top of page
  • Writer's pictureBarbara Mayfield, MS, RDN, LD, FAND

Are you ready when the media calls?

Updated: May 15, 2023

media interview

Imagine sitting in your office concentrating on completing your latest project when the phone rings. It is the producer for your local television station. She saw a post on social media about the work you are doing and wants to know if you can come in to be interviewed on the noon news. Do you say yes, or no?

Are you ready when the media calls?

Chapter 32 in Communicating Nutrition: The Authoritative Guide, encourages food and nutrition professionals to serve as reliable and relatable experts for media interviews. A credentialed professional is the ideal interviewee to answer questions about food and nutrition because they have the scientific and practical knowledge lay audiences need.

When you have the subject matter mastered it’s time to master media interviews.

Download a copy of the tip sheet, 5 Tips for Mastering Media Interviews, and put each tip into practice. Say yes when the media calls. Media interviews multiply your reach and your impact.

5 Tips for Mastering Media Interviews

Tip #1 Be Prepared

Preparation begins before the media calls. It includes having information readily available and accessible to prepare talking points, supporting evidence, and practical examples. It also includes knowing who to refer to when a request is outside one’s area of expertise. It involves knowing the audience, understanding common concerns, and being prepared to address them.

Tip #2 Be Professional

Show up ahead of schedule, prepared and ready to go. Look the part, following the protocol of the program regarding what to wear. Choose simple lines and solid colors that flatter you. Arrange your hair so when looking at the interviewer viewers can see your eyes. Wear make-up to prevent looking washed out. Listen well, speak courteously, and demonstrate respect.

Tip #3 Talk in Sound Bites

A sound bite is a short, succinct statement that completely answers a question or provides a key point. Speak in complete sentences that allow an edited interview to omit the questions. To answer most effectively, listen carefully to each question so your responses hit the mark. Prepare and practice potential sound bites in advance yet keep the interview conversational.

Tip #4 Hook, Bridge, and Flag

Use the interviewing techniques of hooking, bridging, and flagging to keep the interview moving in a favorable direction. Hooking is giving the interviewer irresistible “bait” to ask you a follow-up question. Bridging keeps the interview on-topic by transitioning smoothly from an off-topic question to a key point. Flagging draws attention to the importance of your key points.

Tip #5 Show and Tell

Add visual interest to your story. Food can be the perfect prop for nutrition stories. Use an onscreen graphic or a brief demonstration. Print interviews can include photographs. Radio or podcast interviews can use descriptive language and explanations. Audiences appreciate practical examples and tips that make your message actionable. Show as well as tell your story.

Get a copy of this, or any of the other free tip sheets.

“Three minutes in front of the camera is worth more than three years behind the desk.”

~ Jean Ragalie-Carr, RDN

If you like this content, please share it:

bottom of page