If you have a practice event coming up or are participating in an opportunity to educate the public, you may be contacted (or inquire yourself) about a local media interview. This may be for a local TV or radio program, a newspaper feature or article, or some other media outlet.
As part of your practice’s public relations, if you receive a call or email from a local media outlet about interviewing you (whether for print/digital, radio or TV), respond as soon as possible. Even if you’re unable to participate because your schedule won’t allow it or you’re simply not interested at the time, still respond. This will help you stay on good terms with the contact for similar opportunities in the future.
If you agree to participate in an interview, there are a few things you can do beforehand to prepare yourself:
- So there are no surprises or miscommunication, confirm the time, date and, for live interviews, location of the interview, either by phone or email.
- Give the reporter or contact a short personal biography and offer additional print materials about the topic or event (if applicable), such as fact sheets and website links.
- Do your homework. Prepare for the interview by reviewing all the necessary information about your topic you want to share, and by reading articles by the reporter or watching the program on which you will appear.
- If you have photos of skin, hair or nail conditions relevant to the story, and your patients’ permission to use them, offer them to the reporter or contact.
- If participating in a broadcast interview or meeting the reporter in person, arrive at least 15 minutes early to familiarize yourself with the setting and relax.
Once it’s time to speak with the interviewer in person, on camera, over the phone or digitally, remember a few key communication tips:
- Know the key messages you want to communicate and state them early. Repeat the key messages at least twice during the interview so the reporter/interviewer knows you think this information is important.
- Relax and speak naturally with short, concise sentences.
- Avoid more technical and medical jargon and use layman’s terms where possible. If that’s not possible, try to elaborate or provide context to anything “too technical.”
- Use concise examples, brief stories and appropriate anecdotes when possible to illustrate your message.
- Before the interview is over, summarize your key messages again. If the reporter/interviewer asks, “Is there anything you would like to add?”, repeat your key messages in 15 seconds or less. Practice this key message wrap-up until you can say it naturally.
- Wrap up your interview with a “call to action” for the public. For example, you can direct them to your website or other location for more information.
After the Interview
Once everything is done, don’t forget to:
- Thank the reporter/interviewer for his or her time at the conclusion of the interview.
- Share positive feedback about the interview. Remember, part of your goal is to build relationships with local media.
- Send the reporter/interviewer a note or email thanking him or her for the interview and suggesting ideas for future stories with which you can assist. This is a great way to keep your name in the interviewer’s mind for future stories.
Need some help with your media and public relations activities? Our practice management experts are here to support you. Schedule a consultation today!