Five Things You Should Not Do During a Media Interview

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A media interview in any type of media platform is an awesome opportunity to boost your visibility and credibility.  It can immediately boost your sales and open up the doors for other interviews on a larger stage.  A good interviewee learns how to be well prepared while also being able to communicate extemporaneously but they also know not to charter off into deep waters and fall into the trap of the things you shouldn’t do during a media interview.

1)  Don’t lie, guess or speculate:  Mark Twain once said, “If you tell the truth you won’t have to remember anything.”  Don’t try to impress a reporter or audience during the media interview by making yourself look better than you are.  That kind of behavior can come back to bite you.  Also, if you don’t know the answer to a question, just admit you don’t know. It’s better not to know than to think you know and be wrong.

2)  Don’t get upset or angry:  As a veteran journalist, I can tell you that some media folks know how to get on your last nerve and bring out the worst in a person during an interview.  Sometimes they will play devil’s advocate just to see how you react.  Don’t take the bait.  That is when you need to be the most calm, cool, collected and professional.

3)  Don’t talk about information outside of your area of expertise:  If you are a writer of romance novels, you are not qualified to discuss the works of a science fiction author.  If you’re a magazine article writer you can’t  talk about publishing a book. You might be an excellent branding strategist but you have no business critiquing the work of a Health Fitness coach.  You could be good cook in the kitchen but you aren’t qualified to critique what Rachel Ray does.  Stay in your lane and impress with your own, unique expertise during the media interview.

4)  Don’t bad mouth others:  If you can’t say something nice about a person, don’t say anything at all.  We’ve all heard that saying before, right?  No one likes to have less than kind things said about them. If you say something that could be viewed as mean-spirited about someone (especially a competitor in your field) during your interview, you may end up doing more harm to your own reputation in the long run.  The reporter may ask you how you feel about another person or may try to compare you to your competition who is doing better than you.  If you react and it’s recorded, you can’t take it back.  And that will be the clip that gets played over and over and over again.

5)  Don’t act like you’re all that:  Never act like it’s a privilege for the host to have YOU on their show.  It’s an honor to be invited as a guest so act that way.  A condescending tone will come across on the airwaves.  Be humble and thankful that someone wants to share your story with their audience.  Remember, it’s THEIR show.

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