July 16, 2013
Interviews are an opportunity for our clients to spread the word about their companies first hand. They are also a time when clients get to feel the work we do for them first hand, which is why attention to detail is crucial every step of the way. We coordinate interviews for our clients every day and below are some best practices we recommend for turning a good opportunity into a great experience (and awesome coverage) for your client:
- Align time zones – Interviews rarely happen in the same city or state – and with international clients we know first hand how important time zones are. Be clear when you set up an interview to specify what “time” you are talking in. Use an outlook calendar invite to make sure everyone is in sync for the same hour.
- Test phone numbers – Will your spokesperson be in a conference room, on their cell or in their office? Get the numbers you need in advance and make sure they work so you can ensure a smooth connection.
- Set expectations – Clients need to know how much time to set aside, what level of detail they should be prepare to share and understand the audience the reporter is writing for. Reporters need to know the extent of a spokespersons experience and knowledge. Aligning on these things ahead of time will make for a productive conversation for everyone involved.
- Prep for success – Detailed talking points can go a long way to help prepare for an interview. Even the most seasoned spokesperson benefits from having his or her key messages and goals for the interview clearly defined before the conversation starts. Offer to conduct mock interviews or review talking points with spokespeople prior to their interview so they feel comfortable and confident when they connect with media.
- Over-confirm with everyone – Sure, all parties were ready last week, but that doesn’t mean they remember the appointment today. Make sure you confirm with both the reporter and your client within an hour of the appointment so you know their schedules and priorities have not changed.
- Follow up fast – They did the grunt work and now its your turn to hustle. Before the day ends make sure you provide feedback and thanks to your spokesperson, and that you touch base with the reporter to verify their needs were met.