TACHC Quick Media Tips

When you receive a media inquiry

Find out the reporter’s deadline.

  •  Ask what the goal of the story is and what they are looking for.
  • Never answer questions before you are prepared. It is perfectly acceptable to let the reporter know that you will call back – even if you need a few minutes to prepare your thoughts.
  • Preparing for an interview

Keep it simple.

  • Develop 3 to 5 talking points for your message.  These are the main ideas you want to emphasize during your interview.
  • Focus on a story to make your point – either a personal story or a patient story.
  • Wear the right clothing.  Dress conservatively.  Never go more casual than “business casual.”  You will never be overdressed wearing a suit.  Never wear the color white, as it can make the subject look washed out.  Try not to wear “busy” patterns or
  • heavy jewelry, as television tends to exaggerate patterns or make them look odd.
  • Contact TACHC for guidance, data or other support.

During the interview

  •  Maintain eye contact. Don’t look at the camera.
  • Stand or sit up straight.
  • Give short answers. Don’t get mired in details.
  • Avoid acronyms.
  • Stay in your comfort zone.
  • If you are not comfortable with the content of a question, you can: 1) offer to get the information and get back to the reporter; 2) direct the reporter to someone else who is a content expert in that area.
  • Stick to your message.
  • If the reporter’s questions veer into another direction or asks you to speculate, use something called a “bridge” to bring the conversation back to your message. EX: Q: “Do you think there will be a massive Zika outbreak in Texas?” A: “I’m not going to speculate. What’s important here…”  Or, “We’re here today to talk about…”
  • Unless the interview is live, don’t be afraid to ask to re-do an answer.
  • Never assume any information you share is “off the record.

Media Contact

For media inquiries contact:
Lisa Ware, Executive Assistant to the Executive Director
Brom Hoban, Communications Director

Office: (512) 329-5959
email: media@tachc.org