Philadelphia University + Thomas Jefferson University

Info for News Media Interviews

Helpful Hints

Please contact Public Relations at (215) 955-6300. The Office can help coordinate the interview, examine potential problem areas, assist with handling controversial topics and serve as the media's contact.

Keep in mind, reporters have tight deadlines. They rarely have the luxury of advance notice on breaking stories.

Before the Interview

  • Collect your material and think it over.
  • Prepare your "game plan" and consider a major point you want to make.
  • Remember that "little reporters become big reporters." A small-town weekly newspaper reporter might be working at a large-city daily by next year. All media are equal in their goal to get information to the public.

During the Interview

  • Always tell the truth.
  • Never go "off the record." If you don't want something in print or on the air, don't say it.
  • Never say "No comment."
  • Follow the simple formula: Listen, Consider, Answer.
  • Avoid "medicalese." Use short words, short sentences and short descriptions. Answers of 10 seconds are best for television and radio.
  • Be aware of body language. Maintain eye contact with the interviewer.
  • Allow time for your answers to be written down by print reporters.
  • Avoid humor. It is easily misunderstood.
  • Correct any misinformation before answering a question.
  • Be sure you understand the question before answering. Never guess or speculate.

After the Interview

  • Remember that reporters generally do not allow review of their stories.
  • Offer to answer any questions that might arise later.
  • Return follow-up calls from the reporter promptly.