Три важных умения хорошего репетитора

Meeting the Press

Press interviews, news conferences, media tours, and other kinds of gatherings provide excellent opportunities to communicate your message to a variety of audiences. They are more personal than just sending written materials and allow reporters to get direct answers from news sources.

Company executives prone to stage fright may view direct one-to-one contact with the media as a nightmare. They fear that they will say something stupid, be misquoted, or be «ambushed» by an aggressive reporter who will slant the interview to imply that the organization is guilty of some wrongdoing.

Nevertheless, media interviews help the organization accomplish the objectives of increasing visibility, consumer awareness, and sales of services or products. The key is preparation.

Individual Interviews

Most press interviews are set up in advance. They can be initiated by you as the public relations representative, or they can be requested by a reporter who is looking for credible experts to fill out a story.

If a reporter calls requesting an interview, you should interview the reporter before the reporter interviews you. Some common questions are, «What’s the nature of your story?» «Why did you call me?» «What are you looking for from me?»

By doing this kind of questioning, you can decide if you are qualified to answer the questions or whether someone else in the organization would be a better source. You may also decide that the context of the story is not appropriate for your organization and decline to be interviewed. For example, the reporter may ask you to comment on some topic that has nothing to do with your organization.

One danger in a telephone interview is that you’re caught off guard and don’t have time to formulate your thoughts. But before you know it, you and the reporter are chatting away like old friends about a number of topics. This is fine, but do remember that name and a quote will probably appear in the article or as a sound bite on a newscast. It may be accurate, or it may be completely out of context.

A better approach for a major interview, whether initiated by you or by the reporter, is to schedule it in advance. If you know the purpose of the story, this will help you prepare yourself or other spokespersons for the session.

There are some tips:

  1. Define your key points. Know the three most important points you want to get across to the interviewer.
  2. Anticipate difficult questions. Make a list of questions that might be asked — and be prepared for them.
  3. Rehearse. It is normal to feel uncomfortable when you’re in the «hot seat» when reporters start questioning you. Practice making your key points and answering difficult questions. If you’re preparing an executive for the interview, you role-play as the reporter.
  4. Follow up. After the interview, provide any material promised to the reporter. Respect a reporter’s deadlines. Getting back to a reporter in several days often isn’t good enough.

Another common suggestion is to provide reporters with company background materials in advance or at the time of the interview. This will help them get facts and names correct. Body language is also important: Be confident and relaxed, always look a reporter in the eye and never look away, keep your hands open, smile, and lean forward when you’re talking.


abmush заманить в ловушку
accomplish the objective достичь цели
in advance заранее
anticipate ожидать, предвидеть
appropriate подходящий
be in the hot seat (col) быть как на иголках
body language язык жестов
catch smb. off guard застигнуть к.-л. врасплох
chat away болтать
consumer awareness потребительская осведомленность
decline отвергнуть, отказаться
follow up довести до конца
get across to smb. донести до к.-л.
imply намекать, предполагать
newscast последние известия (по радио или телевидению)
nightmare кошмар
prone to smth. склонный к ч.-л.
rehearse репетировать
slant передергивать факты; необъективно представлять информацию
stage-fright страх перед публикой
view рассматривать
visibility обзор, видимость


1)  Find the English equivalents in the text. Use them in sentences of your own

  1. быть компетентным
  2. сформулировать мысль
  3. цель ч.-л.
  4. знающие специалисты
  5. обычные вопросы
  6. предоставить прекрасные возможности
  7. служащие компании
  8. источник (информации)
  9. прокомментировать ч.-л.
  10. не иметь ничего общего с ч.-л.

2) Find the words in the text which describe or mean the following

  1. changes in your body position and movements that show what you are feeling or thinking likely to do smth.
  2. nervousness felt by someone who is going to perform in front of a lot of people
  3. to provide facts or information in a way that unfairly supports one opinion, one side of an argument etc.
  4. to surprise someone by doing or saying something that they are not ready to deal with a news program on television
  5. to suggest that something is true without saying or showing it directly

3) Match the words. Use the expressions in sentences of your own

body conference
sound language
background points
news bite
key materials

4) Translate the following sentences into Russian

  1. She is prone to say exactly what she thinks.
  2. It was a nightmare driving home in the snow.
  3. The report was heavily slanted toward the city council’s version of events.
  4. The sudden snowstorm caught weather forecasters off guard.
  5. The movie is appropriate for children over 12.
  6. Sales are better than anticipated.
  7. It was difficult to get his idea across to the committee.
  8. The salesmen implied that the cars were safe.
  9. He declined their invitation to take part in the conference.
  10. If it is viewed from an environmental perspective, the factory’s closing is a good hing.

5) Match the words which are close in their meaning

aggressive competent
personal ordinary
common individual
qualified explicate
comment hostile

6) Match the words which have the opposite meaning

personal oral
qualified friendly
major unskilled
aggressive insignificant
written public

7) Complete the following sentences

prone; appropriate; major; schedule; decline; ini¬tiated; view; nightmare

  1. A better approach for a _______ interview, whether _______by you or by the reporter, is to _______it in advance.
  2. You may also decide that the context of the story is not  _______for your organization) and _______to be interviewed.
  3. Company executives _______to stage fright may direct one-to-one contact with the media as a

8)    Insert the prepositions and translate the sentences into Russian

for; on; with; in; forward; up; away; by; out)

  1. Most press interviews are set_____advance.
  2. They can be requested _____a reporter who is looking_____credible experts to fill_____a story.
  3. The reporter may ask you to comment _____some topic that has nothing to do_____your organization.
  4. Be confident and relaxed, always look a reporter_____the eye and never look_____, and lean_____when you’re talking.

9)    Write these words with correct negative prefixes (un, in, im). Translate the pairs of adjectives into Russian

  1. qualified
  2. personal
  3. written
  4. direct
  5. appropriate
  6. credible
  7. common
  8. accurate
  9. important
  10. confident

10)    Translate in writing four paragraphs describing the tips which would help you prepare for an interview.

11)    Answer the following questions

  1. Why are press interviews, news conferences etc, so important to public relations people?
  2. Why may company executives sometimes view direct one-to-one contact with the media as a nightmare?
  3. What is the key to a successful interview?
  4. Who can initiate a press interview?
  5. What questions should be asked before a reporter interviews you?
  6. What can be achieved by doing this kind of questioning?
  7. What are dangers of a telephone interview?
  8. What should reporters be provided with in advance or at the time of the interview?

12)    Can you explain the following?

  1. Respect a reporter’s deadlines.
  2. The key is preparation.

13)    Agree or disagree

  1. Body language is also important.
  2. If a reporter calls requesting an interview, you should interview the reporter be¬fore the reporter interviews you.