Media is one of the most important tools for an activist to use allowing those taking part in direct actions to create headlines around the world, here is a list that I hope you will find useful.
1) Dont let the reporter control the interview, Every interview is an opportunity to communicate your message, always stick to three main messages.
2) Don’t get side-tracked or drawn into a reporter’s debate, many reporters are looking for conflict that will not serve your cause, don’t answer questions you don’t like, and be sure to bridge your answers for a better quote on the issues. For example, “Lets not forget the real important issue at hand, _____ .(insert why you are there). Keep in mind the reporter only can use what you give them.
3) Don’t repeat a negative answer or negative question. Do not say “no comment” and never think that you will be off the record, reporters will lie to you. Feel free to ask for clarification if you do not understand a question, or the wording in a question.
4) Feel free to say “let me get back to you momentarily, Do not answer questions you do not know, one misquote could ruin your cause, and misinformation never helps anyone.
5) Always look at the camera and don’t fidget, you need to look confident when addressing the camera. Nerves can be running high, and you don’t want to look nervous on camera. Most communication happens through body language.
6) Smile when appropriate, speak up and be energetic when answering questions.
7) Be prepared to answer reporters questions before you start the action, this will help you be more confident. This can be done before the action, by creating a list of possible questions a reporter may ask. Make sure that your soundbite responses come naturally, at the end of the day this is what the media is after, quick 2-3 second soundbites.
8) Many times at the end of an interview a reporter will ask ” Do you have anything else to add?”, leaving one of the strongest moments for you to get your message out. Make sure you reiterate your message.