Maximize Your PR Opportunities: A Step-By-Step Guide to Coordinating and Confirming Interviews

Public Relations

So, you’ve hired a public relations firm to help boost your media presence and build your brand – smart move! You may be itching to begin the interview process so you can see your first placement and start to feel the impact PR can have on your business – but where do you start?

When you first sign on for PR services with AdvisorPR, the first month is usually spent gathering materials and building media outreach materials on your behalf. By month two, we’re hitting the ground running which means it’s time to coordinate interviews and secure you media placements!

Whether you personally will be handling the coordination of your media opportunities, or you have an assistant or marketing specialist handle these responsibilities, it may be helpful to understand the standard process before you get going. Below is a 5-step overview to help guide you through the media coordination process.

Step 1: Media Opportunity Notification – When we receive a media opportunity, our first step is to contact you with the details of the opportunity. From media outlet, to interview topic, to deadline for the placement, we’ll provide you with everything you’ll need to know about the media opportunity. When you receive this email, it’s important to act quickly. Often times, reporters come to us with tight deadlines, needing to speak with someone as soon as possible. Other times, reporters will send out interview requests to several of their sources but will only take the first few that reply. Either way, if you’re interested in a media opportunity, it is vital that you act quickly so we’re able to secure it on your behalf.

Step 2: Confirm the Topic – Yes, I just got done asking you to move quickly but before you jump the gun in confirming an interview, one of the most important steps is double checking that you are in fact comfortable and capable of speaking to the topic for a given media opportunity. While we will have a good idea of what you can and cannot speak to, we frequently receive interview opportunities on a very specific topic or request.  When you first receive a media opportunity from us, review the topic and determine whether or not you feel comfortable speaking to it. While we will provide you with talking points, should you request it, it is still important that you feel confident in your ability to address the topic. Reporters or anchors ask follow-up questions, and if you’re not able to think on your feet and provide an answer based on your personal experience or knowledge, then you could find yourself in an embarrassing situation. If a marketing coordinator or administrative assistant is helping schedule your media opportunities, be sure to establish a process where you’re able to approve the topic before they move forward in scheduling the interview with us. Please keep in mind, if you’re hesitant or unsure about a certain topic, you can pass on the interview—we’ll be sure to continue to bring you more opportunities as we receive them.

Step 3: Provide Availability – Providing your availability for a media opportunity may seem fairly straightforward, but we have a few pointers that can help us not only secure the interview quicker, but also make your life easier by reducing the amount of back-and-forth that can occur during coordination. When providing us with availability, please try to provide at least three options, if possible. Proving members of the media with options to choose from helps demonstrate your flexibility and helps increase the likelihood that the interview will be secured on your behalf. Please also pay attention to the timeline and deadline for the opportunity. Lead times for media opportunities can range anywhere from a few months to a few hours, so it’s important to understand the type of deadline the reporter is working with. Additionally, reporters sometimes specify the days/times that work best for them. Be sure to keep this information in mind as you review your calendar and provide us with options that work within their criteria. Please note: it’s important to try and hold the spots you offer as available until we provide you with final confirmation. We understand client appointments are a top priority, but if possible, try to avoid scheduling conflicts with the media. Catering to the media’s wants, needs, and deadlines will only help improve your status as a go-to media resource.

Step 4: Confirm interview details – Once we receive your options for availability, we will move forward in coordinating and confirming the interview. As soon as we receive a confirmed date/time, we will contact you right away with the final details. Before the interview opportunity, we will also send you an email that recaps all of the important interview information. It is crucial that you review these details prior to your interview as they contain important information such as date, arrival time, interview time, reporter’s or anchor’s name, topic, special notes/requests from the reporter or producer, etc. Once you receive final confirmation and interview details for a media opportunity, please confirm with us that you’ve received all necessary information and marked your calendar accordingly. This would also be a great time to let us know if you want any media coaching or assistance in talking point development.

Step 5: Interview feedback – Once your interview is complete, we will contact you to find out how everything went. Most interview opportunities run smoothly, but if you happen to run into anything out of the ordinary, please let us know so we can help manage the situation. Additionally, if the reporter or producer offers any additional information, like air date or publication date, please let us know so we can track and monitor the placement accordingly.

And now you can sit back and let your media placements do their work! Once a placement is published, we will notify you, deliver online links and order copies so you can leverage the placement on your website, social media and other marketing collateral.

For more great tips on working with the media, learn more about our PR programs or contact AdvisorPR or give us a call at (866) 888-5333.

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