Some tips from The Australian Conservation Foundation about how to do a great media interview.
ACF Community volunteers are working hard to elevate climate damage and nature in the public conversation – to grow a powerful community, reconnect people with our living world and move them to take action. Our work can sometimes put us in the spotlight with local media, so it’s handy to know how to give a good interview!
You may be asked to give an interview on radio, over the phone, in person at an event, or on camera. Here are some tips to help you nail it:
Before the interview
- Do some prep – think about the kinds of questions the interviewer might ask, and prepare some responses.
- Role-play with a trusted friend – record it to watch back, and critique your performance.
- Have some facts ready – make a list of talking points and review them before the interview. Make sure you don’t read them straight from the sheet though; use them to jog your memory if need be and return to the conversation.
During the interview
- Breathe – take deep breaths and breathe slowly to help yourself stay calm (or as calm as you can!)
- Take your time – it’s okay to hesitate and put some thought in before you answer. Use a filler if you need to give yourself some more space, such as “That’s a really interesting question…”
- Stay on message – don’t get distracted or let the journalist lead you off topic. Be clear and focused and stick to your key messages.
- Pivot – Sometimes you will get a tricky question thrown to you or one that derails your message – time to “pivot” and reframe the question! This might seem unnatural at first, but with practise it’s quite straight forward. Acknowledge the question, use a bridge, and then end with your key message. For example:
“Yes that is an issue, but what we’re focusing on here today is climate damage.”
“Some people may say that, but our research shows that the majority of people support strong climate action”
“Sure, but the real issue here is burning coal is destroying our planet.”
After the interview
- Reflect – what worked? What did you do well? What could you work on for next time?
- Tell us how you went so we can track our collective impact
- Celebrate your hard work!