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University of Minnesota media interview guidelines

  • Identify two or three key points you want to make.
  • Back up your main points with evidence (generally best to avoid hypotheticals).
  • Give an example – tell a story – something personal works best.
  • Remember the three C’s
    • Concise. Keep your points brief. Answer in short sentences.
    • Conversational. Ditch the jargon or academic-ese. Instead, talk about issues in a way your audience can understand. How would you tell your neighbor about this?
    • Connect. Help audience members understand how they are affected.
  • Stay calm and focus on your key points.
  • Silence is OK! Taking a moment after a question is asked to pause. and think about your answer is perfectly fine. It's also OK to ask a reporter to repeat the question.
  • Never feel obligated to answer a question if you’re not sure about your answer. Just tell the reporter you’ll get that information and call them back.
  • Ask the reporter when his or her deadline is. Be sensitive to their need to get the information from you and write the story quickly. That’s just the nature of their business.

 


Media interview transitions