Media Interview Training Tips & Resources

Media training leads to better media relations

Media interview training tips

Media interviews can range from friendly to hostile and everything in between. Need media training tips, press training or to learn how to answer tough media questions?

Here’s how to prepare in advance, how to handle all types of media interviews and, most important, how to put your best foot forward.

Our Newest Media Training Tips & Resources

media-training-tipsWe’ll get you ready with our newest collection of current media interview tips and media training resources now located on our PR and Social Media Insight curated pages on It’s the newest media training  tips and resources, in addition to the Archive below.

So get ready, get set, get interviewed!

Lots more media training at TV Interview Clips and Media Interview Planning. Sites with a  W are PR Coach “winners.” Note, some sites are PDF documents or video, requiring patience while opening.

Media Training Tips Archive

For researchers, students and for writers looking for historical articles, we’ve retained our archive below with our original best media training tips and posts from 2008 to 2013. More useful media training resources in addition to the current resources above.

4 Tips to Defuse Radio Rants 
Tips to handle crazy callers and other unexpected situations.

5 Golden Rules for TV Interviews
Practical preparation will help get you TV-ready.

5 Tips for a Successful News Media Interview
Steve Wilson offers five quick media interview tips.

5 Ways to Avoid Being Misquoted by Reporters
You can avoid being misquoted by reporters by following a few simple rules.

5 Worst Video Media Disasters of October 
Valuable media training lessons are contained in these video clips.

7 Mistakes Spokespersons Often Make With TV News and Feature Media
There’s actually 10 tips to help you avoid common media interview mistakes.

7 Tips to Avoid These Deadly Interview Sins
Practical media training tips from Margaret McCann.

10 Tips for Successful Sound Bites
Media training 101 from BurrellesLuce.

33 Miners Media Training + News Conference Tips: Crisis Communications
Rick Amme offers crisis media tips and mentions training for the Chilean miners.

AAAS Media Interview Tips
A good set of interview tips for scientists from AAAS.

AAAS Television and Radio Media Tips
These TV and radio tips will make your interviews more effective.

A Guide to Successful Media Interviews
This is a really thorough and useful media interview guide from the National Interagency Fire Center. W

A Guide to Writing Press Releases: Insider Tips From a Newspaper Reporter
This is a really thorough guide including how to write a news release and numerous tips on how to pitch it, what to expect and what reporters need. W

A quick guide to handling media interviews
Infographic from Harvey Leach has basic media interview tips.

A Simple Question, Yes or No? [VIDEO 3:43]
Spokesman for Senator Norm Coleman, on the issue of expensive suits, uses key messaging repeatedly. Effectively? You be the judge.

Acing the Interview: Preparation Is Everything
Preparation for media interviews critical writes Andy Gilman.

Ah Obama’s “60 Minutes” ah Interview Great Except ah for All of the ahs 
Watch for ah, the ah’s.

An Answer to Avoiding the Question
Politicians and other interviewees will have more success if they answer the questions.

Apologies and Non-Apologies: The Rules
When is an apology not an apology? Some excellent tips.

Attire, Makeup and Hair: A Five-Part Series
An excellent five-part series from Brad Phillips to help you look great on TV.  W

Best response may be no response
Jerry Brown says don’t keep a bad story alive.

Broadcast Media and Spokesperson Skills
How to become a powerful spokesperson with these broadcast interview tips from The SPIN Project.

Buzz Machine
This is Jeff Jarvis’ blog about buzz, news and the media.

Can You Stop an On-Air Laughing Fit?
This media training tip from Brad Phillips is, well, too funny.

Catching Flack
Jon Greer’s blog often has excellent spokesperson tips.

Control Media Interviews [VIDEO 2:35]
Rick Amme talks about using controlling media interviews by using the “satisfy and steer” technique to deliver your own key messages. W

DePaul University Media Interview Tips
Here’s a thorough media relations guide with useful interview tips.

Developing Effective Key Messages
A practical guide to developing clear, concise key messages.

Don’t be a Windshield Wiper [VIDEO 0:18]
Allan Bonner shares media interview tips.

Don’t Use Numbers – Use Social Statistics
Improve your interviews by using people-friendly messages not numbers says Brad Phillips.  W

Eight Warning Signs That a Reporter Plans to Flip the Script
Scott Baradell provides eight signals that the media agenda may be changing and prompts you to be wary. W

Five Keys to a Successful Media Interview
A solid set of tips from Thomas Greaney to guide you to better media interviews.

Five Tips for a Successful Media Interview
These five simple tips will help you have a positive interview.

Five Tips To Help Your Next TV Appearance Run Smoothly
TV interview tips from Brad Phillips.

Forensis Attero Nuntius
Trash the legalese for more effective media interviews.

Gotcha TV: Fox News Crews Stalk Bill O’Reilly’s Targets
You may never face an “ambush” interview but understanding how this bad journalism works could save you.

Harvey Leach
UK media trainers’ blog features regular media training and interview tips.

Here Comes Trouble
Candid advice on how a CEO can manage media problems during a crisis.

How to Ace Your Next Interview [VIDEO 2:23]
Karen Friedman provides insight and practical media interview tips.

How to Avoid the TV Talk Show Bait
Getting “baited” and losing your cool do not win over audiences as these two examples show. W

How to Create the Perfect Media Message
Brad Phillips offers superb 7-part media training advice.  W

How to Deal With a “Troublesome” Journalist
Rick Amme shares a story about taking charge to create positive media relations.

How to Do a Media Interview
Here’s a good set of interview planning tips and techniques on handling controversies and tough situations.

How to Get More From Interview Opportunities
Six media interview tips to get you ready for news success.

How to Handle Tough Questions from Reporters [VIDEO 2:08]
Tripp Frolichstein discusses how to handle reporters’ tough questions properly on MyRaganTV. W

How to Mention Your Book in an Interview
Wondering how to mention your book in an interview? Chelsea McLean tells how.

How to Prepare for an Interview
These tips will get you ready to talk to media.

How to Prepare Your Subject Matter Experts for News Media Interviews
Valeria Maltoni offers helpful tips to prep for media interviews using new media. W

How to Respond When Responding is Illegal
Four excellent media relations options when your response is limited.

How to Survive an Ambush Interview (Pt I)
Here’s how to avoid getting ambushed.

How to Survive Ambush Interviews (Pt 2)
More smart media training tips.

How to Tell When a Reporter Plans to Flip the Script
What are the warning signs when a reporter has another agenda? Learn from Scott Baradell in this excellent post. W

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

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

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

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

If You’d Please Let Me Finish
Excellent advice on handling interviewer interruptus

Interpreter Needed for Google PR Rep’s Replies to NY Times Columnist
Fundamental such for any media interview: Keep it simple stupid.  W

Interview Tactics – Gayl Murphy
Author, Hollywood reporter and interview expert Gayl Murphy shares interview tips for celebrities, CEOs and anyone facing the media.

Is There Such a Thing as Off the Record?  [VIDEO 3:09]
Johna Burke and Mark Ragan discuss whether ‘off the record’ still exists with media.

It’s All About Sound Bites
Steve Wilson provides tips on how to create and deliver sound bites for effective media interviews.

Jeff Crilley’s Free PR Tip on Soundbites [VIDEO 2:14]
A look at Ronald Regan’s masterful use of “soundbites.”

Journalists’ tricks and how to treat them
Andrew Harvey deals with a media interview challenge.

Katie Couric on How to Conduct a Good Interview [VIDEO 5:08]
News anchor and interviewer Couric discusses what makes a great interview in this video clip.

KDFW Suspends Rebecca Aguilar After Controversial “Ambush”
Pick up on an interesting “ambush” interview, viewer outrage and debate over the ethics of ambush interviews. W

Managing Media Interviews
Excellent media training tips from Tressa Robbins

Mastering the Media
Save the Children produced this well-done media interview guide worth reviewing. Tips on preparation, bridging, messaging, interview improvement and a checklist to rate your performance. W

Media Coaching
Gregg McLachlan shares valuable media training tips and resources.  W

Media Interview Guidelines for Print, Radio and Television
These guidelines from the Emergency Nurses Association cover most media interview situations.

Media Tips – Queen’s News Centre
A set of planning and interview tips for university spokespeople.

Media Training 101: Rudeness is Never Acceptable
Toronto’s newly elected mayor shows rudeness in this nationally broadcast radio interview on CBC.

Media Training Tips for the Novice
Basic interview tips from Ailen Pincus to get you started on a positive path.

Media Training: Coaching Tips for Media Interviews
These interview tips from The Pincus Group will help you in control.

Media Training Example [VIDEO 1:26]
This media tips video is practical and covers interview presentation basics.

Media: Why They’re Just Not That Into You [VIDEO 2:47]
Selection of TV, radio and print reporters, editors and producers share their beefs about poor pitches. Excellent pitch pointers from those know what they want and how you can deliver it. W W

Meeting With An Editorial Board
An editorial board meeting is a powerful media relations strategy.

Not Balanced
Always get back to the reporter fast or you lose your voice in a story.

‘Off the record’ vs ‘on background’: What every PR pro should know…
When it’s smart and when it’s not time to be on the record.

On Executives and Elevators: Perfecting the “Pitch”
Want to know how to create the perfect elevator pitch? Read on.

On the Record: How to Finesse Two Tricky Situations in Media Relations
When in a difficult media situation, here’s how to decline comment or when, if ever, to comment “off the record” according to David Freedman. W

Open Microphone Nails Another One
Beware the open microphone as CA Assembly Rep Mike Duvall learned.

Out of Time: Facing a PR Nightmare
Here’s how one association dealt with an investigative reporter.

PR Buzzsaw
Blog from Sawmill PR often features media training tips.

Public Relations Basics: 14 Tips for Your Next Media Interview
If you’re getting ready for a media campaign, these tips will help ace your next interview.

Public Relations – Bridging 3 [VIDEO 1:26]
Republican strategist Cheri Jacobus illustrates bridging technique in shifting issue from McCain to Obama in interview.

Public Relations – Bridging 6 [VIDEO 1:56]
McCain spokesperson Mike Duhaime shows effective use of “bridging” to his preferred messaging in interview with MSNBC reporter.

Public Relations – Deflecting [VIDEO 1:12]
Senator Hillary Clinton uses “deflection” tactic effectively in her MSNBC interview.

Public Relations – Talking Points 1 [VIDEO 4:54]
Rep Eric Cantor shows how to stick to your messaging in a Chris Matthews MSNBC Hardball interview.  W

Reaching Out to the Radio
Radio is a unique medium and here’s the Sierra Club’s tips on how to reach out to radio.

Reporters Aren’t the Problem – You May Be
If you understand the predictability of reporters, Rick Amme says you can respond effectively.

Sarah Palin’s Media Training
Slate offers some media training tips for Sarah Palin next time around. You betcha!

Secrets of the Media Savvy: Best Tips for Media Interviews
Prepare for, carry-out and follow interview tips from Tom Wadsworth, along with some useful words of caution.

Seven Media Interview Mistakes
Avoid these seven basic mistakes for interview success.

Seven Media Training Tips
Harvey Leach media trainers share seven useful tips.

Sing Like a Diva
Make media relations a priority with these top-notch media interview strategies. W

Sizzling Sound Bites
Sound bites can add interest to your key messages.

Soundbite Battles [VIDEO 2:35]
Rick Amme shows how to win the battle of the soundbites by coming up with a process that’s seen to be fair.

Lorri Allen blogs about interviews, interviewees and “making sense of the news.”

Speaking to the Media
A series of practical articles on media interviews, presentation tips and more from Sources.

Stand and Deliver: Tips for Being the Great Spokesperson
The Bad Pitch blog provides 10 top things a great spokesman (or spokeslady) should never do.

Staying Cool Under the Hot Lights
A look inside media training and how it paid off for this CEO.

Stop Making Your Opponents’ Case For Them!
Be careful not to give away a quote that helps your opposition.

Talk to Reporters But Watch Every Word You Say
Words matter. Even more in media interviews, so choose your words carefully.

Talking Points – SourceWatch
Interesting view of key messages or “talking points” from SourceWatch.

Talking Too Much: Chevron
Rich Becker wonders with all this talk is Chevron listening?  W

Telephone Interviews Made Easy
To make the most of your next telephone interview, follow Colin Rowan’s top ten tips.

Television Reporters – Questions to Ask Before Agreeing to an Interview
These 12 questions will help you set the ground rules for your TV interview.

Tell Your Story Confidently: Prepare for an Interview
An excellent set of media interview tips with a useful checklist. W

Tell Your Story Confidently: Understanding Reporters
Find out what motivates reporters and how to get them hooked on your story. Great tips. W

Tell Your Story Confidently: What You Must Do Immediately When a Crisis Hits
Ten excellent tips for managing a communications crisis. W

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

The basic questions journalists will ask 
Know the basics but watch for the tricky one.

The Eyes Have It
Learn where to look so you project honesty and confidence.

The Ins and Outs of Interviews
Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences produced this brief set of media interview guidelines.

The Long and the Short of It
The message here is prepare, prepare, prepare.

The Most Important Thing in PR That No One Is Doing: Media Training
Seven solid media training tips to live by.

The Story Rules
Have a story. Keep it simple and focused. And tell it well. That’s the key to successful interviews.

This is the Only Statement I Will Make on This Matter
NHL goalie causes ruckus and misstatements.

Time to Bar ‘Corporate Speak’
Throw away that jargon for better interviews and better communication.

Tips for Effectively Using the Media
Media can be valuable allies. Here’s how to develop effective messages, pitch your story and handle interviews.

Tips for Giving Successful Radio Interviews
How to get ready, carry out a radio interview and follow up for great results from Ben Silverman.

Tips for Interviewing With the Media
Some useful interview tips from the Maine Coalition on Smoking or Health. The “Common Traps” are especially good. W

Tips for Ten-Minute Interviews
Christina Khoury shares five useful tips for short interviews.

Tips for Working With Media
U of Calgary offered these media interview tips.

Top Tips for Media Work
Here’s how to prepare yourself for unexpected interaction with the media, what to do when the media calls and how to handle challenging issues. From the Science Media Center. W

University of Arizona – Media Interview Guide
From “why it’s important,” to messaging, your appearance, interview tactics and more.

Vanderbilt Television News Archive
Since 1968, Vanderbilt has archived TV newscasts from the five major networks. It’s an awesome resource for PR people for media training, research, and reference. W

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 to Ask Reporters
Eleven good questions to ask reporters when they call.

What’d He Say??
Park the PR jargon by the SUV or risk alienating audiences says Jonathan Bernstein.

What’s Your Most Dreaded Question?
And Steve Wilson’s answer is: How could you let this happen? Be ready to answer this one. W

When Bad Things Happen to Good Spokespeople: Handling Tough Interviews
Learn how to avoid combative interviews from Steve Bennett and his tips to turn around difficult interviews.

When It’s Okay to Go “On Background” with a Reporter
Smart advice regarding media interviews.

When Reporters Put Words in Your Mouth
See how an ABC reporter’s attempt at paraphrasing almost offended a Queen, a CEO, and a movie star.

When the News Media Call
Get ready in advance, get it right and get a positive story.

When Media Interviews Attack
Handling competing stations and interviewee availability is an art as this case study shows.

When Reporters Put Words In Your Mouth
See how an ABC reporter’s attempt at paraphrasing almost offended a Queen, a CEO, and a movie star.

Why Have A Message?bad news
Media training message tips worth noting.

Why Soundbites Are Important
The elevator pitch and soundbites are featured in this Aussie tip.


Write Letters to the Editor
Letters to the editor can be powerful, authoritative and effective. Here’s how to do them right!

You and the Media: A Researchers Guide to Dealing Effectively With the Media
American Geophysical Union produced this superb media relations guide which includes detailed strategies, preparing for interviews, message tip sheet and much more.

Your Lying Boss 
Here’s an interesting set of media training tips to watch out for from Brad Phillips.

Photo credit: Thomas Hawk