After 30 years of training people for media interviews David Josephs, Senior Advisor at Luminous PR, shares seven top media interview tips for businesses.
I first developed a media training course in the 1990s, and since then, I’ve trained hundreds of people, helping businesses make the most of media engagements. As I prepared my notes for this column, I spent some time recalling people I’ve worked with, and ended up wondering who I reckon is the best spokesperson I’ve ever trained.
The answer came to me quickly. It’s a guy called Chris Cowan, who at the time worked for JBA, a global technology company with its headquarters in the UK, which competed with the likes of SAP, Baan and Peoplesoft.
Chris was a natural. Which got me thinking about why he was so good. From what I concluded, I was able to put together my seven top tips for media interviews for businesses.
7 top media interview tips for businesses:
- Make complex issues seem simple.
Chris was responsible for a complex new technology domain at JBA. He knew his stuff. Just as importantly, he knew how to explain that stuff to people with a fraction of his knowledge, without making them feel dumb.
- Be unfailingly helpful, cheerful and positive.
Chris was Ted Lasso before there was Ted Lasso. Those who love the Apple+tv show will know what I mean. For those who don’t yet know Ted, he stands for someone who is kind, cheerful and patient.
- Be concise.
Chris knew that there is only so much information we can process at any given time. He spoke in small chunks. He didn’t go too quickly. He regularly asked interviewers if they were comfortable with what he was saying.
- Be charming.
Chris always made the person he was with feel like the most important person in the world. He gave his time generously and graciously.
- Be funny.
Chris took his work very seriously. He knew his stuff. But he did not take himself too seriously. This is a rare quality, and an admirable one.
- Have deep expertise.
Chris was a genuine expert. Many people claim to be experts. Chris never needed to. It was obvious.
- Do the work.
Chris worked at it. In my opinion, he was a natural but he took media training courses seriously. He always wanted to know how he could improve and wasn’t just looking for endorsement. He pushed himself to improve.
How much does media training cost?
A media training session takes anything from three to six hours, and typically costs in the region of £1200 to £1800 depending on what’s needed.
How do I arrange media training for my business?
At Luminous, we secure high-profile media interviews and help you to maximise the opportunity by preparing you and your business to communicate your message effectively. Find out more about how we can build authority for your team, or please get in touch if you would like us to arrange media training for your company.