These days if you get called for an interview from the media, there's a good chance you might get interviewed on Skype. Image by Getty Images via @daylife

Guest Post by Jodie Heisner, President, Bottomline Media Coaching

 

When you think of doing a media interview the image that pops into your head is likely one where you are sitting with a reporter. The reporter is taking notes or using a digital recorder, she may have a microphone and/or a video camera, but like everything else, this is changing.

Social media and the ever developing tools and apps available via computers, tablets and smart phones are opening new doors every day to the world of communications.

Travel a lot? You no longer have to worry about being unavailable for an interview thanks to Skype. While the video and audio quality is not exactly 100% the media is now regularly using Skype to reach experts, out of state victims and witnesses. Skype is giving local TV news stations interview opportunities they would not have had the budget to carry out in the past.

Here are a few tips for doing interviews via Skype: Make sure your face is well lit (no shadows or dark spots), look directly into the camera on your computer, look at the background make sure there is nothing distracting/inappropriate/untidy, and even if you are sitting in your kitchen, dress for a TV interview.

No meeting necessary. Magazines and newspapers looking to fill, not only print pages, but also webpages, now often send their questions via email. This makes it very simple for both parties, but you do need to look out for some downfalls. You can’t hear the reporter’s tone, so it could be difficult to interpret the question. Be sure to call the reporter should you have any concerns. Keep in mind when answering interview questions via email; don’t write an essay for each answer, be sure they are complete, but concise.

To the other extreme, beware that print media may now want an in-person interview, because their reporters are now also armed with cameras. This allows them to put the interview on the web. Everyone needs visuals now, not just TV.

Tweet chat interviews. Twitter is an amazing communication and marketing tool. If you read my blog or have been keeping up with the newsletter, you know what a big fan I am.

Now more and more tweet chats (chats created by groups using a specific hash tag and typically happening at the same time each week) are inviting special guests to share their knowledge and be interviewed by the host. The benefits include the fact that these groups are typically specific (Moms, Foodies, Tech junkies etc..) so you are reaching a specific, but global audience. The drawbacks include that, well, you will need to make sure you are quite comfortable withtwitter. Also, it moves fast and plenty of people will be commenting, so staying on track can be hard and of course you need to keep your answers to 140 characters.

These are just a few ways technology is changing journalism/communications. I could write on this subject for a week and not get through them all. In this New Year remember with this new technology comes new opportunities for you and your clients.