How to Put Your Best Foot Forward in a Media Interview

Interview Questions

Photo by MattHurst

With Internet, email, social media inundating readers with a constant barrage of information, it gets harder for businesses to promote their message through the media.

Time-crunched information gatherers are blocking out ads, glazing over newsletters and, even worse, reporting businesses that send out marketing messages as spammers.That’s why when a third party, such as a newspaper, magazine or website agrees to do a business profile on you, it’s an opportunity not to be missed.

A business profile is an opportunity for you to define your unique brand to readers in a way that will make an impact. Usually it will be the reporter writing the article, and you won’t get a chance to read it before it goes to press, so here’s how not to blow it.

Come prepared, but not too prepared: Reporters don’t want you to write the story. Believe it or not, if you write down what you want to say it will make it harder for them. Why? Because what you write will probably sound more like advertising copy than what the reporter will write. The reporter is looking for an interesting story, not an ad.

Answer the questions: Some business owners come to the interview so afraid they are going to be misquoted that they say very little. Or they think, “All the information is on my website. Why don’t you get it from there?” The result is the reporter walks away frustrated. At best, he or she will make a half-hearted attempt at writing the story, and the reader won’t find it very interesting. At worst, your story could get killed.

by Shella Gardezi

The first of two articles by Shella Gardezi, offering business owners expert advice about how to put their best foot forward in media interviews. Shella has written business profiles for newspapers and magazines and is currently the owner of, an online publication focusing on small business in British Columbia.