It’s one of the milestones of your business’ growth. Your business becomes a more well known start-up and you’re invited by a media outfit as an interviewee. The experience can be exciting yet, equally daunting.
Clearly, media interviews are an exciting opportunity for any small business owner. But, before emotions overwhelm you, you have plan to succeed with clear objectives. Your goal is very much to be quoted in different press releases, radio shows, or if possible, on TV with perceptive commentary and to build or strengthen your brand by heightening its exposure.
Below are some tips that will help you succeed at media interviews.
Talk to Your PR Consultant
You’re lucky if you have an experienced PR consultant who has the right connections throughout all elements of the media. A PR consultant will provide some background details about the interviewer, the media outfit’s audience and the story they may want to write or report on. A PR consultant will first help you plan. They might try to help you foresee possible questions and train you on how to answer them. If you do not yet have a PR consultant, consider approaching the reporter beforehand and find out what you can about the questions they might ask of you.
Don’t Give the ‘Usual’ Company Profile Spiel
Surprisingly enough, interviewees often respond to the question “Tell me about your company” with what’s already been said in their company’s press releases or profile. Often, the interviewer takes time to complete background company and individual research beforehand. With this in mind, don’t be a robot, surprise them and demonstrate your expertise in a thoroughly engaging way. That way, you increase the likelihood of being invited back for another interview. For instance, you might try disclosing some of your company’s future plans, the current projects you’re working on or even, give a particular insight into industry news.
Tell, Don’t Sell
Although your goal is to increase your business’ brand awareness, you shouldn’t make it too obvious, as the audience may interpret your business in a negative light as a result. If you’re asked about the strengths of your company, don’t make it sound like you’re hard selling – tell a genuine story. Focus on establishing a credible image. Instead of saying “We’re the best,” find a nice way to say that the audience needs your products or services. The reason why social media has been a very successful avenue for business of all sizes is, it is a very personalised medium where personal relationships are built. With social media, the ‘personalised’ marketing approach has become much more prevalent.
In order for you to come across as both knowledgeable and likeable – create a narrative around your answers. Why do you think this? What experience do you have to draw on to back up your answers? Simply put, statistics consistently reinforce that evidence combined with personal experience is much more memorable and highly regarded by potential readers/listeners.
Keep it Short
Interviewers thrive on short, succinct and clear answers. Be aware that often, more you talk the more misunderstood your answers could be – keep it simple. As they’re not experts, this is more likely to encourage them to ask questions that are not on the list. Give short and informative answers – otherwise your audience might get very little from them.
In summary, media interviews are a great way to promote your brand for ‘free’. To get the most from them, always take time to practice and be confident. Regardless of whether you’re a dab hand at interviews or not, there is genuine value in hiring a specialist from a respectable PR agency– especially if you want consistent media exposure.