||15 Quick Tips For Successful Media Interviews
- Have a
clear objective. You should never do an interview without having a clear
idea of what you want to see in print (or on TV/radio). That means having a key
message. Write it down, know it well, and weave it into every answer you can.
your point. Look for opportunities during the interview to repeat your key
message. Open and close with it, if you can.
- Be ready
for the worst. Take the time to think of the worst possible questions
you'll get asked. Then think of the best answers for each of them.
honest. You don't need to tell everything you know, but never lie, no
matter how difficult the truth might be.
say "no comment." If you can't answer a particular question, say so, but
explain why. "No comment" sends off alarms for a reporter that suggests you
have something to hide. Explain that you are unable to answer the question
because it involves litigation, proprietary or personnel information, or
whatever the case.
- Everything is "on the record." Don't ever assume
or accept that a conversation is off-the-record, not-for-attribution, on
background or on deep background. Everyone's definition of those terms is
different, and you have to assume that everything is on-the-record.
- If you
don't want it printed, don't say it. While you have to be honest, you don't
have to volunteer things that are not helpful.
editor. The reporter will only be able to use a small portion of what you
say. If your answers are long, the reporter will edit what you say to extract
the quote(s). If your answers are brief and to the point, then you are helping
make that selection.
- Don't be
afraid of saying, "I don't know." Do more than one interview and it's a
lock that you'll get asked a question that stumps you. Say so. It is much
better than trying to make it up. In fact, if you aren't 100% sure of the
answer, you should say so. Offer to get the answer, if appropriate, and make
sure somebody follows up.
responsive. Press your point, but don't completely dodge the question.
Answer the question, but still look for ways to press your point by way of
amplification, explanation or clarification.
friendly. Don't get into an argument with someone who buys his ink by the
barrel. Most reporters aren't out to get you, and even those who are will be
easier to handle if you remain professional.
- Don't be
shy. If a question has an underlying premise that is incorrect, challenge
it. If the reporter makes a statement that you disagree with, say so. An
unchallenged statement could be used as a quote from you.
is golden. Don't try to fill moments of silence. In most cases, the
reporter is simply writing down what you just said. But some reporters use
silence as a technique (especially on the electronic side) and you'd be amazed
at some of the things they learn when an interview subject struggles to fill
it. When you are through with your answer, stop and wait for the reporter to
ask the next question.
answer someone else's question. You may be asked about something a customer
or competitor did. Be very careful about such questions. Refer the reporter to
the appropriate source.
speculate. Reporters love to play "what if." Don't do it. A simple answer
is that you don't like to speculate, and if the "what" happens, you'll be happy
to answer the question then.
And here's a free one: Relax! You've forgotten more
about the subject than the reporter will ever know. And if you are following
these suggestions, then you have little to worry about.
|| Transport Canada Announces Plans
to Regulate Commercial Whitewater Rafting
On August 14,
2007 the Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and
Communities, announced proposed Special-Purpose Vessels Regulations to
establish comprehensive and consistent standards for commercial river rafting
proposed regulations are an important step forward to help ensure that a set of
comprehensive and consistent standards protect participants in commercial river
rafting excursions across the country," said Minister Cannon. "They also
demonstrate Canada's New Government's commitment to ensuring the safety of all
Canadians on our waterways."
regulations will establish minimum standards for commercial river rafting, and
apply them to all waters in Canada, instead of limiting the regulatory regime
to the waters specified in the Boating Restriction Regulations. Therefore, all
commercial river rafting requirements will be contained in one regulation and
provide a more effective and consistent application of safety standards across
address such matters as vessel and safety equipment requirements; operational
requirements, such as the wearing of life jackets by all participants; and the
keeping of records for three years after an excursion including the name(s) of
the guide(s), the date of the excursion, the number of passengers on the
excursion, a geographical description of the waters on which the excursion took
place, the contents of the safety briefing and a copy of the rescue plan.
they will ensure consistency in the Canada Shipping Act, 2001 (CSA 2001)
which came into effect on July 1, 2007. This new Act replaces the Canada
Shipping Act as the principal legislation governing safety in marine
transportation and recreational boating, as well as protection of the marine
Regulations will apply to inflatable vessels that carry persons on an excursion
in Canadian waters for remuneration and are controlled by a guide. These
proposed Regulations will not apply to motorized rigid-hull inflatable
|| Good Morning America Expected to Broadcast Story on Rafting
week, perhaps as early as tomorrow, Good Morning America (GMA) is expected to
broadcast a piece about several commercial rafting fatalities that have
occurred this year. AO member John Cantamessa was interviewed by GMA last week.
Some misinformation about the number of guided rafting deaths is circulating on
the internet and AO has posted a response on our website. For example, American
Whitewater's data includes deaths resulting from raft rentals. A summary of
fatalities to date is provided below. AO's Executive Director spoke with the
reporter and corrected some misinformation found on the web.
There have been 9 deaths on commercially guided trips in 2007.
Two appear to have been heart attacks. On average 6 to 7 people die on
commercially guide whitewater trips each year. An estimated 2.5 to 3 million
Americans take guided raft trips each year.
Whitewater rafting is regulated
by state or federal authorities in almost every location. In some areas, state
and federal agencies have overlapping regulatory authority. At a minimum,
regulations commonly specify the number of trips required for a guide to be
eligible to run trips, require first aid and CPR training and require customers
to wear Type V life jackets
for America Outdoors Marketing and Management Conference
We are still adding programs to the agenda but the core
of the programming is posted on line at
agenda. Watch for
new upgrades to this website soon. In the meantime pre-register by going to the
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