Are you preparing for an interview or to appear on a podcast? You can make a bigger splash by taking some time to prepare.
Being asked to feature your company in an industry magazine is akin to being given a VIP pass to an elite club – it’s exciting, prestigious, and slightly nerve-wracking. Participating in such an event can be a very positive step for your company. However, how should you prepare for such an event, and how can you ensure the interview stays on the right track? Let’s dive into some practical steps to help you navigate this exciting journey.
- Know Your Audience: The first thing to consider is the audience of the magazine. You want to tailor your message to resonate with them. Understand their demographics, interests, and concerns. This way, you can emphasize aspects of your company that will appeal to them most, while being mindful of competitors who may also be reading the article.
- Define Your Narrative: Determine the key message or story you want to convey about your company. Having a clear, authentic narrative is essential to successful brand communication. Make sure your story aligns with your brand identity and values.
- Anticipate Questions: Try to predict the questions you might be asked and prepare thoughtful, concise responses. Consult with your team and even consider role-playing the interview. This can help to minimize surprises and keep the conversation on track.
- Prepare Facts and Figures: Ensure you have accurate, up-to-date information about your company. This includes financial data, customer statistics, and key achievements. You want to be able to support your claims with solid evidence.
- Media Training: If you’re not accustomed to speaking to the press and the stakes of the interview are potentially very high, consider media training. This can help you to communicate effectively, manage difficult questions, and present your company in the best light. If public speaking is a challenge, consider joining a local Toastmasters club. (You can find a Toastmasters club near you at this link.) It is a low-cost way to work on your communication skills.
During the Interview
- Stay Focused on Your Narrative: Throughout the interview, redirect the conversation towards your key message or story. Journalists may have their own agenda, but it’s important to steer the conversation in a way that aligns with your goals.
- Be Transparent, but Tactful: Honesty and discretion are vital. If you’re asked a difficult question, address it honestly but tactfully. You want to show that you’re transparent but don’t want to divulge information that could harm your company.
- Stay Calm and Composed: Regardless of the questions or the interview’s direction, stay composed. If a question catches you off guard, take a moment to gather your thoughts before responding.
- Use Anecdotes: People respond to stories and some of the best vignettes you might not have even thought to use until you are in the interview. Don’t be afraid to go off script with an anecdote that adds insight to the narrative. Use them to illustrate your points and make you and your company more relatable.
- End on a High Note: Conclude the interview with a positive, forward-looking statement about your company. This leaves a lasting impression and helps shape the article’s narrative. A compelling final statement will resonate with the journalist and help shape the crafting of the story.
Being featured in an industry magazine can be a golden opportunity to increase your company’s visibility and credibility. However, like any significant opportunity, it requires careful preparation and strategic execution. By knowing your audience, defining your narrative, preparing for potential questions, staying focused, and ending on a high note, you can ensure that your company shines brightly under the spotlight of media attention.