Taking Notes: Interview Preparation

One important responsibility of a good PR department is preparing a subject before an interview. This isn't something that's taught in school and they more you do it, the better you get at it. But that doesn't mean you, as a PR professional, need to actually prepare an interview subject to gain valuable experience.

One exercise that I like to do to watch interviews about important, controversial or breaking news. I try to study the interview process to see how the journalist is shaping the interview, how the questions progress, what types of questions are being asked, etc. I do this so I can have a better understanding of what to expect if I ever have to prepare one of my clients or supervisors for an interview about a similar subject. (I do the same with reviewing press conferences, press and media releases, website/social media coverage.)

"60 Minutes" reporter Steve Croft recently interviewed President Barack Obama about the raid on Osama bin Laden's compound and spoke to Poynter about how he structured his interview that the entire world would be watching.

While I will probably never have to prepare the President of the United States for any type of interview, being able to get into the head of a veteran journalist like Steve Croft holds invaluable lessons that every PR professional should take note of.

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