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Two people enjoying coffee.By: Katie Kern, Marketing & PR Director
@KatieKern

You have secured media interviews for your client. You are excited, they are happy, now what? This is a perfect opportunity to gain exposure and after the coverage comes out, you can share it socially and even use it in future marketing materials. But first, you need to prepare.

While you might be thinking this is no big deal, your client might be feeling differently. So it is now up to you to get them ready. These five tips will help prepare your client to perform with confidence and clarity.

1. Treat an interview like an important meeting

The biggest mistakes that most make is thinking that an interview is going to be easy. You will answer the reporter’s questions, talk about your company, and everything will be fine. This kind of mindset can often lead to saying the wrong thing. When you are too sporadic, you never know where the conversation will go, or what you will say. To have an effective interview, you need to be focused.

Think about the interview like you would for an important business meeting with someone you are meeting for the first time. You need to think strategically. Ask yourself, what do you want to accomplish, what impression are you trying to make and what do you want the reporter to take away from the interview.

2. Know what you are talking about and what the reporter wants to focus on

Before you step foot into any interview, contact the reporter and ask them what they want to talk about before the interview. It is in the reporter’s best interest to make sure the interviewer is well prepared so that you can give comments that are relevant to their piece.

Also, do your research about the reporter and what area he or she covers. If the reporter is from a business magazine, the questions will have a much different focus than from a reporter at a trade magazine. Go online and read the reporter’s past articles. Check their social media accounts and blog posts to find out what they are thinking about. These efforts will be beneficial in the interview.

3. Create speaking points

You need to have your messages written down in advance. This will allow you to craft your messages exactly how you would like them to appear in the final media coverage. Without messages, your statements will probably be less coherent and more likely to be inconsistent across the interviews you give. Consistency is important, as repeated messages help ensure that are you are remembered when audiences hear you across different mediums.

4. Practice

You know the old saying, practice makes perfect. Well, it may not be perfect, but at least you will be well prepared. Rehearse your prepared messages and think about answers to questions that you will most likely be asked. Read your messages and answers out loud to someone else who can give feedback.

5. Relax

Relax. Relate. Release. It’s easier said then done, but knowing that you have taken all of the necessary steps to prepare, at a certain point, you need to stop and trust that you have done the work that needs to be done. Being yourself is the best method. If you can’t relax, you won’t be confident.

Give these 5 tips to your clients before every interview, and they will be in great shape to represent themselves and their company in top form.