Special notes for science/research stories:
- Start with the results -- the bottom line.
- Assume the reporter has no scientific background.
- Use examples and analogies.
- Humanize the research.
- Avoid scientific terms, academic jargon.
- Offer to review the story for technical accuracy (not style or content changes).
Special notes for radio and TV interviews:
- Learn all you can about the program. Is it live? Will there be call-ins? If there’s time, watch or listen to help you prepare.
- Ignore the monitor and keep your eyes where you’re told (usually the interviewer)
- Don’t swivel or rock in your chair.
- Ask for a glass of water.
- Keep your eyes and head steady; don’t jiggle keys or play with jewelry.
- TV — Dress appropriately:
* Dark business suit (sit on the jacket) or dress
* Avoid stripes and shiny materials
* Women: watch skirt length
* Men: watch sock length
* No glittery jewelry or dark glasses
* Sit up straight and lean slightly toward interviewer.
- Be brief. Average TV sound bite is 9 seconds.
- Be mindful of cut-away shots. You may still be on camera after the interview.
- Always assume the microphone is on!!!
- If there are equipment problems, just relax and review your notes.
- Speak in complete sentences and in context. The question may not be heard.
- Make sure you give Clemson credit in your comments. Say, “at Clemson we . . .” or “research at Clemson shows . . . “
Special notes for a hostile interview:
- Don’t argue with the reporter or with a third-party through the reporter.
- Don’t get personal, and don’t take it personally.
- Body language is important: Be authoritative, display appropriate concern but with a positive outlook. “We are in control.”
- Watch for the following techniques:
* Questions use negative, inflammatory words. Don’t repeat them.
* Rapid-fire questions. Select one and answer.
* Interruptions. Be polite but assertive. Ask for the opportunity to answer.
* A/B dilemma. If it’s neither, say so.
* Stating an untruth as fact. Correct the error, then answer the question.
* Misquoting a previous answer. Same as above.
* Friendly chit-chat during commercial breaks after hostile questions. Don’t be distracted.