July 27, 2016
What medical device or healthcare company doesn't want to be in the limelight? You want news coverage and physicians, patients and investors talking about your innovative technology. A compelling story can generate interest and revenue if it connects with your target audience. But to ensure that, you need to make sure your key messages are being heard. To help you do that, we've created a downloadable Media Preparedness Checklist and the Make Your Point Like a Pro Infographic that you can use for your next interview opportunity.
The best media interviews, whether for traditional or digital channels, demonstrate why your medical device or med tech product is valuable and better than competitive options. A one-to-one interview with a member of the media is a unique opportunity to expand the story surrounding your latest product announcement, allowing you to add color, context, and up-to-the-minute data of its significance to the medical community. The outcome of a well-delivered interview can have extremely positive effects on adoption rates and overall perception of your product.
The Secret to a Successful Media Interview
The most important thing to remember when preparing for an interview is to focus on a successful outcome: delivering your story in a compelling, concise manner that leaves your interviewer with a clear idea of how to tell your story.
Below, we've gathered a few of the tried and true best practices for delivering a media interview like a pro.
Before the Interview
- Practice makes perfect – Practice delivering your messages to a colleague. Ask them to brainstorm a few likely questions to help you anticipate curve balls.
- Know the interviewer and their outlet – Familiarize yourself with any past stories written by the interviewer about your topic (or similar), so you can reference and/or build upon what they’ve covered previously.
- Eliminate distractions – Turn off your cell phone before the interview. Sit in a quiet location. If the interview is in person, remove your watch (to avoid uncomfortable time-checking) and make eye contact.
During the Interview
- Integrate key messages into your answers – The company's vision and other key messages can be integrated into almost any interview question. Have three you're ready to roll with.
- Talk in sound bites – There is a 100% chance your words will be edited, so make sure you deliver strong sound bites that encapsulate your key messages. Keep it short and to the point.
- Clarify any technical terminology or acronyms – Don't assume your interviewer is familiar with healthcare or med tech industry terms.
- It's okay not to answer every question – But "no comment" is not cool. Diffuse the question with an honest response along the lines of "I'm not able to provide that information at this time," and offer alternative details equally relevant to the story.
- Handle difficult questions calmly – If a journalist seems to be seeking a controversial or negative angle, use it as an opportunity to provide your viewpoint and balance the story.
- Have a few "transitional or "bridge" phrases in your back pocket – These can help steer the conversation, and allow you to incorporate messaging into your responses. Here are a few phrases in mind:
- "That brings up an important point..."
- "That information is confidential; however, I can tell you..."
- "You may be interested to know..."
- "What's important to remember, is..."
- "Before we get off the subject/topic, it's important to note..."
- Data talks, fluff walks – The best stories are comprised of facts and figures—not marketing fluff. Make sure to share your most impressive statistics to back up your product or results.
After the Interview
- Say thank you – Send an email thanking them for their time and interest in your company. It's also a good opportunity for clarifications. "We were short on time but I wanted to share with you that...."
- Don't ask to approve it –You will not be given the opportunity to review and approve the article, so don't ask to. But journalists will sometimes fact-check information with you, so volunteer to be available for any further questions or fact-checks prior to publishing.
- Share the news – Being quoted by the media gives credibility to you and your business, so use this to your benefit. Be sure to leverage social media outlets to amplify the coverage.
When marketing in the healthcare industry, successful interviews are often the start of continued and mutually beneficial relationships between companies and journalists. Use this tip sheet and the Make Your Point Like a Pro Infographic below to help you optimize the opportunity.
Learn the secrets to delivering a media interview like a pro by downloading the Media Preparedness Checklist now!