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Interview Techniques

To pitch stories to the media, consider good news "hooks" - fresh and unique perspectives on issues that affect people's lives in familiar ways. Then, keep in mind the following guidelines:

  • Give your conclusion first. When talking to the media, prepare one message you want to impart and repeat it. Repeat it often as you explain how you reached that conclusion.
  • If you want to be quoted, be quotable. Present simple, colorful examples of the message you want to get across.
  • Summarize! If you can't, the reporter certainly won't. Resist the urge to explain all the details - You know the facts, their particulars, and the details beyond that. Often, reporters don't seek to learn them. They seek to report them.
  • Be a resource - Develop the reputation that you are a source who has accurate information, meets deadlines, and provides clever, insightful quotes on specific issues.
  • Be able to say, "I don't know." - Remember that you belong to a professional society that can provide connections to colleagues who may have more details. If you are asked for information you are uncertain of, ask the reporter for his/her deadline and contact ANS to identify an alternative resource that will address their questions.

Last updated June 27, 2012, 8:47am CDT.

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