“A Positive Look at Media Interviews and A Prescription for Successful Media Interviews”

“A Positive Look at Media Interviews and A Prescription for Successful Media Interviews”

By: J. Glenn Ebersole, Jr., Founder & Chief Executive of J. G. Ebersole Associates and The Renaissance Group ™

As you read the headline, I can almost hear some of you asking, “How can there be anything positive about media interviews? I would rather go for a painful visit to my dentist than participate in a media interview.” Well, I want to tell you that in more than 35 years of media interviews in my professional career, I remain positive about media interviews and will share some thoughts with you. And just in case you might believe that all those media interviews were fun & friendly, I can assure you they were not.

Many business people, especially corporate leaders, have great disdain for the media and hold the belief that a journalist’s job is to find sensational stories and details and then present them in ways to make CEOs and other business leaders look bad. And with this kind of attitude, we witness corporate leaders and business people going on the defensive, when they should be doing the opposite – being proactive ad looking at the interview as an opportunity rather than a crisis.

So you are wondering how to look at media interviews in a positive light and view them as an opportunity to tell your story. Here is my prescription for you.

1. Be positive. Even thought the subject mater of the interview may have negative elements.

2. Be honest. If you do not know the answer to the interviewer’s question than sincerely respond that you do not know. Do not try to make up an answer or “wing it” with something that cannot be substantiated.

3. Be prepared. I always advise my clients to know whom they are doing business with before any business takes place. The same advice is appropriate for your doing business (interviews in this instance) with the media. Research the interviewer and his or her background, interviewing style, subjects usually covered by them, format of interview, the physical location of the interview, etc.

4. Develop your key message(s) with 2 to 4 key points and weave these into your interview responses.

5. Anticipate questions you would rather not have asked. Do some “what if” planning for these questions. Prepare to briefly address those questions and then tie back into your main points.

6. Build relationships with the media as an ongoing goal, even before media interview opportunities occur.

7. Capitalize on every media interview opportunity and when you are asked at the end of the interview (which almost always happens) if there is anything else you would like to add, be ready to reiterate key messages and provide a positive summary of the interview.

8. Seek and engage outside counsel and training to develop your media interview skills.

9. Practice, practice, practice to hone your media interview skills.

10. Commit to viewing media interviews as opportunities, not crises.

Do you believe you have the necessary skills to perform well in media interviews? Do you look forward to those interview opportunities or asked to be excused from that task? Do you view media interviews as an opportunity? If you answered NO to these questions, I would suggest that you might benefit from an “attitude adjustment.” Please contact Glenn Ebersole today through his web site at: www.prdoctor4u.com or by email at jgeprman@aol.com so we can discuss the development of a personalized prescription to improve your media interview skills and your outlook on media interviews.


J. Glenn Ebersole, Jr. is a multi-faceted professional, who is recognized as a visionary, guide and facilitator in the fields of marketing, public relations, management, and engineering. He is the Founder & Chief Executive of the Lancaster, PA based multi-disciplinary & strategic thinking consulting practices, J. G. Ebersole Associates and The Renaissance Group™. He is a Certified Facilitator and business and strategic thinking and planning coach to a diverse list of clients. Also...

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