For pastors and others engaged in ministry, occasional conversations with journalists can be a great way to share important information and tell your stories to large audiences—at no cost. Here are a few tips from Associate Dean for Communications Jonathan Goldstein on making the most of opportunities to speak with reporters.
- Know who is interviewing you and why.
Identify the reporter along with his or her news organization, and ask what the story is about.
- Be clear and direct.
Most journalists are pressed for time and value relatively short statements from the people they interview. They will make the best use of straightforward, concise comments.
- Make your points.
Interviews tend to move quickly. Know the two or three points you most want to make, and be sure to convey them.
- Avoid jargon, acronyms and flip statements.
These can be a barrier to making important points.
- Don’t get flustered.
If an interview request comes as a surprise or at a bad time, ask the reporter for a few minutes to gather your thoughts. Then follow up quickly.
- Say only things you want to share publicly.
Assume that nothing you say, even before or after the formal interview, is “off the record.”
- Follow up.
If you think a story was well done, let the reporter know. If there is a significant mistake, ask for a correction.