It’s important that companies be responsive to the media, but let’s be honest, we also know that you may not have the same idea of what makes a great interview as the reporter may have in mind. As public relations experts and crisis managers, we work with clients to prep them for productive interactions with media, while managing the circumstances to get the message they want out.
In today’s media environment, it’s essential to have a good relationship with your industry and community media to build authentic connections with your target audiences. Being responsive and responding appropriately is the starting point.
Interactions with reporters can occur in a variety of ways, but the live interview is what always worries our clients the most. Bridging techniques are an essential skillset to hone as you work to become more comfortable on camera or for any interview format.
What is bridging?
Bridging is a messaging response technique to move a conversation from a less desired question or even hostile question to a controlled message response.
A “bridge” is a phrase that helps move the conversation from where a question may lead, to where you want it to go. You should use bridging to redirect the interview to the message you want to communicate. Bridging may also be used to inject soundbites/messages you wish to convey.
Bridging can be useful for both live interviews and interviews that are intended to be edited for soundbites and pre-filmed segments.
|“The real issue here is…”||“Before we finish, I’d like to add…”||“As I said before…”|
|“Taking a broader look at this topic, what I can say is…”||“I won’t speculate. What matters most is…”||“And if we take a closer look, we would see…”|
|“The important part is…”||“And what’s most important to remember is…”||“I think it would be more correct to say…”|
|“Let me put that into context…”||“If we look at the bigger picture…”||“Let me point out again that…”|
|“That’s unclear at this time, but what I can tell you is…”||“with this in mind, I’d consider…”||“It is important to remember that…”|
|“Our main focus right now is…”||“If we take a broader perspective…”||“The most important issue here is…”|
|“We find the more important issue is…”||“If we look at the big picture…”||“What’s absolutely critical to remember is…”|
|“I think it would be more accurate (or correct) to say…”||“Let me put all this in perspective by saying…”||“What I’m most concerned about is…”|
|“The real problem is…”||“What all this information tells me is…”||“What we have to look at is…”|
|“What I’ve said comes down to this…”||“Before we continue, let me emphasize that…”||“I’m sorry, I don’t know the answer to that. However, what I can say is…”|
|“Let me emphasize again…”||“The heart of the matter is…”||“I’m not an expert on that topic. However, what I can say is…”|
How to get comfortable with bridging?
Test your bridging techniques by writing your topmost feared questions and having a trusted peer ask them randomly. We recommend even video recording yourself on your own device and deleting the files upon review.
We hope these tips have helped you to begin preparing for an interview.
Our team is here to assist with your crisis needs, media management and publicity goals.