The media and our rights have become an issue in the era of fake news. Despite differences between news media, television, newspapers, and digital. However, there are some interview techniques common to all media.
The Media and You Must Get The Story
First of all, the interviewer’s objective is to get the story. You can help them get just that in a way that is positive and not damaging to you and those you are representing. Secondly, positivity helps both sides, as it helps with the objective.
The audience is the ultimate winners and the common touchpoint for both the interviewer and interviewee.
The Interviewee’s Rights
Being the subject of a media interview, you have certain rights as explained by the late Peter Hannaford. An American author and business consultant to President Ronald Regan.
These are :
- Set the ground rules
- Select the topics to be covered
- Change the subject
- Ask question yourself
They are still relevant and constructive today.
Select the ground rules:
Every day in Pakistan, on prime time tv, there is an occurrence. Every day there is also a pattern.
“A recording or a clip from your past is shown. A past where you may or may not be on the same team, organization, or for that matter, the context. It’s called accentuating the negative.”
Therefore, know your rights. Select the ground rules. Context matters, and if your past is the topic, then it should be discussed and agreed upon before the interview.
Select the Topics To Be Covered
If you want to check the topics, also let the interviewer know in advance. There may be a case the reporter wants to ask that you are not qualified to discuss. While it is your right to limit the range of the topics to be covered, your inability to discuss a subject may deliver the session useless from your host’s point of view. If this is to happen, it is better to know it in advance rather than waste time.
Change the subject
Once the conversation begins, you have a right to change the subject. If a particular question appears to be leading into an area you want to avoid. You can give a compressed response, and make a bridge to a related topic that you do want to affirm. The interrogator may come back to the query you did not fully defend, asking it in other ways. if so, keep branching back to variations of the bartered-subject reply you used the first time.
Ask question yourself
Answering a question with a question is one way to shift the focus of an interview. As long as the ground rules are agreed upon.
An accomplished interviewer may employ any rhetorical mechanism to put you on the spot.
“These are called trick questions. Usually designed to trap you if you are not familiar with the techniques. “
Be relevant and constructive to those you represent and always to your audience.
To Be Continued…
Asim Qureshi is the Founder of Starring Brands. A rare C-Level Executive also hired by the quintessential of Pakistan’s Media Industry i.e as CEO at ARY and Jang Group.