Center for Media Justice home of the Media Action Grassroots Network

Interviewing

Sometimes just thinking about speaking to a reporter is enough to make us sweat. We tend to either fidget and act small, or get aggressive and put on our mental boxing gloves.

It’s hard to talk to reporters, because every reporter is different and it’s impossible to predict how a reporter will behave toward you or how accurate their story will be. The only thing you can control is how you will behave toward a reporter, and how strong a spokesperson you will be.

Once you get clear on a spokesperson’s role, the task doesn’t seem so scary. The goal of being a spokesperson is simply to deliver your campaign or organizational message to target audiences. You don’t have to make friends with a reporter, and you don’t have to right all past wrongs by getting belligerent with the media. You just have to deliver your message, and thank reporters for their time.

Of course, with longer interviews you will need to converse and not just deliver a message or soundbite. Acting as a spokesperson in longer interviews is an art, much like the art of negotiation—just remember to be yourself and engage in constructive discussion, while staying focused on your goal and weaving in your message.

Follow these easy tips to more effective interviewing:

• Elect strategic spokespersons. Pick spokespeople who are main characters in your story. They could be people directly affected by the issue you’re working on, an advocate, or a policy “expert” or professional, like a lawyer, who can provide policy context to reporters.

• Personalize the message. Be able to explain your connection to the issue so you can personalize the message. This establishes your credibility as a spokesperson and makes it more likely that your audience will hear your message.

• Know what you will say and what you won’t say. There may be personal details about your own life that reporters will dig into, which are irrelevant to the strategic story you’re trying to tell. Be clear about the pieces of personal information that will help you convey your message, and eliminate those that play into existing stereotypes or simply distract from your message. Remember, you don’t have to answer every question a reporter poses.

• Confront lies, stereotypes and bias. If a reporter asks questions that raise stereotypes, challenge these stereotypes; don’t just ignore them. If you ignore them, the reporter will continue to produce their story based on these stereotypes. Instead, say calmly, “Actually, that’s a myth,” or “That’s a common stereotype, but the reality is…” Redirect their questions to bring the interview back to your message.

• Repeat, repeat, repeat! Repeat your message and soundbites by using pivot phrases like, “The point is…,” “What I’m here to say is…,” “In my experience…,” or “That’s an important question but the real issue is…”

• Practice, practice, practice! Role-play in front of a camera if possible. Then play the videotape back and note whether or not you delivered the message clearly, and if your body language was effective. Use the information in CMJ’s tips below for being an effective messenger as a guide when practicing.

Interview Do’s and Don’ts

Talking to Reporters: How to Be A Great Spokesperson

About the Author

Comments

  1. Thanks so much for giving everyone an extremely pleasant chance to read articles and blog posts from this web site. It is always so fantastic and also packed with fun for me personally and my office friends to visit your site a minimum of thrice weekly to read through the fresh guides you have. And indeed, I am certainly impressed with the cool hints you give. Certain 2 points in this article are honestly the most suitable we’ve ever had.

  2. Thank you for all your efforts on this web page. Betty enjoys participating in investigation and it’s really obvious why. Many of us hear all of the dynamic way you give very helpful information by means of the web site and attract participation from people on that area of interest so our child is actually learning a great deal. Have fun with the rest of the new year. Your carrying out a powerful job.

  3. adidas nmd says:

    I wanted to write a brief comment to express gratitude to you for these lovely guides you are posting on this site. My rather long internet look up has at the end of the day been rewarded with brilliant concept to share with my pals. I ‘d express that most of us visitors are undoubtedly lucky to live in a useful website with so many outstanding individuals with great advice. I feel somewhat privileged to have come across the site and look forward to so many more cool minutes reading here. Thanks a lot once again for everything.

  4. adidas shoes says:

    I precisely needed to say thanks again. I am not sure the things that I would have worked on in the absence of the actual thoughts revealed by you relating to that situation. Completely was the alarming problem in my position, but being able to see a new professional avenue you processed that took me to leap for delight. Now i am happier for this help as well as hope you find out what a great job you have been doing training the rest with the aid of a blog. Probably you haven’t got to know any of us.

  5. I and also my friends came digesting the excellent pointers from your site and so unexpectedly got a horrible suspicion I never expressed respect to the site owner for those secrets. All the boys came as a result warmed to read them and have now in actuality been loving those things. Many thanks for actually being very thoughtful and for picking out this sort of magnificent useful guides most people are really eager to discover. My personal honest apologies for not expressing appreciation to you sooner.

  6. nike flyknit says:

    I intended to create you this little bit of word to thank you very much the moment again with the splendid basics you’ve shown on this website. This has been really generous of you to make without restraint precisely what many of us could possibly have offered as an e-book to end up making some dough on their own, most notably since you could possibly have tried it if you ever wanted. Those pointers additionally worked to become a fantastic way to recognize that many people have similar passion similar to my personal own to understand a great deal more in respect of this matter. Certainly there are numerous more enjoyable situations up front for many who discover your website.

  7. Thank you a lot for giving everyone such a superb chance to read articles and blog posts from this site. It can be so superb plus jam-packed with fun for me and my office friends to visit your site at the very least three times a week to read through the newest tips you have. And indeed, we’re certainly amazed concerning the effective points you serve. Some 2 facts in this posting are undeniably the simplest we have had.

  8. I simply desired to say thanks once more. I am not sure the things I would’ve created in the absence of the entire tactics discussed by you about that industry. It absolutely was an absolute traumatic issue in my view, nevertheless noticing the expert form you managed that took me to weep over joy. I am just thankful for this support and believe you really know what a great job you’re accomplishing instructing people through the use of your web blog. I know that you’ve never encountered any of us.

  9. air max 270 says:

    I want to point out my passion for your kind-heartedness for those who really need guidance on this important niche. Your personal commitment to passing the message around turned out to be particularly practical and have all the time allowed many people just like me to get to their desired goals. Your new interesting suggestions signifies this much a person like me and substantially more to my fellow workers. Warm regards; from everyone of us.

  10. I and my guys were actually looking at the good tips on your web page then immediately came up with an awful feeling I had not expressed respect to the site owner for those secrets. The guys happened to be joyful to learn them and now have undoubtedly been taking advantage of them. Many thanks for indeed being quite accommodating as well as for deciding on such quality areas millions of individuals are really eager to learn about. My sincere apologies for not saying thanks to you sooner.

  11. adidas nmd says:

    I simply wanted to appreciate you again. I do not know the things that I could possibly have carried out in the absence of the actual tips and hints provided by you regarding that topic. Previously it was a real scary condition in my position, but encountering your specialised mode you dealt with that took me to cry for delight. Now i am grateful for your help and have high hopes you realize what a powerful job you are getting into instructing the others with the aid of your web blog. Probably you haven’t met all of us.

  12. adidas nmd says:

    I simply had to appreciate you again. I do not know the things I would’ve gone through in the absence of the entire hints documented by you concerning such a topic. It has been a real difficult concern in my circumstances, but taking note of this expert mode you dealt with it took me to leap for fulfillment. Now i am grateful for your information and thus pray you know what a great job you are always carrying out instructing the mediocre ones all through your web site. Probably you haven’t met all of us.

  13. I would like to express appreciation to this writer for bailing me out of this problem. Right after exploring throughout the internet and finding methods which were not helpful, I thought my entire life was over. Existing without the presence of approaches to the difficulties you’ve resolved by means of your good blog post is a crucial case, and the ones which could have badly damaged my career if I hadn’t discovered your site. Your natural talent and kindness in dealing with all the details was tremendous. I’m not sure what I would have done if I had not come upon such a point like this. I can now relish my future. Thanks for your time very much for the expert and amazing guide. I won’t be reluctant to propose your site to anyone who requires recommendations about this subject.

  14. I precisely had to thank you very much again. I’m not certain what I would’ve carried out in the absence of the entire tips shared by you concerning that topic. Completely was a fearsome condition for me personally, nevertheless taking a look at a specialised avenue you treated that made me to weep over gladness. I’m grateful for the information and hope you realize what a great job that you are carrying out instructing men and women through a site. Most likely you have never got to know all of us.

  15. I in addition to my pals happened to be viewing the nice secrets and techniques found on your web site and then unexpectedly I had an awful feeling I had not thanked the blog owner for those tips. My ladies were definitely for that reason stimulated to see them and already have unquestionably been taking pleasure in those things. Thank you for actually being really helpful as well as for having such incredible areas most people are really wanting to be informed on. My honest apologies for not expressing appreciation to you sooner.

  16. adidas yeezy says:

    Thanks a lot for providing individuals with a very terrific possiblity to check tips from here. It really is so superb and as well , jam-packed with amusement for me and my office peers to search your website on the least thrice in one week to read through the new items you have got. And indeed, we’re certainly fulfilled with your unbelievable strategies served by you. Certain 1 points in this posting are in fact the finest we have had.

  17. pureboost says:

    I wish to express some appreciation to you for bailing me out of such a incident. Because of looking out through the internet and finding recommendations which were not powerful, I figured my life was over. Living minus the approaches to the problems you’ve sorted out by way of the article content is a serious case, as well as those which may have adversely damaged my entire career if I hadn’t discovered your blog. Your actual knowledge and kindness in touching every aspect was excellent. I don’t know what I would have done if I hadn’t discovered such a stuff like this. I am able to now relish my future. Thanks a lot very much for this impressive and effective help. I won’t hesitate to refer your web blog to anyone who should receive counselling about this matter.

  18. ultra boost says:

    I truly wanted to type a remark to be able to say thanks to you for these stunning secrets you are sharing on this website. My time intensive internet lookup has now been recognized with professional facts to share with my friends and classmates. I ‘d assert that many of us visitors actually are very much blessed to dwell in a superb site with many perfect professionals with beneficial methods. I feel quite privileged to have seen your web page and look forward to tons of more fun times reading here. Thank you once again for everything.

  19. My wife and i felt so more than happy Albert managed to carry out his researching by way of the ideas he grabbed from your own weblog. It’s not at all simplistic just to find yourself releasing helpful tips that many people today might have been making money from. We really do know we need you to be grateful to for this. The specific illustrations you have made, the straightforward site navigation, the friendships your site make it easier to engender – it’s got all unbelievable, and it’s really facilitating our son and us understand the matter is satisfying, and that’s incredibly pressing. Thank you for everything!

  20. Thank you for all of the effort on this site. Gloria loves making time for internet research and it is obvious why. My spouse and i know all regarding the dynamic way you present helpful tips and hints on the web blog and in addition improve response from website visitors on this subject matter while my child is always being taught a lot. Enjoy the remaining portion of the year. You have been performing a first class job.

  21. kyrie shoes says:

    I would like to convey my admiration for your kind-heartedness for persons that actually need assistance with your study. Your personal commitment to getting the message up and down appeared to be rather powerful and has specifically allowed some individuals like me to attain their goals. Your amazing interesting guidelines entails a lot to me and still more to my colleagues. Many thanks; from each one of us.

  22. birkin bag says:

    Thank you so much for giving everyone a very splendid chance to read articles and blog posts from this site. It is usually so excellent plus full of amusement for me and my office friends to search your web site at least 3 times every week to learn the newest things you have got. And lastly, I am just always impressed considering the terrific tactics you serve. Selected two facts in this article are ultimately the most suitable we have ever had.

  23. I enjoy you because of all your valuable effort on this blog. My niece really loves making time for research and it is easy to see why. Almost all know all about the lively method you give functional items on your web blog and as well welcome participation from other ones about this article plus our own simple princess is really starting to learn a lot. Take pleasure in the rest of the new year. You are conducting a very good job.

  24. I intended to send you that very little remark to finally say thank you the moment again with the incredible secrets you have documented in this case. It was really strangely generous with you giving unreservedly all that a lot of folks could possibly have sold as an e-book to help make some dough on their own, mostly since you might have done it in the event you decided. Those tricks likewise acted to be the fantastic way to be aware that the rest have the same interest really like my personal own to know more with reference to this problem. Certainly there are several more pleasurable situations in the future for individuals who read carefully your blog post.

  25. Very informative blog article. Fantastic.

  26. “Currently it appears like Movable Type is the best blogging platform out there right now. (from what I’ve read) Is that what you’re using on your blog?”

  27. Hey, thanks for the article.Much thanks again. Want more.

  28. anal plug says:

    I loved your article. Really Cool.

  29. “Thank you for your blog article.Much thanks again. Much obliged.”

  30. Great blog.Much thanks again. Awesome.

  31. Thanks for sharing, this is a fantastic blog article.Much thanks again. Keep writing.

  32. Im obliged for the blog.Really thank you! Really Cool.

  33. Thanks-a-mundo for the blog post.Much thanks again. Awesome.

  34. Bitcoin 666 says:

    Really appreciate you sharing this blog.Much thanks again. Much obliged.

  35. “I really liked your blog post.Thanks Again. Will read on…”

  36. Thank you for your blog post.Really looking forward to read more. Want more.

  37. Great article post.Really looking forward to read more. Will read on…

  38. Im thankful for the blog. Keep writing.

  39. I think this is a real great blog post.Really thank you! Really Great.

  40. Thank you for your blog.Thanks Again. Really Cool.

  41. I truly appreciate this post. Much obliged.

  42. Very informative article.Much thanks again. Will read on…

  43. I am so grateful for your blog.Really looking forward to read more. Really Great.

  44. Great, thanks for sharing this blog post.Really thank you! Will read on…

  45. Thanks again for the blog.Really looking forward to read more.

  46. Appreciate you sharing, great article post.Thanks Again. Much obliged.

  47. Thanks so much for the blog post.Really looking forward to read more. Awesome.

  48. I really liked your blog.Really looking forward to read more. Fantastic.

  49. I value the blog post.Much thanks again. Great.

  50. Thank you ever so for you post.Really thank you! Cool.

  51. Thanks again for the blog article.Thanks Again. Awesome.

  52. I value the blog.Really thank you! Awesome.

  53. Appreciate you sharing, great post. Cool.

  54. Say, you got a nice article post.Really looking forward to read more. Will read on…

  55. Very informative blog.Much thanks again. Will read on…

  56. Very informative article. Cool.

  57. Really appreciate you sharing this blog post.Thanks Again. Really Cool.

  58. Say, you got a nice blog.Thanks Again. Fantastic.

  59. “I really liked your article post.Really looking forward to read more. Want more.”

  60. Thanks again for the blog post.Much thanks again.

  61. Say, you got a nice blog.Thanks Again. Awesome.

  62. Major thankies for the blog. Keep writing.

  63. I truly appreciate this article post.Much thanks again. Want more.

  64. “If some one wants expert view concerning blogging then i recommend him/her to go to see this web site, Keep up the nice job.”

  65. wow, awesome blog article. Cool.

  66. Very informative blog post. Great.

  67. sex balls says:

    “I loved your article post.Really thank you! Great.”

  68. Thanks so much for the article post.Thanks Again. Keep writing.

  69. wow, awesome article.Really looking forward to read more. Really Cool.

  70. Appreciate you sharing, great article.Thanks Again. Awesome.

  71. Great blog article.Really looking forward to read more. Will read on…

  72. 888poker says:

    Really appreciate you sharing this blog.Really looking forward to read more.

  73. Thank you for your blog article.Thanks Again. Fantastic.

  74. silk bedding says:

    Appreciate you sharing, great article.Really looking forward to read more. Keep writing.

  75. Smartidea says:

    Im thankful for the article post.Really looking forward to read more. Fantastic.

  76. Smartidea says:

    Say, you got a nice article post.Really looking forward to read more. Much obliged.

  77. Ethereum says:

    “I truly appreciate this article post.Much thanks again. Really Great.”

  78. Fantastic blog post.Really thank you! Fantastic.

  79. “Hi there, I discovered your web site by means of Google even as searching for a similar subject, your web site got here up, it seems good. I have bookmarked it in my google bookmarks.”

  80. Superbet.ru says:

    Really informative blog post. Want more.

  81. cock sleeves says:

    A round of applause for your blog post.Really looking forward to read more. Much obliged.

  82. Going Here says:

    I just want to say I am just new to blogging and site-building and seriously loved you’re website. Probably I’m likely to bookmark your blog post . You absolutely have wonderful writings. Appreciate it for revealing your blog site.

  83. Great, thanks for sharing this blog post. Really Cool.

  84. Muchos Gracias for your article.

  85. I think this is a real great blog article. Want more.

  86. I’m planning on doing an English Literature with Creative Writing undergraduate degree course, beginning in 2010. Initially, I just wanted to study English, but recently I’ve decided I would be better suited to English Literature with Creative Writing. Are there any universities that are especially good for English and creative writing? A lot of the universities I had previously been looking at don’t offer the course, and The Times University Guide only offers an English league table. All answers appreciated! (-:.

  87. I am really loving the theme/design of your site. Do you ever run into any web browser compatibility problems? A small number of my blog audience have complained about my blog not operating correctly in Explorer but looks great in Firefox. Do you have any solutions to help fix this issue?

  88. I just wanted to write down a quick word so as to say thanks to you for all the marvelous guidelines you are posting here. My considerable internet research has at the end been recognized with pleasant facts and techniques to exchange with my pals. I ‘d assume that we site visitors actually are very endowed to exist in a very good place with so many lovely people with good strategies. I feel quite grateful to have used your entire weblog and look forward to really more awesome times reading here. Thanks once more for everything.

  89. viagra says:

    So I accidentally deleted the joomla folder. But the database its still there untouched..Is it posible that I re-install joomla and connect it with the old database and have all my articles and files back as it was?.

  90. My spouse and i felt really thankful that Chris managed to deal with his analysis through your ideas he gained in your web site. It is now and again perplexing to simply be giving freely guides which often some others may have been trying to sell. And we also figure out we now have the writer to appreciate for that. Those explanations you made, the simple blog menu, the relationships your site help to promote – it is everything superb, and it’s really facilitating our son in addition to the family believe that this issue is cool, and that’s truly fundamental. Thanks for all!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Website by Radish Lab.