Research what else the reporter has written. What topics does he or she cover? Are the stories factual? Is the tone neutral or provocative? Use this information, along with weighing the pros and cons of being a part of the story, to make your decision about an interview.
• Anticipate questions. Assuming you decide to go ahead, make a thorough list of what you expect to be asked. What basic questions do you anticipate? What questions would you rather not answer? What is the one question you dread?
As uncomfortable as it might be, it’s critically important to list these and then develop your answers. Review them, refine them. On the flip side, what is the one question you would love to answer if only someone would ask you? Make sure that during the course of the interview you ask it and answer it.
Taking the next step
The next step is developing your key messages. It’s important to provide solid, factual information during an interview; it’s equally important to be strategic and make sure you’re communicating the messages that are important to you and your company. You have that opportunity during an interview. That will be the focus next month, along with some practical tips.
Lisa Lochridge is the director of public affairs for the Florida Fruit & Vegetable Association in Maitland. She can be reached at 321-214-5206 or firstname.lastname@example.org.