Amira Roberts

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10 things journalists love when dealing with PR or spokespeople

You're lined up for a media interview and you've done plenty of preparation. But if you really want to impress the journalist, there are a few simple tricks that will put you in the good books.

Reporters are real people with busy jobs and deadlines to meet. So how can you make it easier for them and ensure your interview runs as smoothly as possible? In our previous post, we talked about the 10 things that journalists hate. Now we want to share some tips that will help improve your professional relationships with journalists – and keep them coming back for more.


  • Be prepared, be positive: Go into the interview with a clear idea of what you want to say and how you want to say it. It will be a huge relief to a time-poor journalist! Also, smile. Be positive about the experience. Journalists do not like being put in front of a spokesperson who clearly does not want to be involved in the process.
  • Deliver quotable quotes: All journalists are hanging out for quality quotes – this can truly make or break a story. So, make it easy for them by rehearsing some short, killer quotes that resonate with your overall message. Do not speak in long, meandering sentences.
  • Keep it simple: You are most likely being interviewed on a topic that you’re an expert on. But the journalist (or their audience) may not have as much knowledge. Use plain language and avoid jargon wherever possible.
  • Give examples: The best way to deliver a message is to talk about real-life examples. Have you used the product / service / program? Can you tell a story about someone who has been impacted? These types of examples provide the important human connection that journalists are looking for.
  • Share your knowledge: Journalists are often expected to write about many different topics, so they will appreciate your insight and background. Don’t assume the journalist has previous knowledge of your subject.
  • Volunteer new information: While it’s true many journalists have pre-prepared questions, these are usually just a starting point. If you can recognise the news value of your information and volunteer it without being prompted, you will make a journalist very happy.
  • Stay calm: It’s easy to get nervous in a media interview, especially if you are new to it. Stay calm and remember you are there to deliver information that you already know. It will help keep the journalist on track.
  • Honesty: We are all human. Sometimes we don’t know the answer to a question. Instead of trying to edge around it, tell the journalist you need to get more information. It will save you both a lot of time and embarrassment.
  • Be available: It’s in your best interests to keep the journalist on side as much as possible. Respond to text messages and emails as you navigate through the process, from pre-interview to publication. Journalists have deadlines to meet!


  • Follow up: Send an email to thank the journalist for their time. Provide any additional information you promised in a timely fashion. Once the story has been published or aired, thank them again and offer to contribute to any future articles if needed. Do not nit-pick at the story. If you have serious concerns with the published content, it needs to be addressed in a professional manner.

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