Media interview tips

Working with the media is an effective way to reach a large audience.

The following tips will help in conducting effective interviews and maximize the likelihood that your intended message gets across.


Preparation is vital. Anticipate questions in advance and be ready with concise answers.

Identify key messages

Define two or three key points that you would like to get across during the interview and craft a one or two sentence sound byte that effectively gets each point across.

Keep it simple

Short, simple answers are better than long ones (less chance of being misquoted). Avoid academic jargon.

Repeat yourself

Circle back to your key messages or try saying them in more than one way in hopes that your main points will make it into the final story.

Don't overshare

Don’t feel compelled to fill in moments of silence during an interview. Sharing too much information increases the chance of saying something you shouldn’t or takes the focus off your key messages.

Don’t speculate or say “no comment”

If you don’t know the answer, it’s o.k. to say “that’s outside of my expertise,” or “I don’t have that information right now, but can get back to you.” Always avoid saying “no comment.”

Don’t speak “off the record”

Never say anything to a reporter that you wouldn’t want to see in print or on television. You should always assume that your conversations with a reporter are on the record.

Respect a reporter’s deadline

Reporters work on strict deadlines. If a reporter has given a specific time-frame in order to conduct an interview, be mindful of that time-frame and return calls within that given time period.


Remember, you’re the expert and most likely know more about the topic than the reporter. Be confident and let your expertise shine.