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How to master a print interview

By Jason Mudd

39711625_sGetting your message across in a magazine, newspaper or website is important for your brand

Print interviews offer opportunities for more details and depth than other media offer. Below are a few “inside tips” that we give our clients to help them ensure a successful print news interview.



1. Find a suitable location to talk to the reporter (either in person or via telephone) without interruptions.

2. If it’s a phone interview, don’t use the speakerphone – it sounds like you’re in a tunnel.

3. Stand up to talk on the phone.

4. Lean to one side during the call. When you put more pressure on one leg or foot, you sound more authoritative. Quietly switch legs during the call for comfort as needed.

5. Never take the call cold. If you’re not ready, arrange a time for you or the reporter to call back so you can get your thoughts and facts together within the reporter’s deadline.

6. Make sure you have your messages/talking points handy.

7. Explain complex information in simple language. Print reporters need quotes much like television reporters need recorded sound bites, so make your message quotable.

8. Listen carefully to each question.


9. Be sure to ask if the reporter understood your answer or whether she would like you to clarify.

10. In a face-to-face interview, don’t let your guard down. Nothing is “off the record.”

11. Keep the ultimate audience (consumers of the media) in mind instead of focusing on the reporter – the reporter might know more than the reader.

12. Assess the appropriate language level of the reporter and publication and tailor your approach. For example, you would be more technical with Science Magazine than you would with Reader’s Digest.

Remember that everything you say is “on the record.” Even though you’re not being broadcast live, it’s still important to prepare as if your end consumer will hear exactly what you’re saying.

Axia Public Relations is prepared to help you ace your print interview. Feel free to contact the Axia team with further questions, for interview practice or for information on our MediaMaster spokesperson training program.

Spokesperson Training Webinar


jason-mudd-axia-pr-1Jason Mudd, APR, is CEO of Axia Public Relations. He is certified in inbound marketing and is an Emmy Award-winning, accredited public relations practitioner, speaker, author and entrepreneur. Connect with Jason on Twitter @jasonmudd9 and Axia Public Relations @axiapr. Be sure to tweet and share your thoughts below. We’ll read and respond to each of them.

Featured image credit: 123rf.com

Topics: public relations

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