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Television Reporters - Questions to Ask Before Agreeing to an Interview

Prior to a TV interview it is guaranteed the journalist involved will spend time preparing, writing down questions or goals for the interview either quickly or more in-depth as well as conducting some background research. As the interview subject it is important to undergo a similar preparation process to make the most out of your media opportunity. By asking your own question you are able to perform at your best and be prepared for the interview.

Here are 10 questions you should ask the TV reporter prior to agreeing to be interviewed.

1. Have the journalist identify who they are.

Establishing a rapport with the person and knowing their name is vital. Write it down somewhere so you can recall it easily and remember the name prior to the interview. After the interview ask for a business card and add it to your media contact file.

2. What TV station they are from?

This will help put the interview in context. This seems like a very simple question however often media is syndicated and your interview exposed to a wider audience then expected.

3. What program they reporting for?

Is it news, current affairs or a lifestyle program? Again, this will help determine the style and context of interview. You are then more able to predict the types of questions or angle they will take on the subject.

4. What is their deadline?

The electronic media operates in a high pressure environment where seconds make a huge difference. If you know what the deadline is, you can get an understanding of the immediacy of the story. This will provide direction on whether the story will be broadcast on tonight's news or the call is just for background and research with no immediate deadline.

5. Will it be recorded or live?

Recorded interviews allow for editing. Live interviews have added pressures because there's no room for mistakes.

6. Will the interview be in the studio or in the field?

Studios tend to be very sterile, controlled and intimidating environments while a field interview can provide context for the story. If you can control the background visuals for the interview on your turf, with a company logo or product, this will help maximise free branding and promotional opportunities.

7. What is the news angle?

Hearing what the story is directly from the journalist will help provide direction and give you an opportunity to prepare suitable answers.

8. Who else are they interviewing?

Again, this will put the interview in context and help provide background. This type of information is vital when preparing a response or key messages.

9. Who is the target audience for the interview or program?

The more you understand who will be watching the interview the more targeted your message can be to that audience.

10. What are the logistics?

When, where and at what time will the interview be conducted? Being organised, prepared and as stress free as possible is essential for any TV interview. Allow plenty of time and be organised so you can perform at your best.

Thomas Murrell MBA CSP is an international business speaker, consultant and award-winning broadcaster. Media Motivators is his regular electronic magazine read by 7,000 professionals in 15 different countries. You can subscribe by visiting Thomas can be contacted directly at +6189388 6888 and is available to speak to your conference, seminar or event. Visit Tom's blog at


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