by Marc Weinstein
A few years ago, the CEO of a financial services firm was being interviewed by a journalist for an article in a prestigious business magazine. But thanks to the CEO, the interview was a total disaster.
The CEO refused to prepare for the interview, claiming he was too busy to spend time reviewing talking points and other material that were critical for a successful interview. He was also dismissive of many of the journalist’s questions and repeatedly interrupted the interview to take calls from his cellphone.
The magazine didn’t publish the article because the journalist decided there wasn’t much of a compelling story about the company, based on the CEO’s inability to provide the necessary information deemed vital for the article.
However, the CEO expressed surprise and anger that the interview didn’t result in an article, blaming the journalist for asking “idiotic” questions and the PR representative for failing to thoroughly prepare him for the interview.
This is an extreme example of a press interview gone wrong. Most interviews are cordial and provide lots of information, sometimes too much information. In order to get the most from an interview, you or whoever is the designated spokesperson, should follow these guidelines:
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