Saturday, September 22, 2007

Suggested Questions

You may have heard me advise before that to prepare for your interview, you provide (and then practice) eight to ten questions to each media outlet.

I had the opportunity to practice what I preach a week ago when I was interviewed by a radio station in Abilene, Texas. I'm going to speak there Monday, and the sponsoring organization had set up the interview to drive registration for the event.

When you compose your questions, realize that there is no guarantee the host or reporter will ask you the questions. See my list below--the host asked most of them, and added a few of his own. Also, make sure you want to answer the questions you submit. On my radio show, I'll ask questions and the guest will say, "Great question!" I always laugh to myself and think, "It should be--it was one of yours." What gets me is when I ask a question right off the list, and the guest stumbles or acts like he or she has never heard it before.

Here is what I submitted. Maybe it will help you get an idea of questions for your list.

Suggested Questions for Lorri Allen

1. You’re coming to Abilene to help our newsmakers speak more confidently. Do you know who will be attending your session sponsored by the Abilene Convention & Visitors Bureau?

2. Do you think our newsmakers need some help?

3. You’re speaking to this year’s kickoff of the Abilene Public Relations Organization. This is a neat group. Can visitors attend the meeting?

4. What are some of the most common questions you get about dealing with the news media?

5. What are the biggest problems you see?

6. What advice are you going to offer the students in your audience on the 24th?

7. In addition to helping business owners and community leaders be pro-active with their publicity, I understand you also help organizations having a crisis. Tell us a little about this.

8. Is it true you have special memories of this area?

(Always try to make the last question upbeat, and if you can localize your responses to the coverage area, so much the better. Just don't assume what some of our guests do--that because we are based in Fort Worth, Texas that we only broadcast there. Our audience stretches from Canada to the Gulf Coast.)

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