Client interviews are the bread and butter of many media relations experts. However, PR advisors don’t always manage to get the best out of such reputation management opportunities.
Of course, the ultimate aim of an interview is an impeccable story in a leading media outlet. But there is more to it, such as client education and building a truly helpful and trusted relationship with the reporter. The easiest way to do that is to record the interview itself. Here are five reasons why a PR advisor should always record a client interview:
- Back it up. If the reporter’s recorder fails, runs out of battery or gets spilled over during lunch and the record is accidentally lost, you always have a safe back-up that can help the reporter go through the talk after the meeting is over.
- Patterns of speech. When somebody listens to himself after an interview and realizes how many times he says “aaaaah” during the talk, it can be a great incentive to review his public speaking skills and improve those patterns of speech that might not always be in his best interest.
- Length. When a person realizes that she answered with a 5-minute discourse to a simple question, it can also be a consistent signal to encourage the person to speak shorter and thus be more helpful to the reporter.
- Accuracy. When a reporter is asking you afterwards about the name of a certain place or person you mentioned during the talk, you can always get back to your own record and remember exactly what you tried to say at that given moment.
- Security. If your words are published in a erroneous way or misinterpreted, you have a powerful tool to back up your claim for a subsequent correction.
Reporters are not very keen of PR advisors who record interviews because they tend to take it as an unnecessary control mechanism. Instead, it would be good to understand that for a responsible PR advisor recording a client’s interview can be an opportunity to train the client AND to support the reporter in case something goes very wrong. At the end of the day it’s a triple-win situation, so why not going for it during future interviews?