You have probably heard that you need to have a message when you go into a meeting or an interview. Of course that is true but what does that really mean as a practical matter?
Most people go in with way too many messages or messages that are too complex. They think in the terms that if these 20 questions are asked I will have a different three part message for each one of the 20 questions. However, that is not what you need to do. What you need to do is come up with just your top three messages which is something that you can say in 30 seconds or less.
Think of it this way: if Wall Street Journal or The New York Times came to you and said that they will let you write the first paragraph or the first couple of sentences in one of the articles, what would you want it to be? I know that they are not going to let you do that in reality but it is a good mental discipline.
So the first step in preparing for any media interview is that you have to have a clear, simple, and focused message. That does not mean that you are going to ignore the questions and just say your message over and over again like a robot but something beats nothing. You have to have a clear sense of what is most important to you and the reporter as well as the readers, viewers, or listeners of that media outlet.