The Do’s and Don’ts of a media interview. Evangeline Shaw, Unsplash.

Rockford Gray’s real-world media training is grown from our roots as reporters.

These journalism skills are part of our DNA.  That muscle memory of aggressive questioning comes out in role-play coaching. We are not afraid to ask the tough questions, or nudge sources to reveal more than they had planned. This real-world experience allows our clients to practice media interviews in a safe, albeit sometimes uncomfortable, space.

As part of our intensive media training sessions, we offer our clients skills to help take control of a media interview. As a primer, we offer these Do’s and Don’ts of a media interview:

DO tell the truth.

DO be responsive.

DO pause before answering a question.

DO prepare your key messages in advance.

DO stay on track with your messages.

DO express sorrow and sympathy for the victims.

DO anticipate questions.

DO politely push back on questions with a negative or false premise.

DO ask for clarification if you don’t understand a question.

DO keep it simple.

DO immediately correct misstatements of facts or incorrect information.

DO repeat your key messages over and over.

DON’T speculate on cause or responsibility.

DON’T become combative.

DON’T be flippant.

DON’T give your personal opinions.

DON’T buy-in to reporter’s assumptions.

DON’T say too much (know when to stop).

DON’T use techno-speak or jargon.

DON’T play favorites. Treat all media equally.

DON’T repeat negative ideas or words from the question back to the reporter.

DON’T go “off the record.” Nothing is off the record.

DON’T say “no comment.” If you cannot answer a question, just say so and give a brief explanation why.

DON’T lie.

Want to schedule a media training session in 2024? Reach out to us at [email protected]. #mediatraining #presentationtraining #crisiscommunication