Interview Crib Sheet

Try This test. Next time you plan to talk with a reporter, review these pointers first.

1. What’s the story? Tell the reporter you want to know the gist of the story first to gather facts.

2. Don’t rush it. Unless a reporter is up against a tight deadline, you don’t have to be interviewed on the spot. Set a time; even an hour later can help.

3. Ask questions of the reporter
a)How did the reporter happen upon the story?
b) Who else is being interviewed?

4. Review the latest material beforehand, create quotes you would like to see.

5. Tell the truth. Never lie…it’s not worth it.

6. Never go off the record unless you know the source very well and he/she values the relationship.

7. Always participate. “No comment” carries the stigma of assumed
guilt. Unless there is absolutely no good to come from the interview, participate. You will have a say in the outcome.

8. Never get mad! It only makes you look bad.

9. Feel free to call after a story runs if you have something constructive to say. Reporters appreciate this.

10. Update the reporter if something happens after the story that you may want them to know.

Exorcising Demons

Screen Shot 2014-05-12 at 11.39.36 AMThe “Fagots Stay Out!” sign was long gone, but the bad taste lingered. West Hollywood’s legendary rock hangout, Barney’s Beanery, had great buzz, but a lot of negative press based on their homophobic past. People said: “I would never step foot in that homophobic place!” and “You need to deal with your problem!”  So we did. The solution: Exorcise the demons.  We arranged for the new owner David Houston to sit down, in an event attended by the press, with the Reverend Troy Perry, a well-known gay rights leader who had led public protests at Barney’s during the 70s.

At these protests in the 1970s, Perry and many other gay activists picketed outside of the restaurant and halted business, demanding that the “Fagots Stay Out!” sign be taken down. Perry vowed he would never step foot in Barney’s again, unless it was to hear an apology.

When Perry entered Barney’s Beanery for the first time in 34 years, Houston, who had purchased the bar in 1999, had an apology prepared. “I’m sorry that it ever happened,” Houston told Perry. “I’m sorry if this name is associated with any sort of pain in the community. I hope everyone will be as open-minded as the reverend to understand that times can change and business can change hands and a young person can come in and strike a new tone and can be forgiven.”

Perry explained the amount of hurt that had lingered since Anthony Barney made anti-gay sentiments in Life magazine. Houston responded by saying that everyone is welcome now and there is a new sheriff in town with a different attitude.

“I thank you for being open-minded enough and be willing to come and hear from me that the past is the past and it’s a new era. I’m a new owner and that kind of prejudice and intolerance has no place in any American business and certainly not in Barney’s. We hope to exclude no one and cater to anyone who has an appreciation for fattening food, good chili, beer and loud rock and roll music,” said Houston.

Barney’s outreach campaign continues to make amends with the LGBT community with events like hosting homeless youth from the Gay & Lesbian Center for monthly lunches. This past decade has seen the successful opening of 5 replicas of the famous rowdy roadhouse at  5 high-end Southern California locations.

*Quotes from IN LA Magazine

ObamaCare – The KISS Effect (keep it simple, stupid)

Screen Shot 2014-05-12 at 11.36.13 AMWith big changes in healthcare and the new federal   requirement to get insurance or get fined, software client PointCare created a portable, tech-savvy 5- question eligibility quiz as the first step for Californians to get signed up for coverage.

Working with Pasadena-based ChapCare, a nonprofit health care provider in the San Gabriel Valley, a team of enrollment specialists, armed with PointCare loaded laptops and portable printers, signed up hundreds of local residents in coverage programs during the months leading up to the April 15 deadline.

To get the message out, Haese & Wood arranged for the PointCare tablet to appear in ABC Eyewitness News, CBS Evening News, the Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post and many other regional and national media outlets. The 90-second quiz, which allows people to quickly see what coverage options they are eligible for, has been taken by more than a half-million people to date.


Why Media Training is Important

At Haese & Wood, we think it is of utmost importance to provide media training for key product spokespersons who, in addition to selling their product, must also “tell their story” to the media.  The main purpose of media training is to raise each executive’s comfort level when working with the press.  The program includes understanding how journalists work, what makes them tick and where questions come from.

Regardless of how many interviews one has done, no one has ever left our media training sessions without feeling that he or she has gained tremendous experience and knowledge as a result of the session.

A full or half-day training can help you to:

  • Recognize and understand interview formats and interviewer styles
  • Take the lead in interview and direct it to a particular point of view
  • Answer questions both quickly and succinctly, and get specific points across as a     goal of the interview
  • Handle crisis communications situations
  • Avoid information overload in interviews
  • Effectively communicate the organization’s messages in interviews with print and broadcast media
  • Demonstrate and practice various interview techniques and formats, with attention to such details as body language, use of buzz words and specific mannerisms
  • Develop an awareness of and sensitivity to consumer and constituency issues related to the company, particularly as viewed by the media.