The following are a few basic do’s and don’ts when you or your spokes person are preparing for an interview with the media:


  • Make the most important point first.
  • Know the points you want to make before your interview.
  • Do your homework. The good reporter will have done his or hers and probably will have concentrated on the basics. Watch the interviewer’s technique with other guests prior to your appearance.
  • Use positive body language.
  • While on TV, remember you’re always “on.”
  • Ask and discuss with the reporter, in advance, which topics are most likely to be covered.
  • Be prepared to answer the questions you hope aren’t asked.
  • For TV in particular, speak in short, quotable phrases – preferably no more than 30 seconds.


  • Don’t lose your temper or engage in an argument.
  • Don’t use profanity or make any off-color remarks.
  • Don’t discuss things you know nothing about.
  • Don’t speak off the record. Never say anything you don’t want to appear in print or on the air.
  • Don’t nod yes to indicate you understand a question; this could be taken as agreement, especially to a TV audience.
  • Don’t speak from personal opinion – you are the organization’s spokesperson.
  • Don’t make light of a serious question or joke indiscriminately.
  • Never lie or exaggerate.
  • Never say, “No comment.”

From Texas Commission on the Arts
Media Relations 101