The Secret to Successful Media Interviews
John Furner, the president and CEO of Walmart, understood the assignment when he appeared on “Good Morning America” to kick off the holiday season and discuss food prices.
In a year when inflation is squeezing budgets, Furner conveyed this straightforward and essential message in his nearly four-minute segment: Walmart saves families money.
As a public relations professional, watching this interview was like watching a skilled quarterback throw the perfect touchdown pass. However, what people didn’t see on television were the hours of training and practice Furner likely underwent well before the big moment.
Because, like the best athletes, the best spokespeople invest in training, and they practice.
Invest in Media Training
Our primary objective for public relations is to protect and enhance the brands we serve. No individual should go into an interview unprepared. Media training lays the groundwork for success because spokespeople learn how the media operates, the needs of journalists and the expectations of the audience. Training also helps individuals deliver the very best message to their target audience.
And while talking to the press can feel daunting and even intimidating, doing so can build valuable credibility and rapport with the public — or damage it. This is why media training is crucial to any communications plan. The right training can instill confidence, help individuals handle pressure and avoid missteps that can harm a brand’s credibility.
Nail a Successful Interview
When it comes to successful interviews, the first thing to understand is the spokesperson doesn’t control the story, but they do control their message. Furner demonstrated this, bringing every question back to his core message.
Learning how to control the message and steer interviews in the right direction is a skill that can be taught and, with practice over time, mastered. Individuals also learn effective storytelling skills through media training. This humanizes a brand, conveying its value and mission in a way that is authentic and genuine.
The Right Training for You
There are thousands of news outlets that deliver through several mediums. The important thing is to know your goal and where your audience gets their information, then learn how to generate positive media coverage with those specific outlets through really great interviews.
At OBP, our team of experienced PR professionals has trained individuals for thousands of interviews across the entire media landscape. We coach our clients and take great joy in helping turn super people into superstar spokespeople. It’s one of our favorite ways to partner with clients and deliver long-term success.
To learn more about how OBP can help coach your team to deliver successful interviews, drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. We can’t wait to explore the possibilities of greatness with you.
Carmen Fenton is a Director of Public Relations at OBP. She specializes in agricultural clients.