First, prepare five to six key bullet points and supporting materials. If you have statistics for local markets where interviews are scheduled, have the spokesperson review those in advance of the interview and have them handy during the tour.

Second, complete a media training and mock interview session with your spokesperson. Have them practice as much as possible, until they are very comfortable with question and answer process. Ask the spokesperson questions on the subject matter and have them practice their responses. Have the spokesperson answer questions out loud using hand gestures and body language that they would use in normal conversation, being careful to not create too much phone noise as they respond.

Next, have the spokesperson visualize how the story will play on the radio. This will help them prepare concise, quality responses. Answers should generally be about 15 to 30 seconds in length, which will give the reporter sound bites they can use. The less editing for the reporter means potentially more airplay of the interview. Finally, suggest to your spokesperson to get a good night’s sleep and to try and get up an hour before the first interview to make sure they are fully awake before getting started.

Answer submitted by Lynn Harris Medcalf,
Executive Vice President, News Generation, Inc.