The Dos and Don’ts of Media Interviews: Tips From a Boutique PR Agency

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Media interviews can be both thrilling and nerve-wracking. As a seasoned boutique PR agency, we’ve helped our clients get through thousands of media interviews. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a first-timer, it’s crucial to strike the right balance between being informative and engaging. However, sometimes things just don’t go accordingly to plan. But fear not! We’re here to help you master the art of media interviews with a dash of professionalism, a sprinkling of humor and a pinch of charisma. In this blog, we’ll explore the dos and don’ts to ensure your next media appearance leaves a lasting impression.


The Dos:

Do: Prepare Like a Pro
DO: Before the interview, make sure you do your homework. Research the media outlet, the journalist, and the topic at hand. Prepare key messages and talking points to keep the conversation on track. If you have a publicist or boutique PR agency working with you, they should prepare a media brief to give you the information you’ll need to know about the outlet, interviewer, and topics at hand. 
DON’T: Don’t wing it! You might end up discussing your cat’s new diet when you should be talking about your company’s key messaging. Make sure you practice your talking points beforehand, and find ways to come back to them if you find yourself getting off track. 
Do: Mind Your Manners
DO: Be polite and courteous to everyone you encounter during your media engagement. The journalist interviewing you is likely very busy, but they’re taking time out of their day to talk with you because they found your story interesting. A smile and a thank-you can go a long way! 
DON’T: Don’t forget your manners. Snapping at the intern for offering you water, or rolling your eyes at the interviewer’s questions is not a good look. 
Do: Keep It Simple
DO: Use clear, concise language. Remember, not everyone watching or reading is an expert in your field. 
DON’T: Avoid jargon and technical terms unless you’re sure your audience will understand. No one wants to feel like they need a decoder ring to decipher your interview.
Do: Tell a Story
DO: Craft your responses into a narrative. People love stories, and a well-told anecdote can make your point more relatable. 
DON’T: Don’t go off on tangents that lead to nowhere. Stick to the point and avoid the rabbit holes.
Do: Engage with the Audience
DO: Make eye contact with the camera or the interviewer, and imagine you’re having a one-on-one conversation with the viewers or readers.
DON’T: Don’t stare blankly into space or fidget nervously. You’ll come across as disinterested or untrustworthy.


The Don’ts:

Don’t: Dodge Questions
DO: Address tough questions head-on. If you don’t know the answer, admit it and offer to find out or point to someone who can provide the information. It’s better to be honest and factual, then to accidentally say something untruthful or incorrect. 
DON’T: Don’t try to dodge or deflect questions. The avoidance tactic doesn’t sit well with most audiences, and instead makes it look like you’re hiding something. 
Don’t: Say Negative Comments
DO: Keep your comments positive and constructive, even when discussing challenging topics. Try to offer your solutions or alternative perspectives if you have something topical to criticize.
DON’T: Don’t resort to negative, controversial comments or personal attacks. You might score some short-term attention, but it won’t be in your favor in the long run.
Don’t: Forget About Your Body Language
DO: Maintain good posture, and use open body language. Smile when appropriate and nod to show you’re actively listening. Even if your interview isn’t being recorded, it’s essential to show your interviewer that you’re engaged in the conversation and happy to be talking with them. 
DON’T: Don’t slouch, cross your arms, or roll your eyes during the interview. Your body language speaks volumes.
Don’t: Be Too Long-Winded
DO: Keep your responses concise and on-topic, especially in a fast-paced interview. Once you’ve answered the question at hand, try your best to take pause and leave room for the interviewer’s follow-up questions.
DON’T: Don’t ramble on endlessly. You risk losing your audience’s interest and the interviewer’s patience.
Don’t: Panic Under Pressure
DO: Stay calm, collected, and composed, even when faced with challenging questions or unexpected technical difficulties. Remember, sometimes things don’t go perfectly to plan, but staying flexible and willing to adjust as necessary is key. 
DON’T: Don’t let panic take the wheel. Sweating profusely or muttering expletives on live TV is a surefire way to make headlines for all the wrong reasons. Take a deep breath, relax, and try to have fun! 


Navigating media interviews can be an art form, blending professionalism with just the right touch of charm and humor. Remember to prepare, be polite, keep it simple, tell a story, and engage your audience. On the flip side, avoid dodging questions, negative comments, poor body language, long-windedness, and panicking under pressure. By mastering these dos and don’ts, you’ll not only leave a memorable impression but also build credibility and trust with your audience. So go ahead, rock that interview, and remember to bring your A-game along with your sense of humor—it’ll make the whole experience a lot more enjoyable for everyone involved! For more tips from our boutique PR agency on how to master media relations, click here