We all know it takes work to secure a virtual media interview. It takes credibility and reputation to get a journalist to select you as a source. Yet, scheduling a call with a reporter is merely the first step to nailing positive coverage. Here are 5 tips that will guide you through the virtual interview process.
1. Know your stuff
Virtual interviews are becoming more and more common in the journalism industry because they’re time-saving. A journalist could have several interviews booked in a day, meaning you’ll need to stand out to ensure that you’re featured. As tempting as it may be, it’s typically not the best idea to wing it, especially when you’ve got the time to prepare. You’ll come across as an expert if you have key messaging to cover during the interview. This keeps you on-topic and journalists will appreciate your conciseness.
2. Avoid industry jargon
Things can get lost in translation online. To keep it clear, keep in mind that terms which you use every day at work won’t be accessible to the public. You can make your interviewer’s job easier by explaining each term you use. This way, they won’t need to do extra research after speaking to you. Journalists will come back to someone who doesn’t speak in code since they want their work to be as understandable as possible.
3. When in doubt, keep the camera on
It’s industry standard for journalists to keep their cameras on during interviews because it can be awkward talking to a blank screen. They want you to feel comfortable, so they’ll likely have it on. It’s not a bad idea to arrive a few minutes early to make sure your background is suitable, and the lighting is flattering. You wouldn’t want to be distracted by your own video! Knowing that you look professional will keep you focused on what you’re saying.
4. Speak in quotes
Speaking in broken-up or improper sentences makes it difficult for journalists to incorporate your quotes into their work. You could even miss out on being included if your key messaging is lost. To avoid this, speak in proper sentences. Since you’re doing the interview online, you could even prepare some quotes that are easy to remember. Plus, journalists will naturally gravitate towards you if you’re a source that’s quote-worthy.
5. Don’t forget to say thank you
Always follow up with an email after a successful virtual media interview. All you need to do is send a quick “thank you for your time” and a reporter will remember it. In this email, add a reminder that you’re available for future interviews on this topic or others that are relevant to your work.
All these tips will help you nail that online interview. You’ll likely become a go-to source for that journalist. Once your name is out there, other journalists will also want an interview since you’ve proven yourself as a reliable and trustworthy source.