Providing an interview to a media representative can oftentimes be a harrowing experience for both seasoned and amateur academic professionals alike. For a successful interview with the media, focus on the following tips and guidelines:
- Reflect on two or three key messages that you would like to transmit to the journalist interviewing you. Writing down the messages may help you stick to them and stay on track.
- Make sure you do not sound like you are doing advertising for yourself, for a project or idea, or for the university. Respond naturally as if engaged in a regular conversation.
- Refer to the key selling propositions of the university while sounding natural. Some examples are: liberal arts curriculum, versatility of graduates in the job market, flexibility of our educational model, rich campus life, extracurricular activities, success of students and graduates, etc.
- Be willing and able to provide additional contacts for the journalist to speak with or photos for them to use in publication.
- In common practice, a journalist will not allow you to read their article prior to publication. If upon publication you find there are minor mistakes (name misspelled, incorrect title listed, etc.), it is permissible to send a kind email outlining such mistakes and asking that they be corrected.
- Upon publication, if everything in the article is accurate but for some reason you do not like it, DO NOT send emails complaining about the angle of the article, quotes/photos used, placement in the paper, etc., as the journalist does have final say in which elements of a story to select for publication. Receiving a reputation as a bad interviewee can do significant damage to the university’s long-term relationship with media organizations.