Preparing for a media interview takes some time to get right.

I attended a business expo In April and met one of the editors at the local Amador Ledger-Dispatch newspaper. She said the paper prints local business profiles and offered to publish a story about Butow Communications Group.

I accepted and on May 29 I spoke to a reporter at Ledger-Dispatch headquarters in Jackson. When I left the building, I chided myself because I thought I could answer all the reporter’s questions easily and I didn’t.

After I returned to my home office, I e-mailed the reporter to thank her and sent her some additional information, which she added to the article.

The article appeared on June 4 and it presented my business in a good light, though I wonder why the reporter included an extra service I don’t offer.

Preparing your interview could be for a newspaper like the June 4, 2019 issue of the Amador Ledger-Dispatch

Here are some things I learned from my experience and from reading online about preparing for a media interview.

  1. Always prepare and don’t think you know all the answers.
  2. Ask the reporter about the interview topics so you know them. The reporter asked me some community-related questions and I stumbled through the answers.
  3. Make a list of key message points, and here’s a good article on the Change Conversations website about creating a strong message.
  4. Have strong quotes ready for the reporter, which I lacked.
  5. Be concise. I prattled on during parts of the interview.

I also did some things right:

  • Wear business attire. I wore my business polo shirt and hat because the reporter took pictures after the interview.
  • Thank the reporter. I thanked her after the interview and after the article was published.
  • I highlighted my community connections by going off-topic a couple of times.

In sum, I learned from this experience and this article is an important building block for my business. My next challenge: build on it.