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Man with a hat looking outside of the window.by: Katie Kern, Marketing & PR Director
@katiekern

Want to know the secret behind a great media interview? The almighty media briefing book. Prior to any media interview, we prepare a thorough briefing book to introduce a client or company spokesperson to each individual media outlet and interviewer.

As part of any good public relations strategy, the briefing book enables the spokesperson to gain a level of comfort and confidence regarding the interview. A well-written briefing book helps ensure a smooth interview process for increased media coverage.

The following tips are designed to help you prepare a “frenzy worthy” briefing book:

  1. Decide on a uniform format. The briefing book should have a structured format. Each book should contain important elements like the interview date, time, location, and full details on the publication and the writer to make it easy for your client to navigate.
  1. Generate a profile for each reporter/editor. Include a short bio, headshot, topics they cover, interests, and past positions. Then go a step further and include the journalist’s Twitter handle so the spokesperson can check which stories they’re sharing and retweeting—this provides a fuller picture of their interests. The goal is to offer clients a snapshot image of who the reporter/editor is and what they’d enjoy hearing and/or writing about.
  1. Include the journalist’s recent articles. And make sure the client reads them! Let’s be honest, reporters/journalists appreciate a confidence booster. They love people to reference their work. This step demonstrates that you did your homework and can be an icebreaker to start the conversation off on the right foot.
  1. Provide talking points. Based on your research, recommend talking points and key messages for your client. Talking points should vary by publication, based on its regular features and sections.
  1. No surprises. It is important that all details in the book are factual, accurate, and up to date. The spokesperson will be relying on this information to prepare for the interview, so it’s essential that it is correct. There is nothing worse for both parties than supplying a misspelled name or the wrong publication (e.g., the editor or journalist is now at a new company).

Interviews can be nerve wracking. A well put together briefing book will enable your clients to walk confidently into any interview and have a productive conversation with each journalist they meet.