So if it’s not so fun media, remember:
- You are never off the record.
- You should never lie.
- The microphone is always on.
- Don’t get angry at even an inflammatory question – the viewer or listener seldom hears it.
- Don’t restate an inaccurate question “Why does our hospital have the worst safety record in the city?”
- If the premise of the question is wrong, correct the mistake. “Let me clarify that for you.”
- Don’t say “no comment.” Explain why you can’t answer.
For good and bad media:
- Write down your message in three sentences or less.
- Practice saying it out loud.
- Eliminate jargon.
- Include a specific interesting example or fact.
Once on camera:
- Speak to the reporter. The camera is like a third silent person at the interview. You might occasionally glance at it to acknowledge its presence, but don’t stare directly at it.
- Don’t stare at the mic as it moves toward you.
- Let the reporter hold the mic.
- Open your face and eyes and avoid squinting.
- Avoid tiny prints that could create a moiré pattern.
- Dock slouch or rock back and forth. [I'll try to find a funny story I know about that one.]
- Avoid large, flashy earrings.
- Don’t treat the cameraman like a dumb button pusher.