Giving an interview is like going on a first date: It will lay the groundwork for your relationship with the media. You’ve caught their attention, now you need to build a rapport and develop a long-term relationship, gathering the publicity results on your way. An interview is the best free publicity you can get, so you need to be the best interviewee–or date–the journalist has ever had. Make it so whenever they need an expert or need a source–regarding your area of expertise–you are the person they contact. Giving a good interview is the first step in getting more publicity, so sell yourself to the media, and score a second date.

Here are a few publicity tips to remember for your interview:

1. If the interview is going to be over the phone make sure you use a landline, not your cell. A dropped call or a bad connection can lead to confusion, wasted time, or worse, for you and the person interviewing you. It’s the same reason you don’t talk to your date with you mouth full. Good crisp connections are the key to achieving the publicity results you desire.

2. Take a promotional break. When you’re being interviewed, remember that the interview is your promotion, so there’s no need for you to do it. Don’t say “In my book...” fifteen times during an interview, or during a date. Take a backseat to the interview’s promotional power and enjoy the publicity results.

3. If you’re doing television, give some thought into what you’ll be wearing. Ask yourself, “How will I look on set?” You want to stand out, not blend in. Do you wear camouflage on a first date? Of course not. And always bring a change of clothes. You don’t want to be wearing the same outfit as your interviewer, or your date! It’s also a good idea to dress professionally in a phone interview. You’re likely to be more confident in your professional attire than in your pajamas. Publicity success lies in a person’s confidence.

4. Send in a suggested list of questions for the interviewer to use. Note: Do not try this before a first, second, or third date. You’ll be able to answer these questions in a very succinct and clear manner, making great sound bites that can be pulled out and used in print articles, getting more publicity for you. It’s always a good idea to review your online press kit prior to the interview as well.

The best free publicity tip–and dating tip– you’ll ever receive is this: Be prepared. For interviews and everything else in the PR realm being prepared is the key ingredient to a successful publicity campaign. Lack of preparation is a publicist’s nightmare–yours too–so dress up, know your sound bites ahead of time, and review your online press kit. With a little preparation, you too can be a publicity success.

Author's Bio: 

L. Drew Gerber is CEO of Blue Kangaroo, Inc. and the creator of, a free media tool that moves the best interviews to the front of the line for journalists and producers. Gerber's business practices and staffing innovations have been revered by PR Week, Good Morning America and the Christian Science Monitor. His companies handle international PR campaigns and his staff develops online press kits for authors, speakers and companies with PressKit 24/7, a technology he developed. Contact Gerber at: or 828-749-3182. For more great free publicity advice, visit