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The Ins and Outs of Interviews: The Final Question

This article was written by Jerry Brown, APR, principal/owner of Communicating with Impact
posted under Interview

Are you missing an opportunity to close your interviews by repeating your message one last time? Many reporters like to end interviews with an open-ended question that goes something like: "That's all the questions I have. Is there anything you'd like to add?" All too often, the person being interviewed declines the invitation to speak because they've said everything they want to say. With rare exceptions, that's the wrong answer. If the interview's coming to a close and there's an important point you haven't made yet, the reporter's given you an invitation to make that point. Take it. Even if you've said everything you want, use that closing question as an invitation to repeat your primary message one last time. You can say something like: "I don't have anything to add. I'd just like to repeat that the one thing your readers will want to know is (insert your message)." That means your primary message is the last thing the reporter hears you say. And you'll often say it better this last time around than you did earlier in the interview. What if the interview's come to an end before you make a key points and the reporter doesn't invite you add anything else? Volunteer the information anyway. No reporter's going to refuse to listen to you if you say there's something you want to add. And the fact that you've shown enough interest to volunteer new information even though the interview was "over" will get most reporters' attention. A concluding thought. The Monday Morning Media Minute is six months old. Fifteen of the 26 MMMMs to date - well, over half -- have been about interviews. That's as it should be. Interviews are where most news is made. And, if you're going to make a mistake while working with the media, it's usually during an interview. That's why media training is so important for anyone in your organization who talks to the media. I'll have more to say about interviews later, but we'll move on to something else next time. Check in with you next week.

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