It’s Back to Face-to-Face. Make Sure You’re Ready!

Jun 29, 2023

COVID-19 taught the world a valuable lesson. Yes, we could work remotely and do it effectively. Was it ideal? No. However, when faced with the global pandemic, it became a necessity.

In some ways, the pandemic made interactions with the media a bit easier as the person being interviewed by the reporter online or via the phone could have notes readily available for review during the interview. This ensured that the interviewee stayed on message by easily referring to their two or three main points, jotted down in front of them.

With COVID-19 in the rearview mirror, the return to face-to-face meetings continues to rise as experiences have proven no amount of technology can replace the value of direct, in-person dialogue.

Not only is this true in the business world, but the media have also shifted back to in-person interviews. The simple fact is that in-person interviews yield deeper insights. This is particularly true when the topic of discussion is sensitive or contentious, and it’s something that many reporters truly missed during the COVID years.

So, what does that mean for those being interviewed by the media?

It means that you need to be prepared! Make certain that you have your key points memorized and are able to rattle them off without having a notecard. It also means thoroughly practicing your bridging technique, the method of getting back onto your main messages if the interview goes off-topic. And always be prepared for the “unexpected” questions. It’s much more difficult to hide the look of surprise when in-person versus over the phone or internet. So, don’t get caught off guard with an unanticipated question.

Also, it’s important to have your surroundings prepared in advance of the interview. Make sure there’s nothing out in your office that a reporter shouldn’t see. Equally important, think about the handouts, photos or video you want to provide that are relative to the interview topic. Consider providing a facilities tour if relevant.

Face-to-face interviews are one of the best ways to convey the importance of the message. Just be sure you’re prepared!