It’s very likely that in the course of putting on a show you’ll have to give an interview to the press. While this can seem a bit daunting when you do it for the first time, with a little bit of preparation there really is nothing to be worried about.
Here are our hints and tips to successfully talking to the press:
1. Donʼt be scared – journalists are there to do a job and they need you as much as you need them
2. Always appear friendly and helpful – remember you are representing your show, venue, company etc.
3. Speak with conviction to get your points across – be proud that you know the subject much better than they do
4. It is perfectly acceptable to say that you / a colleague will call a journalist back if you need time to think. It is rare, but occasionally a journalist will have a hidden agenda, so take the time to speak to your PR representative, or the most appropriate person in your company, should you have any concerns
5. If you do promise to call someone back make sure you, or someone else, does
6. Respect journalist deadlines and respond to queries in a timely fashion Never lose your cool – even if you feel you are being provoked. Again itʼs quite reasonable to say you will call them back. This gives you thinking space and a chance to discuss any concerns with a media relations professional
7. The secret of success is preparation. Decide in advance what your key messages are and stick to them. Ideally, you should have no more than three
8. Never, ever, ever go off the record. Only ever say something that you wouldnʼt mind seeing on the front page of a national newspaper with your name on it
9. Stay calm, clear and collected and keep smiling – it will come across, even on radio
10. Practice, practice, practice! Read newspapers and magazines, listen to broadcast interviews and learn from good and bad spokespeople
11. Ask questions when you are approached! You are allowed to ask a journalist exactly what they are after from you, what the context of the story is, when it is appearing, who else they are talking to etc etc.
Laura Stowe is Media Relations Officer for the 2010 London Alternative Fringe Festival.
This guide was first published as part of London Alternative Fringe Press and PR Guide 2010. For more information about the London Alternative Fringe please visit: http:/