The golden rule of interviews is that you must always prepare. You can never prepare too much for an interview, whether it's for broadcast, radio, print, podcast or at a media briefing.

The key to ensuring that you or your spokesperson does the job well is to create the perfect brief in advance. It's not as daunting as it sounds. In fact, we've created a template that you can use every time to ensure you're making the most of those interview opportunities.

Sometimes, identifying the right person for the job can be challenging and you may need to work with someone who is a little nervous about an interview. A briefing sheet will give them the confidence to do a good job, knowing what they are going into.

Keep it short

Overwhelming people with too much information will mean they are unlikely to remember any part of it. Remember A, B, C - accuracy, brevity, clarity.

Use the 5Ws and H

Much the same as writing a media release, using the 5Ws and H will help you keep focused on what the interview will entail. This gives a busy person an excellent overview to help them stay on track when it comes to answering those tricky questions.

Include photos

Whether they are meeting just one journalist or a room full of reporters, it's incredibly useful to have a headshot alongside the name.

Cover the interviewer and outlet

Not only do you need to brief on the subject matter of the interview, but also the person interviewing and the outlet they represent. It only needs to be a few bullet points such as what issues the interviewer writes about or champions. When it comes to the outlet or publication, the general editorial standpoint and their typical audience is a good indicator of what the likely tone will be.

Include contact details

It sounds obvious but it's important not only to include the interviewer's contact details but also yours. You may not be on site with your spokesperson and it's always useful to have everything in one place so they can contact you if they have any questions. Not every spokesperson is used to being involved in the interview process.

Offer practical tips

It's important to include information such as what they should wear. If this is an on location interview in the middle of a forest or at night, they'll need to know what is appropriate to wear or take with them. They may also need to know that they have to take some kind of prop or marketing material. Being prepared physically also helps you to be prepared mentally.

January 17, 2023

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