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How to Talk to the Media

Getting your venture name in a news story in your local newspaper or other media can create valuable free publicity, but getting the media’s attention is only half the battle. What really matters is how well you handle the interview. Some guidelines for your next media blitz ...
  • Be ready. Never send out press releases without being prepared to speak about the topic you’re pitching.
  • Prepare. Ask the reporter what the article is about, so you’ll know how best to contribute. If you own a craft brewery, is the article a profile of your brewery? Have some good stories about your startup and growth to share. Is it an overview of the craft brewing trend? Be ready to discuss where you think the industry is going.
  • Stay on track. If a reporter asks you about industry trends, don’t tell her how your grandfather’s recipe for chocolate stout inspired you to start the business, and how your grandfather was a Russian immigrant who kept pot-bellied pigs in his backyard, and ...
  • Promote your “talking points.” Reporters expect interviewees to promote themselves a bit. If you are asked about trends in the craft beer industry, you could reply, “IPAs have become mainstream; now sour beers are growing in popularity. That’s one reason we’re introducing our new line of sours, which is already seeing growth of 20 percent.”
  • Provide hard data. Be ready to share any data you can to back up what you say. The craft beer entrepreneur could also have shared industry data about the growth of sour beers overall.
  • Be helpful. Be on time for the interview and let the reporter know you’re available for any follow-up questions. Journalists prefer working with nice people.
[Thank you, Rieva Lesonsky]