Lots of self-help gurus like Steven Covey have long stressed the principle of start a project with the end in mind. That is, focus on highly specific goals and then work your way backwards to figure out exactly what steps need to be taken to achieve those goals.
This isn’t a particular original insight, but it is effective, nonetheless. However, I find that nobody really does this when it comes to preparing for media interviews. Preparing at the beginning with the end in mind would mean literally imagining an article in the publication that is about to interview you, and seeing 3 or so quotes from you that are on the exact messages you wanted to see in that article.
If you actually do that, then this sets in motion a series of actions of brain storming on messages points, narrowing them down to three, brainstorming on sound bites and having at least 3 or more for each message point, then staring at your one page of three message points and sound bites during the interview.
But this isn’t what most people do. Instead, most executives fail to visualize any particular outcome of an interview in advance. Instead, they want to “answer the questions correctly,” “make the reporter think they are smart,” and not “get quoted saying something stupid.”
These are all, frankly, stupid, negative goals.
If you want to know how to break out of this negative, reactive pattern call me at 212-764-4955 and I will send you a couple of my media training books and access to my online media training school so that you can go into every media interview with a specific end in sight and a process for helping you get there.