Preparing a Leader for a Media Interview

December 16, 2019

You’ve set up an interview for your boss or another senior leader, and you want to be sure they are prepared for the discussion. What information is most helpful to provide?

Reporter contact information and interview logistics: If you won't be attending the interview, it’s important to provide the name and contact information for the reporter and some logistical information. Where should they meet? Is the interview via phone? Who is calling whom? How long will the interview be? This information will ensure that they get connected on time and be able to find each other in case someone has to unexpectedly cancel.

Reporter background: Provide a brief overview of the reporter, the outlet they work for and the topics they generally cover. You could also provide a link to some previous coverage by the reporter for review ahead of the interview.

Story topic and additional story background: It’s always helpful to remind the leader of the interview topic and to share any insight you may have as to what questions might be asked. This will help the leader formulate their key messages.

Insight or key information to share: Be sure to note any key information, such as a data point or fact, that you want your leader to cover during the interview.

What else do you like to provide to your leaders before an interview? Let us know. Email unews@umn.edu.