prepare answers ahead of time preferably including your key points.
  • If possible, rehearse and/or record a simulated interview.
  • Choose your clothing carefully. It’s usually better to dress conservatively and on the formal side. Solid pastel or neutral colors work best; cameras have difficulty responding to high contrast or vivid colors such as black and white or bright red, or to small repeated patterns such as checks, pinstripes or herringbone. For a TV interview, you’ll probably wear a wireless microphone and transmitter, so it’s best to wear something with a pocket or belt to hold the transmitter.
  • Get to your location at least 15 minutes early and spend time practicing your key messages.
  • Try to relax and focus on what you want to get from the interview. Relaxation and breathing exercises can help calm nerves. Remember, you’re the expert on the subject under discussion.

During the InterviewEdit

Tips for face to face private interviews

Tips for radio interviews

Tips for TV interviews

After the InterviewEdit

  • Follow up promptly with any additional information you promised to provide.
  • Ask for a readback after the interview to ensure that your points have been understoodCheck with your university PR office as they can help get messages out as to how your research impacts social issues.
  • Ask the reporter when the story will appear.
  • Thank the reporter for interviewing you.
  • If you have public relations support discuss with them the possibility of arranging further interviews to build on the interest.


Press office contact details of psychology organizationsEdit

  • BPS Press Office, tel: 0116 252 9500 Fax, 0116 247 0787 or email: press.office@bps.org.uk.
  • APAOffice of Public Affairs, 750 First St., N.E. Washington, DC 20002-4242 Tel:(202) 336-5700


External linksEdit

BPS Press office

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