Media Interview Training – Planning

media-training-tipsKnowing the right questions to ask, planning and advance preparation. They all make the difference between an excellent media interview and a snoozer. We’ll help you learn what the media want, what they need to do a story, and how you can prepare in advance to ace your next radio, print or TV  interview.

Check out our newest collection of current media interview tips and media training resources now located on our PR and Social Media Insight curated pages on

You’ll find everything you need to help you learn about what the media needs and wants from spokespeople, how to plan and prepare for media interviews.

Lots more media training at TV Interview Clips and  Media Interview Training – Tips & Resources as well.  Sites with a  W are PR Coach “winners.”  Note, some sites are PDF documents requiring patience while opening.

Media Interview Planning Archive

For researchers, students and for writers looking for historical articles, the archive below has our original best media interview planning posts from 2008 to 2013. It’s useful if you’re looking to add to the newer media training and interview planning resources above.

3M Corporate Key Messages
3M’s key messages and proof points are brief, well-crafted and effective.

4 Questions to Ask Before Your Next Media Interview
Knowing to ask these questions before an interview will keep you out of trouble.

20 Tips for Better Interviewing
Let’s play turn table! These interviewing tips are for journalists but you’ll learn plenty by reviewing them.   W

60-Second Elevator PR
Jeffrey Geibel shows how to develop your 60-sec elevator pitch, useful in many situations from media to cocktail parties.

Are You Ready for Your Media Interview?
Paul Lima provides the tips to help you plan for media interviews.

Be Careful What You Say Or That Media Interview Could Backfire
Two good examples show how being unprepared for your interview can hurt you.

Blind Dates: Preparing for a Media Interview
Here’s what to-do and what not-to-do in your next interview.

Company Spokesperson: Choose Carefully
Margaret McGann provides useful advice.

Communicating Science
Scientists, engineers or any spokesperson will benefit from this communications and media relations toolkit from the American Association for the Advancement of Science.  W

Develop Your Message in 3 Points
Really useful explanation of how to frame key messages comparing the scientist with what the public expects.

Developing Key Messages for Media Interviews
Practical tips on putting together and using key messages in media interviews.

Eyes on Your Message [Video 2:38]
TJ Walker tells how to develop and use key messages for media interviews.

Five Ways to Prepare for a Media Interview
Really practical, to the point interview prep advice from Harvey Leach.  W

Getting Ready for a Media Interview [Video 1:58]
Animated media training tips to help you succeed in your next interview.

Going Off the Record
Ben Silverman says it can be done carefully. My advice is “never off the record.”

Handling the Media
Civicus developed this thorough media relations guide. Includes many practical interview tips, how-tos and much more.

Handling the Media – A Self-Study Course
Helena Louring Jensen’s module on “Interviews” has excellent tips including: what to say/not say; talking points; pre-interview Qs; and hedging successfully.   W

How Can We Get the Message?
Learn the difference between “key messages” and “key messaging.”

How to Create the Perfect Media Message
Superb 7-part media training advice.

How to Deal With the Media
The agriculture media tips will help you prepare and succeed.

How to Dress for a Media Interview: Attire
Valuable tips to enhance presentation and credibility on TV.

How to Keep Your Public Relations Strategy “On-Message”
Here’s how to use key messages to help you stay focused and effective in your media encounters.

How to Prepare for a Press Interview
No matter the opportunity, preparation for press interviews is a must.

How to Prepare for a Television Interview
TV requires some unique preparation and here’s how to get yourself ready.

How to Read a News Story
A good look inside a news story, how it’s put together and an article example to review. Will help you think about your next interview

How to Work With the Media: Tip Sheet
These APA tips will help you get ready for the next media encounter.

How to Write a Statement
A statement is clearer, faster and sometimes more useful for a reporter. Here’s how to write a good one.

How to Write the Perfect Media Elevator Pitch
If you can answer the question “What do you do?” you’re half way to an effective media interview writes Brad Phillips.

How to Write Talking Points
Good talking points are clear, concise and easily delivered. Here’s how to put good talking points together.

I’m Eating a Cookie: An Instant Media Classic
Flippant health official looks bad evading comment; later fired.  W

Ins and Outs of Interviews
Helpful interview guidelines, especially handling tough questions, pitfalls, redirecting and more.   W

It’s All About Soundbites
Learn how to create and use soundbites for successful interviews.

Key Messages
Dr. Judith Newman shows the benefits of key messages and to prepare and put them in action.

Key Messages Deliver ROI
Kami Huyse looks at the anatomy of a key message with useful examples.

Lose the Jargon!
Great video tip on simplifying your message from Brad Phillips.  W

Media Advocacy Tips
With a media strategy, you can advance your goals. Here’s how to put a strategy together.

Media Tips for the Novice
New to the media spotlight? Aileen Pincus offers the basics.

Media Training: Coaching Tips for Media Interviews
Executives must know what the media wants and needs.

Media Training: What It Is and Why It Just Might Save You
Wondering about media training? Aileen Pincus tells how it could save you.

Meet the Press: Tips for Your First Media Interview
It’s all about anticipation, preparation and practice in advance of the real thing.

Message Mapping, Risk and Crisis Communication
This paper provides a detailed approach to strategic message development. Worth reading!   W

More than Media Training
A good lesson about key messages for all employees.

Online Media – You are the Source
Excellent tips on online communications for scientists or any spokesperson from AAAS.  W

Op Eds & Letters to the Editor – Tips
Here’s a practical guide to op-eds and letters to the editor.

Opinion and Commentary
Here are a few things to keep in mind as you produce op-eds and letters to the editor. From the AAAS.

Preparing for a Media Interview
Full Circle offers planning, presentation, print, radio and TV interview tips.

Preparing for a Television Interview
Learn the unique things you need to do to get ready for prime time TV.

Preparing for a Critical Press Interview
A lesson and three important ways to prepare for a tough interview from Rick Amme.

Preparing for Interviews
Useful tips to help anyone plan for media interviews from the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Preparing for Media Interviews
David Angerer’s suggestions will help you plan, get ready, and deliver great interviews.

Preparing for the Interview
Here’s how to get yourself ready to be interviewed by the media.

Public Relations Basics: Preparing for an Interview
Ten tips to help you get set for your next interview.

Public Relations Basics: Tips for Your First TV Interview
Ben Silverman shares 12 tips to get you ready for your TV interview.

Public Relations in the Era of the Sound Bite
Remember that sound bites rule on radio and TV. Get your messages right and the media will love you!

Reuters Foundation Reporters Handbook
Ever wondered how reporters work? This handbook is an excellent guide for reporters and it will help you learn to give them what they need for a story.   W

Sample Key Message
A short and sweet example of KMs from Texas Commission on the Arts.

Sample Q & AAAs
Here’s an excellent template and example of a Q&A on global warming.

Science Communication Practical Guides
These 20 guides are designed to help journalists report effectively and accurately on science stories. Interesting reading!

Secret Layoff Talking Points Sent to Entire Company in All-Time Classic Email Fu***Up
Sometimes the best laid plans, and talking points, simply go sideways. Gawker highlights a screw up of the highest order by a media agency in this painful lesson.

Spokesperson Training: WK Kellogg Foundation
An in-depth media training document that features pointers, pre-interview Qs, how to stay in control, maintaining focus, TV and radio tips and more. Very useful.   W

Standard Press Kits
Here are some tips on what every press should contain, from CCMC.

Taking the Fizz Out of Soda Contracts: A Guide to Community Action
This guide, produced by Leaders Encouraging Activity & Nutrition (LEAN), is one of the best strategic plans for social action we’ve ever seen. Media relations, issues monitoring, tools like soundbites and presentation tips and tactics are all included.   W W

Television and Radio Media Tips
Media interview planning, presentation, and post-interview tips

Telling Powerful Stories
Storytelling helps you connect better with your audience.

The 21 Most Essential Media Training Links
Brad Phillips shares 21 excellent media training resources.  W W

The Inconvenient Truth about Al Gore’s Public Relations Problem
The key question is should he speak up and admit his infidelities?

The Most Important Thing in PR That No One Is Doing: Media Training
Media training may be your most important investment in your brand or reputation. Rodger Roeser adds seven tips to get you started.

The Next “Stop” After Media Training
So what’s next after media training? Peter Baron adds three tips to take you farther.

Three Questions Reporters Always Ask
Listen up pilgrims. Good media training tips ahead.

Tips for Working With the Media
Remember to prepare, create “thinking points”, be a good interview subject and manage a crisis.

TJ Walker Behind the Scenes Preparing for CBS Sunday Morning Interview Media Training [Video 3:22]
Walker takes you behind the scenes as he preps for his CBS TV interview.

Top Tips: Always Be Prepared
ESRC has preparation tips and five key questions to ask when the media call.

Using Statements in Public Relations
Statements are fast, concise and very reporter-friendly, a valuable PR tool.

Verbal White Space: The Importance of Pausing 
Learning to use verbal white space – or a short pause – allows the audience to process your ideas on their terms.  W

What Every Executive Needs to Know When a Reporter Comes Calling
Aileen Pincus offers tips to get you primed before a reporter calls.

What to Wear on TV
Wondering what to wear on your TV interview? Keep it simple.

Working with Reporters – Interview Tips
American Association for the Advancement of Science offers media tips to help scientists and engineers communicate science. Useful for any communicator.  W

Worst- Case Questions – Your Secret Weapon in a Crisis
Don’t get blind sided. Prepare worst-case Q & A’s and messages to help you respond if things go sideways in a media interview.

You and the Media: A Researcher’s Guide for Dealing Effectively With the Media
This extensive media relations guide from the American Geophysical Union is filled with practical tips and tactics to make your media relations much more effective.   W