Pr agency dubai – How to handle Media Interviews

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Managing media enquiries or interviews from today’s varied media outlets can be a delicate business. Find out what you need to know in order to get your point across.

Companies that change industry standards or are innovative like Apple / Virgin often attract a lot of attention from the media. Nowadays that interest across the entire spectrum of media ranging from mainstream TV & Radio, newspapers, trade publications and newswires in addition there the new media which called bloggers. So how do you tackle the challenge in a perfect way in order to avoid bad press? If you’ve appointed a PR agency, you can easily put the journo in contact with them or vice versa. The agency will be the first line of defense when it comes to media. They will wet the questions prepare responses and give a clear cut picture to the client on the background of the media outlet and the questions posed. In addition a proactive agency will go out of its way to position its client as an industry thought leader via directly engaging with the media outlets. But if you haven’t hired an agency then the entire paradigm shifts. Please find below a few guidelines as to how to handle that enquiry yourself.

 Laws for Engagement 

You have just received a call from a leading newspaper in the UAE asking you to comment or do a face to face interview which will give your company some very high profile coverage. Sounds tempting right? But once you are there you only to find yourself facing a very inquisitive journalist asking some awkward questions about your firm’s project delay record. To avoid this be well prepared in advance with the basics. For whom is the journalist working? Where will the article/program be published/broadcasted? When? For example, it may run online immediately and be modified for print later. It would be very beneficial also to research and read, listen or watch previous interviews done by the journalist for you to understand his / her interview style. And prepare accordingly. In addition to all this background research you need to engage with the journalist to find out what is the story? Is your firm the main focus for the story or are you being asked to comment on a wider issue? Once you have this clear, you can start thinking about what you want to say on the subject. Bearing in mind it will be seen by your customers, suppliers, employees, community, competitors and other stakeholders. Always ensure that you ask and confirm the deadline or the time slot for doing the interview to ensure that you always submit by or before the date. It’s always good to submit on deadline as this will ensure good rapport with the journalist for future interactions. I will be writing about how to sustain good media relations in my next post.

Off the record statements

“Always remember this golden rule of engagement: everything you say can be published or broadcast exactly and credited to you.

This applies to anything and everything you say before, during and after a media interview; which includes via email or face to face; inclusive of social media like to Tweets / posts and similar media uttering’s; in fact, to anything you say in a public medium where a journalist is present.

How to get through the 1st interview

It’s acceptable to just survive your first press interview. If you lack the confidence, just answer the journalist’s questions with pre planned points without saying anything you shouldn’t. However, do remember that every media interaction is an opportunity to communicate the important aspects about your firm. So preparation is vital if you want to weave the apt messages into your answers in a natural way. Judge the tone of your answers (from formal to friendly) by what you know about the audience of the media outlet and the importance of the subject. Always think about how your answers will reflect on the image of the firm and your personal status.

Finally don’t try to skimp on professional PR agency assistance. If you think you want to get some good media exposure without exposing yourself to risks then always allocate a budget for PR & media training.

Write to me to know more about does & don’ts when it comes to media interviews –

Glisha . G