How Do News Interviews Work? Everything You Need To Know

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There is no quicker way to earn an audience immediately than to go on a news interview. In the article below, you’ll find an in-depth look at how news interviews are conducted. 

News interviews start with you submitting a story to a local station’s online submittal form. From there you may be contacted to do either an in-studio interview, a pre-recorded session, or an on-location interview. 

Producers are often bombarded with potential stories, so you are always at the whims of whatever may be the breaking news of the day. However, it is certainly a worthwhile endeavor to get on the news, as this exposure is far superior to social media alone. Stay tuned for more on that later.

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How To Get A News Interview

Your best hope for immediate coverage is a local broadcast station. These days, news stations have an online contact form, such as the one found here, where the producer can receive tips about local happenings.

Here’s an important tip: news stations love good photos and videos that prove you are worthy of the air time. Remember, these stations are typically bombarded with people who want to go on the news.

Also, look to cash in on recurring segments. These could be local business spotlights, which many stations have.

This has been a quick fly-through on how to get news interviews. If you click here and follow the blog, you’ll find a much more detailed write-up on how to get news interviews.

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What Types Of News Interviews Are There?

One thing to consider is that there are several different types of news interviews. However you desire to put the spotlight on you and your business, there will be several options.

Live Studio Interviews

If you watch the national morning news programs or daily talk shows, then you are most certainly familiar with live studio interviews.  Local stations have their share of live studio interviews as well.

One popular live studio interview is a “how-to” session. It could be a home DIY tutorial, tech advice, a workout demonstration, or a cooking lesson. 

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Prerecorded studio interviews are popular because it puts less pressure on both the interviewer and the interviewee. You don’t have to worry about slip-ups, tech mishaps, or pauses between answers because that can all be edited out later on.

For more tips on how to give a good interview, you are encouraged to click here. Even the most experienced guests on television struggle with that deer-in-the-headlights feeling once that camera is rolling.

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Location Interviews

Imagine having a reporter visit you at your place of business and conduct an interview there. This is particularly beneficial to restaurants, theme parks, and the like. 

It makes it easy for you to show the audience what you are talking about. News stations love these from an entertainment perspective, as it’s easier to keep the audience engaged with hands-on reporting versus a studio segment. 

What Makes A News Interview Successful?

Professional broadcasters look for these traits in their interviewees when they are considering which segments to air.

The Four Principles

One of the most prestigious broadcasting institutions, Columbia University, has established 4 main principles for news interviews. 

  • Prepare carefully for the interview
  • Establish a relationship with the interviewee that is conducive to obtaining information
  • Ask relevant questions that encourage productive conversation
  • Listen and watch attentively

Media relations experts strongly encourage flexibility. By showing that you are willing to air on any segment, you are telling the producers you’re open to letting them run the show. This makes a good first impression.

How News Interviews Work

Most news interviewers are fairly short and straight to the point. Think about a message you want to deliver in five minutes or less. One good tactic to think of is the elevator pitch. You need to give a brief, but informative, look into what it is that you do and what you have to offer the audience.

If a station has deemed your story to be worthy of the airwaves, then you will receive a phone call. This may well be the only phone call you get from them, so be sure to be ready to answer your phone at a moment’s notice once you’ve requested a man interview.

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How Many People Watch The News? Is A News Interview Worth it? 

There are several advantages to vying for a spot on the news, even if it’s just a local station. Building a YouTube channel or social media presence can take a lot of time and money otherwise, and with nothing to show for it.

  • An existing customer base: News programs can reach any home within a given region. For many cities and towns, the local news station’s website is the only way to get a quick scoop on what’s going on in the area.
  • More people are watching the news, particularly young people: Nielsen reported a 10% spike in local news viewership in early 2020.
  • Professional broadcasting is pricey, as will be expanded upon below.

Yes, nice cameras are relatively cheap and most phones these days are capable of making presentable videos. But with a news program, you gain access to a team of professional producers, videographers, and sound technicians.

Only 1.75% of YouTube channels have at least 10,000 subscribers. If a channel has subpar camera work, video editing, or sound quality, then potential viewers will turn away from a channel almost immediately. With more than 31 million channels to choose from, the competition within each niche is fierce.

It’s clear that if you want immediate recognition, YouTube is not the place to start. You’ll always be more successful if you can jump-start your company with a spot on local news. 

Final Thoughts

There are three main types of news interviews: live in-studio, recorded, and on-location. Professional producers decide which stories air on a given day.

The big advantages of news interviews are the immediate access to an audience and the professional camera and sound work. Most news interviews are short (think 30 seconds to a minute), so be sure to have a short, concise message ready.

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