Tips for Media Interviews


When a reporter calls, cite your affiliation with UNCG and ask that you be identified as a UNCG faculty, staff member, administrator or student in the story. These tips will help:

• Avoid jargon. Instead, explain what you mean briefly and in simple language, keeping in mind that reporters look for lively quotes.

• Don’t let the reporter put words in your mouth. Occasionally, a reporter will use a snappy phrase that a person being interviewed suddenly echoes back to the reporter who dutifully writes down “your” quote.

• Be concise and careful not to confuse the interviewer with irrelevant or overly complex information. Take the time to make sure the reporter understands what you are talking about.

• If you don’t know the answer to a question, say so.

• Beware of hypothetical or “what if?” questions. Stick to what you know to be true.

• Prepare answers for the best and worst questions you might be asked.

• Avoid being defensive when asked a difficult question.

• If you express personal opinions to a reporter, identify them as such. Remember that you will be identified with UNCG and your comments will reflect on the entire university.