Publication Tips: Interviews

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Publication Tips for Scrapbookers #25: Being Interviewed

In case you ever found yourself in need of knowing what to do and say when interviewed for a publication such as a newspaper, I've gathered these tips:

Do's And Don'ts Of Interviews
(these are not my thoughts but gathered from this link)

  • Don't ramble and you know, say things like "you know" a lot
  • {as relating to books and book authors} I know most of the readers I talk to are interested in the author. What made you want to tell your story? This story.
  • Do have a vivid, intriguing summary of your {plot or in the case of scrapbooking- your book or layout} ready to hand if the reporter asks you to explain what your book is about.
  • normally newspaper reporters will not give questions beforehand
  • Don't try to schmooze the reporter. Reporters don't like suckups. We are not there to be flattered, we are there to ask questions and get a job done.
  • As an author who has been interviewed by reporters who have both read and not read my book, do be prepared to be inaccurately quoted
  • Do clean the room you are going to be interviewed in ....but you don't have to clean the whole house!
  • Do try to keep your interview about your book. We all like to talk about ourselves, but always bring it back to the book. That's what you're selling. The few times I let the flattery of being interviewed get the best of me, I regretted it. Stick to the work.
  • Don't ask the reporter if you can see the story ahead of time. (That's a big no-no for us reporter types.)

    You can ask, however, that the reporter give you a call back before the story runs and read your quotes back to you.

    If the reporter does make factual errors, don't let it slide. Call them. Call their editor if they don't take care of it. Get it corrected.
  • From PDF How to Give a Successful Interview to a Newspaper, do speak with authority
  • Don't worry about repeating yourself - you want to get your message across so feel free to repeat yourself using the form of words you have chosen.
  • From Bold Career Top 100 Career Booster Tips, do be yourself. Be Your Best Self: Not only am I suggesting to be yourself, but go one step further, and be your best self. Turn that light on. Be alive. Be energized and enthusiastic. Increase your wattage and people will notice.
  • Do be Plugged In: Usually, your networking is done in context…industry, interest groups, community organizations. Know what is going on. Demonstrate that you aren’t just floating by.
  • Do find a way to be useful: Useful people are interesting. Are you a hub of information? A source of other contacts? Is your finger on the pulse of the industry? Can you open doors? Provide expertise? Slam dunk any of the above and you will be interesting.
  • Do figure out what you want to say. Then figure out how to say it in a way that is profound and believable.
  • From Be the CEO of You PDF, do get out of your comfort zone. Risk. Learn. Stretch. Grow. Develop.
  • Do ask yourself: 1. What did I do today to make a difference and add value?
    2. What did I learn today?
    3. What did I learn today to make a difference and add value tomorrow?
  • From Spokeseperson coaching, do take 3-5 minutes to build rapport. If you can get 1 or 2 tidbits about the reporter that could help to build a relationship and rapport.
  • From Media and Publicity Traing powerpoint, do use words that will paint a picture
  • Do not answer reporters' questions, respond to them
  • Before the reporter asks you any questions - do ask the reporter these questions: - Find out what kind of story the reporter is doing (how long, what angle). What topics will be discussed? Who else is being interviewed? What's the interview format? When will it appear and can you leverage it for more?
  • Do speak genuinely, credibly, confidently.
  • Do remember this is YOUR interview, the reporter needs YOU for the story.
  • Do point them to someone who knows the answer if you do not know, and also tell them what you want them to know (your talking points).
  • Do Stop, Breathe, Relax, Think, Speak
  • Don't answer the reporter's questions but give the reporter your message (the audience is your target, not the reporter)
  • Do set the pace and the tone of the interview as well as the time, place, and length of the interview
  • Do keep love in your heart and let it come through in the interview. Show integrity.
  • Do flag significant points by saying: "The most important thing is...", "The story no one is telling is...", "The only way is....", "Anyone who cares about {this issue} should know that..."
  • Do make a reference and then go to your talking point. Example: "In the post 9-11 world..."; "Just like Watergate...."
  • Do bring an object or image with you on the interview that is connected to you bringing the topic back on track
  • Do provide supporting materials such as a media kit
  • Do suggest ways for the reporter to get accompanying images to go with the story if there is no photographer with the reporter
  • Do remember that there is no such thing as "off the record" so be careful
  • Do thank the reporter after the interview
  • Do visualize your dream headline and photo
  • Do get a copy of the interview
  • Do leverage the interview. What can you do with the print/audio/video to further your goals?

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