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Media Training

Interview Tips and Techniques | October 16, 2015


Procedures and Protocol

Function of the Office of University Communications (OUC)
How to work with the OUC

Media Interview Tips and Techniques

Before the Interview: Message Discipline
During the Interview: Tips and Techniques
After the Interview: Helpful Hints
The Office of University Communications

What We Do
The OUC is your #1 advocate and support in media
relations. Our team of professionals work together not only
to promote the Howard brand, but also to protect it, that
includes the images of its faculty, staff, and students.

All media inquiries must go through the

OUC. (Faculty, Students, and Staff)

We help students, faculty and staff to navigate media

requests. (Preparation, media training, interview facilitation,
strategic messaging, etc.)
The Office of University Communications

How We Work
We approach creative problem solving with a 5-phased process
that has evolved from years of serving and observing the needs of
the Howard community. Understanding this process can help to
quickly move your project through the phases to successful
Information Gathering
Creative Development
The Office of University Communications

University Outlets
Whats New at Howard Submit to
Howard Magazine
Capstone (Under construction)
Press Releases
News Stories / Newsroom (subject to change)
Bison Beat (Presidents Official Newsletter)
Social Media (Facebook/ Twitter/ Tumbler)
University Calendar Submit to
A Reporter Called Me! What do I do?

Procedure Steps
Call/email the Office of University Communications.
Give the reporters contact information.
The OUC will reach out to the reporter to determine the reason
and focus of the interview request. OUC must clear the
Provide media clearance for on-site interviews on campus
(unauthorized media will be escorted off campus).
Provide preparation/ media training/ strategic
messaging etc for the interviewee if necessary.
If there is an issue with the interview (misquotes or inaccurate
information), we work to fix it.
The reporter's role is to
Report tell a story, provide
er timely and interesting

Your objective is to tell your
story and build support for
your position
Interaction with media is not
A conversation
A test

Interaction with media is a formal,

professional exchange of information
between a reporter and a newsmaker.
Message Discipline

Why do we need the right


To position you as a Howard University

Tailor your message to your audience
Avoid jargon
Give real examples

Whether youre talking to 2 or 2,000 people!

During the Interview
Know your message, and turn every
Be prepared question into an opportunity to say it

Dont allow the reporter to set the tone;

Set the pace set a comfortable pace by pausing to
gather thoughts

If you dont know the answer, say so,

Be candid but tell the reporter you will get them
the information

Youre always Today more than ever, every comment

made to a reporter should be
on considered public
Easy ways to reinforce your messages

Ive talked about

The most important many issues today.
thing to remember It boils down to
is these three

Let me make one

thing perfectly
Blocking and Bridging

Blocking halts the direction of an interview

Nolet me explain
I dont know thatwhat I do know
The real issue here is
What youre really asking is

Bridging helps you move from the reporters

agenda to your agenda and messaging
Yesand in addition that
Let me put that in perspective
Keys to Success
Posture and Eye Contact
Sit as far back in your chair as possible
Lean slightly forward
Maintain eye contact with interviewer
Physical Gestures
All gestures should be in the triangle from the bottom of your
chin to your lower chest, in the area below your shoulders
Varied Vocal Patterns
Highlight points with variation in voice pitch and intensity
Pause for effect
Speak slightly slower than normal
Keep a relaxed tone
Keys to Success (Television)
Take off nametags and buttons before interview
Do a mirror check
Dress in neutrals and avoid large patterns
Dont wear big jewelry
Dont wear too much or too bright a shade of lipstick
Darker suits are best
Red, maroon or gray ties without distracting patterns are
Socks should be same color or darker than suit
Keys to Success (Radio)

Keep your answers short (generally only one or

two sound bites will be used)
If it is a phone interview, stand up
Be expressive and animated
Speak clearly and at a moderate pace
In Summary

Know what key points you want to

Before make before the interview

Stick to your message

Keep answers concise
During If time permits, use illustrative examples

As You
Conclude interview by summarizing
Conclud main point(s)