Get to the point: Key Messages for Your Next Interview
January 9th, 2021
So much to say and so little time. Whether it’s a broadcast, radio or print interview, the time you are with a reporter seems to fly by or on the other hand it may never seem to end. We are here to ensure that no matter how short or even how long your interview may be, your message gets across in an eloquent and timely manner. Best practices include:
Develop three key messages to serve as the foundation for all communications and to weave into each interview.
- Key messages should be two or three sentences in length or 15 to 30 seconds when spoken.
- In fact, they should fit on one page.
- These statements provide spokespersons with direction, as well as help prioritize information and put things into perspective.
Key messages need to be more strategic than simply the “three most important things.”
- The messages support your agenda, as well as meet the needs of reporters and consumers of news, craft key messages that:
- Describe and differentiate core products, services or a point of view;
- Provide a strategic message showcasing leadership and main point(s) of differentiation;
- Focus on the benefits to the target audience, clearly stating what’s in it for them. This is best accomplished by focusing on benefits before features; selling versus telling.
Prove your points
Trained spokespersons understand their goal is to introduce and reinforce key messages throughout an interview. Supporting information can sustain a conversation, while offering proof and adding credibility. During proactive and responsive comments, be prepared to back up and expand upon key messages with:
- Facts: Use simple and descriptive statements
- Statistics or figures: Put information into easy-to-understand or quantifiable terms
- Authorities or experts: Quote unrelated third-party experts such as those representing industry analysts, trade associations, academic institutions or government authorities.
Remember you are the expert and media is looking to you to provide quality information that informs a broad audience.