Ground Rules - establish the ground rules before an interview,
including location, duration and subject matter.
Ethical Considerations - consult your own state ethical guidelines
relating to comments for the media, as well as the ABA Model Rules.
Terminology - understand what off the record does and
doesnít mean. Ordinarily, it
means that the information may not be published or broadcasted, but it can have
different meanings in different circumstances, including not for attribution
and background only. Most
important, a statement is generally not considered off the record, unless
there is an agreement in advance between the reporter and the interviewee. Understand that off the record is not always
honored, so expect that you are always on the record.
Preparation - be prepared for the interview.
Prepare your desired message, with positive phrases that will interest
the reporter. Make notes
prior to the interview with facts and figures you can refer to, if necessary.
Be prepared for the tough questions.
Language - avoid legalese. Speak
clearly. Remember the KISS
principle: Keep It Short
Honesty - be honest and accurate. Tell the truth. Donít
speculate or guess. If you donít
know the answer, say so, and offer to find the answer for the reporter.
If you make a mistake, let the reporter know immediately.
Promptness - be on time for the interview.
Return phone calls promptly, even if you cannot make a comment.
Respect reporterís deadlines.
Focus Ė know your message and speak directly to it.
Donít stray from the subject. Speak
only to matters you are prepared to discuss.
Donít feel compelled to fill dead air space with additional comments.
Demeanor Ė use confident body language.
Use energetic voice inflection. Remain
relaxed. Make eye contact and lean toward the interviewer.
Courtesy Ė be courteous to the interviewer.
Develop a rapport by asking questions and making general conversation.
Be relaxed. Offer the
interviewer a beverage, as you would any visitor.
Officers & Governors | AJA By-Laws | Membership | Standing Committees | Resolutions | Association Services
Publications | Education & Seminars | Law Essay Contest | E-Mail | Members Only | Home