Being interviewed: if you’re not in control, you’re wasting your time!
The tough part of dealing with a journalist comes if you indulge or mismanage your time building up to the delivery of your main message or theme: if you are too loquacious you can end up delivering a response based entirely on the question you’ve been asked, rather than dealing with your strategy.
Imagine it’s a fork in the road: you are being invited along the ‘knowledge’ route – you need to re- trace your steps and begin down the path of ‘strategy’.
However, it can sometimes be easier to view the enquiry as a prompt to tell your questioner everything you know about the topic at hand, as opposed to being much more selfish. If you can be selfish with your ambitions – and selfish with your own airtime – you will then be in a position to mentally dominate the exchange.
If you’re unsettled or unsure about why you’re there or what your reasoning is, the process of taking charge becomes much more difficult. If you were playing football and there were no goals on the pitch, the act of passing the ball to your colleague would be pointless. They’d have no intention or reason for needing it.
The same issue happens when you don’t have a direction of travel derived from your interview strategy.
This process goes right back to the start of your planning: if you are unclear about what you wish to say and have only a loose grasp of your core themes and priorities, it can be difficult to feel ‘in control’.
The key is a clearly defined narrative and an assertiveness to force it through and ultimately understanding that the media transaction is about you and not about them!