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Media Interview Tips

Following are tips to help you prepare for a meeting with a reporter.

• Know what you want to get across and repeat your messages several times .

• Don't be afraid to say that you
don't know the answer to a question.  Instead, offer to find the answer and get back to the reporter before the deadline.

• Don't feel rushed about answering and don't feel obliged to fill "dead air." It is OK to pause, think and then answer.

• Don't use professional jargon. Keep your message simple.

A reporter is not a friend or an enemy and is never off duty. Speak with the public in mind. Never say anything you wouldn't want read in the newspaper or heard on the air the next day.

 Prepare: Develop the points you want to make and. rehearse. Anticipate difficult questions and prepare responses.

 Always answer the question: If you do not respond, or say "no comment", you will give the impression you are hiding something. Use the opportunity to give your message.

 Emphasize your main points and lead to them with simple phrases such as, "the key point is..." or "most importantly." Repetition helps emphasize your key messages.

 Speak in personal terms whenever possible: Using personal anecdotes and examples to illustrate your point is the most effective way to communicate your message.