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Nine questions for a successful media interview

Sarah Travers media interview

So you’ve been promoting your story on social media, sending out press releases, getting in touch with journalists and doing everything you can to make sure your organisation’s message is heard in the media. You really want to secure a media interview for your story. You have no budget for a PR agency, and you’re happy to take the task on yourself. You’ve just awarded yourself ‘top PR’ in your own mind and nipped out for a coffee to tell your friend in the next building all about your hard work. And when you get back to your desk, you have a message to return a journalist’s call – they want an interview. Props to you!! So what do you do next?

Here’s a list of nine questions to ask the journalist to help you prepare:


  1. Collect the basics – name, news organisation, tel contact, Twitter handle
  2. Tell me more about the story you’re working on. Are you approaching the story from any perspective?
  3. Who else are you interviewing?
  4. What’s the format – print, TV, radio, live, over the phone?
  5. What exactly do you need from me?
  6. What journalist will be conducting the interview?
  7. How long will the interview take?
  8. Do you have a deadline? Respect this! Journalists are under huge pressure to meet deadlines, help them out.
  9. Spell your name and organisation name – preferably email it!

When you’re working up your next campaign, careful preparation gives your media interview a greater chance of success. Print off this list to prepare your messaging for an interview that’s more interesting for the viewer, more helpful for the journalist and helps to promote your organisation better.


Three top tips that will transform your networking forever

networking TEDx Speaker Susan HayesCulleton

I had the great fortune to meet the Positive Economist, Susan Hayes, for the first time today. Susan was at DigitalDNA to help Mary McKenna launch the Irish International Business Network in Northern Ireland Apart from the convincing anecdotes she shared on the power of networking, Susan had plenty of practical takeaways to help us all to get more out of events we attend.

Number 1. It’s all about the follow up

Don’t just make space in your diary to attend the event, make sure that you allow time to follow up! After each event, Susan takes the time to think about everyone she’s met, and how she can add value to them. When she follows up after the event, she shares content, makes an introduction or tries in some way to be helpful. That’s the best example of the #giversgain approach to networking that I’ve heard in a long time. Be generous within your network without the expectation of something in return. You’ll find that it comes full circle – positivity breeds positivity! For more on the compelling power of reciprocation, read Robert Cialdini’s classic ‘Influence’, a book on the psychology of persuasion that remains relevant today, even thirty years after it was first published.

Number 2. Take control

Time out of the office is precious. Make sure every event you attend delivers value. Why not ask a prospect or client to accompany you to the next event you’re attending? That way, you get to bask in the positive glow the event creates without the need to go to the trouble of arranging your own event. You get to share your network with your contact, making the event a win-win for you both. For more on this, watch Susan’s TEDxBelfast talk (about the 15 minute mark).

Number 3. Enjoy your network!

The last word on this blog goes to the indomitable Mary McKenna, who convened today’s panel in the first place. Mary doesn’t network to sell more stuff or to find people who benefit her, but to ‘collect interesting people’. It’s back to that #giversgain thing again. Find people you like, enjoy their company, help them out and watch how it all comes back to you.

What about you? Networking, love it or hate it? We hope that this advice from two champion networkers will help you make your networking more interesting and productive.