Like with any other aspect in life or business, it’s good to have some specific goals beyond merely showing up!
Most people don’t get much out of their media encounters because they don’t have any specific, quantifiable goals going into the interview. If you don’t have any goals, then it’s easy not to fail, but it’s also hard to succeed.
At a bare minimum, here are the basic goals you need to set out for yourself before every media interview:
1. To communicate a specific set of core messages on the topic of the interview, ideally three.
2. To get exact word-for-word quotes or sound bites into the story that were planned in advance.
3. To build your personal and institutional brand and reputation as a result of the interview.
Beyond these three specific goals, there are others that you should have for every interview:
1. Build rapport with the reporter.
2. Make the reporter like you enough to want to call you and use you again as a source in the future.
3. To make the reporter respect you as honest, informative, insightful and quotable.
4. If video is involved, to appear comfortable, confident and relaxed and with the style you want.
5. If audio is involved, to sound comfortable, confident and relaxed.
6. To burnish your reputation as a true expert on the particular topic of the interview.
Finally, you should have one last big goal:
1. To increase the odds that people who read, saw or heard your comments take the actions you want them to, whether that is buying your product, calling your company to hire you, voting for your candidate, or investing with your firm.
It is easy to forget sometimes that all of our media efforts should be undertaken with some specific, action-oriented goal in mind. It’s not enough to simply “be in the media.” If you don’t have a goal in mind, it doesn’t matter if you get on Oprah, the Today Show and on the front page of the New York Times all in one day, you still won’t accomplish much of anything.
Your goals should come first. Then and only then should your goal be to get into the media. Then, once you are in the media spotlight, remember that the value of the media is simply to help you communicate with more people in order to accomplish your goals.