Skip to main content.

Control the Story

If you’ve given an interview, you want to see the resulting news story reflect your key messages. But this doesn’t always happen. Sometimes the reporter is interested in a different angle, or didn’t understand what your key message was. More frequently, an editor or reporter had to cut out much of the interview, because there just wasn’t enough space to include everything you had to say, and what they picked was different than your key messages.

How do you avoid that?

TV or radio news stories are generally only a couple of minutes long at most, so sound bites are likely to be 12 seconds or less. Even a print story cannot include long and rambling quotes. Find a simple answer and keep it short! You can always provide fact sheets and background materials to the reporter that include greater detail.

Whether you’re doing a press conference, interview, or public question-and-answer session, return frequently to your key messages to make sure your audience is left with a clear understanding of the message. The more focused you stay on your key messages, the less guesswork is done by the reporter about what information to use.