How do I research a journalist or interviewer?

Steve Blears Media Training Guide

How do I research the journalist or interviewer before a TV interview?

Watch or listen to their programme, or for print journalist read their reporting online. This will give you a steer on their style, tone, questioning and topics of interest. Most journalists are on Twitter (x), again follow them here to see what they post and comment on to get a better understanding of their work.

Social media is a great place to showcase your expertise and illustrate how you can help people. Demonstrate this by posting short videos or blogs. Journalists are happy to receive pitches for story ideas. If they don't reply to your tweet don't be disheartened, your idea or suggestion may not be what they are looking for right now, but it will put you are their radar.

You can also follow #JournoRequest on Twittter to see what help and case studies journalists are looking for.

Tip! For tips and advice about raising your business or career profile read Make Yourself a Little Bit Famous by Penny Haslam.

What sort of information should I gather about the TV programme before my interview?

Watch, listen to, or read their content. Consider their voice, tone, style and political persuasion.

  • What sort of demographic or age group do they appeal to in the way they script, write present?
  • What sort of guests and interviewees do they use?
  • How long are their articles or on-air interviews?
  • Is their style of questioning warm and feature-like, or combative and aggressive?

Use this research when preparing for your appearance with that media outlet.

How do I tailor my message for different types of TV shows?

Don't overthink this, just prepare some compelling facts, opinions, comments and examples to share. It's the media outlet's job to deliver the story appropriately. However, feel free to suggest locations, interviewees or ways to illustrate your story.

Where possible put forward women or people from diverse backgrounds as spokespeople. All broadcasters struggle with representing diversity.

Tip! How can I get insights into the potential audience of TV show?

In the UK: Rajar holds data from radio listening. Barb holds data for TV audiences.