Media Interviews 101

By: Lara Strazdin, Public Relations Director


It’s a dream opportunity – an interview with the Dayton Daily News or WHIO-TV to talk about your latest project. You know your business inside and out. That’s all you need to know, right? Well, not exactly.

Before a media interview, it’s essential to review some simple tips in order to communicate your messages clearly and provide the reporter with the information he or she is seeking. Follow these guidelines for success, and if you are still unsure, call the P/O/N PR team for a quick coaching session.


Interview prep:

•         Know the reporter, publication or program and audience. Have a goal in mind for the interview. Prepare three or four key messages that sum up what you want to say. Jot down questions you may be asked, as well as appropriate answers.


General interview tips:

•         In a media interview, you want to speak in “headlines” – offer your main point or conclusion first, briefly and directly, then support it with facts or “proof points.”

•         Don’t over-answer – short answers are better than long. Speak clearly in words that everyone can understand. Avoid jargon and “corporate speak.”

•         Don’t know the answer? Don’t fake it. If appropriate, assure the reporter you will find and provide the needed facts in a timely manner.

• Never say “no comment.” Bridge to what you can talk about, for example: “I can’t talk about specific numbers, but I can tell you that we’re having our best year ever.”

Most of all, remember: Preparation = Success!





Penny Ohlmann Neimann

The Ohlmann Group has a rich history that began in Dayton, Ohio in 1949, where the agency was founded as Penny and Penny by Bob Penny and his wife Jean. In 1964, Walter Ohlmann joined the firm. Ralph Neiman came on in 1969 and the firm became Penny/Ohlmann/Neiman. In 2011, P/O/N was renamed The Ohlmann Group to better reflect the agency's ongoing evolution and collaborative nature.

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