Media briefings and interviews are an essential part of any PR strategy and can position a company’s senior management as compelling thought leaders within their sector. However, the world of media interviews has made a shift online in recent years as the pandemic has necessitated a rise in video conferencing.
For example, in the first ten days of March 2020, when the pandemic first hit, video conferencing apps were downloaded a record 62 million times. This appetite for video calls has not abated with many still reluctant to give up the creature comforts of WFH life and make their way back to in-person working. As a result, more and more media interviews are taking place online – but what does this mean for media training and how should you prepare for this new normal?
The new normal
With more and more media interviews now happening over video calls, there are a few practical differences to your preparation that can leave you feeling more confident on your call. Firstly, background and appearance still matter. Working from home has left people embracing a more casual style of working but professional background and appearance can still set the right tone with a journalist and set your conversation off to a polished start.
Equally, ensuring you are in a quiet and undisturbed room can be crucial. Over the past few years, we have all witnessed a series of car crash Zoom interviews where interviewees have been interrupted by unsuspected family members or simply left buffering at the crucial moment of their discussion. In fact, this has become so common that the BBC has created a compilation of all the interviews where children have unwittingly interrupted their parent’s moment on TV. While these interviews have brought a necessary levity to the past few years, ensuring you are undisturbed throughout your interview can leave you putting your most professional self forward.
Equally, there are some technical factors to consider ahead of your interview which can ensure it runs without any glitches. Getting your sound and lighting right can be crucial, especially if you are attending an online broadcast interview. If this is something you are unsure of, checking in with your experienced PR team on the best set-up can leave you putting your best foot forward on the day of the interview. Taking the time to consider these extra factors can make sure your video interview goes off without a hitch.
Preparation is key
Ultimately, the key to any successful media interview is preparation and knowing your stuff. Making full use of briefing notes supplied by your PR team will leave you well prepared for anything the interviewer might throw at you. In fact, one of the benefits of an online interview is you can make a bit more use of these documents during calls with no one any the wiser!
With 73% of UK adults reporting some form of ‘Zoom anxiety’, it is clear that video interviews can be a very daunting prospect for many people. This makes preparation with an experienced PR team that can walk you through everything you need to know essential. Arrange a test run with your team in advance so that you feel as comfortable and prepared as possible.
Equally, it is important to remember that media interviews are not just a casual conversation, it is a presentation about your brand and what you stand for. Entering an interview without a clear sense of your objective and message can leave even the very best spokespeople not getting the most out of their interview. A knowledgeable PR team can help craft the messaging which is right for your brand and offer techniques for getting the most out of an interview – online or otherwise. This preparation and training are often undervalued by even the most accomplished business leaders. Yet, preparation above all else is the key to getting the most out of even the most intense media grilling.
Here at Sapience, our knowledgeable PR team can help offer your team vital media training to make sure your team put their best foot forward in their Zoom and in-person interviews. With many of our team having worked as journalists themselves, we can help ensure your team gets the most out of every single media interview.