Speaking From the Show Floor – tips for interviewing at events 

Events are finally back. After years of virtual events and remote gatherings, the opportunities for in-person networking and media interviews at major conferences are on the rise. While this is great news, especially for those tired of being interviewed by journalists from behind a computer screen, interviewing at live events can pose challenges. Here are three tips for making sure you are interviewing at your best while at events: 

  1. Preparation remains key 

The most valuable tip is likely the most predictable – but no less important – is preparation. More unknowns surround in-person interviews at industry events than with virtual interviews popularized during the pandemic. Interview locations and times may change, big news could break, and even the reporter with whom you are to speak could change at the last minute. While it is impossible to be prepared for every outcome, a solid set of talking points and a few practice runs with a colleague before the cameras are on will help you interview your best. 

  • Appearances matter 

The return to in-person interviews means extra attention needs to be paid to not only looking presentable, but to looking good for an interview. This means keeping the medium in mind. If you are going to be on camera, avoid large flashy or distracting jewelry, green clothing that could confuse green screen editing and tight plaid patterns. If you are being recorded for a podcast, then clothing that clicks or jingles should also be avoided, as the audio editors will already be working to reduce the background noise of the event. 

  • Remain flexible 

All interviews should be scheduled in advance of the conference if possible, and most of the time, this will be enough to ensure a smooth interview process. However, plans change, flights are missed, locations move and any of a dozen other things can happen to disrupt an otherwise well-planned interview. With more logistical issues involved, changes like these are more likely at an in-person event. As a result, it is important to stay in contact with the journalists involved before and immediately preceding the interview. Also, consider carrying a portable battery and charging cable, just in case you need to quickly coordinate a change of plans on a low phone battery. 

Of course, in addition to the tips above, what many interviewees find invaluable in coordinating and conducting interviews at conferences is a good public relations agency as a partner. A good PR team can coordinate everything ahead of time, assist in navigating the process, prepare talking points, provide media training, assist with the in-person logistics and any last-minute chances and, of course, quickly step in if anything should go wrong.

The return to in-person events means a return to event interviews. These can often be some of the most impactful pieces of media produced each year for your organization. By remaining prepared, flexible and knowledgeable of the challenges of in-person interviews, you will put yourself in the best possible position for successful, positive coverage. 


Is it mine? How to share your PR win

You’re famous! Well, somewhat famous. You were included in a great article in a highly regarded, well-read industry publication, and your thought leadership or interview made the front page. The next steps usually involve raising awareness of the story and sharing it among your colleagues, clients and peers. But can you do more? What if your quote would fit perfectly in an upcoming presentation or marketing material? They’re your words, aren’t they?

The short answer is – it’s complicated.

While they may be your thoughts on the page, an article is usually owned by the publication that published the article. This applies to thought leadership as well. Even if you are the bylined author, most publications own the rights to the submitted content they publish. So, what are the dos and don’ts of sharing content?

The Dos

First, most publications encourage authors and sources to share content they contribute through social media, as long as the post links back to either the original story or the publisher’s social media post about the content. Tagging the article and the publication are considered good practice and drawing attention to a story is a great way to deepen relationships with the media.

When it comes to your website, include a link to the article in your press page. This usually involves posting the title of the piece, the author, and the date it was published along with a hyperlink to the original piece. Generally, as long as you are linking to the content on the publication’s website and not copying content, you are not violating any rules related to intellectual property or copyright.

For marketing purposes, it is also acceptable to include mention of the article and is preferable to the publishers if your mention provides details on where to find the original article. For example, if a brochure discusses how a subject matter expert discussed a topic in a recent Forbes article, that is fair game and preferable to all parties if that mention includes the date that article was published.

The Don’ts

The general rule is once content is submitted to a publication, they own it – even if they are your own words. While linking to the original article is not different than any other social media post, taking written content and posting it without a link or credit is generally a violation of the publication’s intellectual property. At the very least, it is a great way to burn a bridge with a valued media contact and their publication.

This applies to more than just website content. Marketing materials and other communications should not include unattributed quotes, segments or articles. A bylined article should also be considered the property of the publication once it has been submitted for publishing. Many publications will have language to this effect in the legal notices on their website or even request that you sign an author’s agreement before publication.

A Rule of Thumb

Many publications may be interested in giving special permission to use their content as long as they are given the proper credit. There can be a grey area here, but as a rule of thumb, when it comes to who owns the content, regardless of who wrote it, assume it belongs to the publication.