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Media Interview Tips for Startups

It seems Singapore startups are being misinterpreted by the media.

For example, Leonard Lin felt he was misinterpreted and misrepresented in the local media. Leonard has since commented on the interview.

The interview can be found here.

SGEntrepreneurs has written a post on how to deal with negative media coverage.

However, I feel that positive coverage can be achieved during the interview itself.

Here are some tips from PR side.

1. Set an objective for the interview

It can be quite exciting when a journalist call up for an interview.

The journalist would have set in place the story angle for the interview before the call, but it is important for you to set an objective.

For example, you could set your goal of the interview from your start-up point of view is to increase the awareness of your solutions and services.

2. Create three key messages

In preparing for the interview, you should consider drafting three key messages that you want to see in print.

These three messages should support your objective above.

The messages could be about highlighting your solutions benefits, why you are different from the rest, etc..

3. Do a Face-to-Face Interview

If this is your first interview with the journalist, it is strongly recommended that you do a face-to-face interview rather than a phone interview.

F2f allows you to meet the journalist in person and judge her/his facial expression and body language during the interview. This is important as it helps you to understand if what you are saying makes sense or is of interest to the journalist.

Furthermore you can take the opportunity to handover your namecard to ensure that your name is spelt correctly.

Phone interviews are quite impersonal and if it your first time talking to the journalist, you might end up being misquoted. 

In addition, offering the journalist a cup of coffee could be the start of a good media relations that would spill into long term benefits too.

4. Bring a third party to take notes

If you do not have a dedicated PR person or PR agency, bring somebody from the office to take down notes.

You want to concentrate on the interview and not trying to remember what you are saying to the journalist.


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