How you Can Help Get the Word Out


Media Interviews
Agree to do media interviews to share your story and provide a human face to this issue. If you would like to be part of No on Prop 102ís Media Rapid Response team, contact Vicki Gaubeca at .

Media Tips
Preparing for the Interview

  • Reporters are usually working on a deadline. Call back right away. When a reporter calls you, always find out what kind of deadline he or she is facing.

  • Ask for the reporterís name and the media organization for which he or she is reporting.

  • IMPORTANT: Think of two to three main points you would like to make. Gather facts, figures and anecdotes to support your points. Try to anticipate questions the reporter might ask and have responses ready. The tougher your anticipated questions, the more comfortable youíll be during the interview.

  • Have printed materials to support your information whenever possible to help the reporter minimize errors. If time allows, offer to fax or e-mail the reporter printed information in advance of the interview.

NOTE: Be aware that reportersí schedules are determined by the ëbreakingí news of the day. Do not be offended or disappointed if an interview gets canceled or rescheduled because a more urgent story arises.

During the Interview

  • Be brief! We live in the age of the sound bite. Television and radio stories may use only a 10-30 second cut. The shorter your comments, the less likely they are to be edited. Even print reporters are looking for short, snappy quotes.

  • Remember you can direct the spin of the story. You can say ìthat is the wrong question. What you should be asking is Ö.î or ìThe most important point isÖî

  • State message simply and keep it simple. Rehearse it.

  • Speak in complete thoughts. The reporterís question may be edited out and your response should stand on its own.

  • Donít overestimate a reporterís knowledge of your subject. When a reporter bases a question on information you believe is incorrect, do not hesitate to set the record straight. But do so politely; remember this is an opportunity to educate the reporter and the public. Offer background information where necessary.

  • If you do not understand a question, ask for clarification rather than talking around it. If you do not have the answer, say so. Tell the reporter where to find the information, if possible. Or say that you will find the answer and get back to them (remember to follow through).

  • Never say, ëNo comment.í Instead, if you cannot or do not choose to answer, explain briefly. For example, ëIt is our policy not to discuss lawsuits currently in litigationí or ëI canít answer that because I havenít seen the research paper you are referring to.í

  • Avoid saying things ëoff the record.í Reporters may or may not honor this, and it annoys them. If you donít want to hear it on the evening news, you had better not say it.

  • Be honest. Donít try to conceal negative information; rather, let your interviewer know what you are doing to solve a problem.

  • Tell them to include our web site if they can:

Tips on Broadcast Media

  • For television interviews, plan to wear solid-color clothing (blue is best). Stripes, plaids or other designs can cause problems with color TV pictures. Avoid large, jangling or reflective jewelry. Avoid red or white.

  • Sit on back of jacket/blazer, button up if possible. Make sure jacket/blazer does not bunch up, sit erect, leaning slightly forward.

  • Place feet flat on the floor.

  • Look in a mirror, if possible, just before going on camera. The reporter may not tell you that your collar is folded over or your hair is out of place.

  • Find out in advance whether the interview is edited or ëlive.í If you agree to a live interview, be sure you are comfortable thinking on your feet and responding off the cuff.

  • In edited interviews, do not answer questions too quickly; pause briefly before answering. This helps the reporter get a ëcleaní sound bite and also has the added benefit of allowing you time to think out your answer.

  • In edited interviews, itís O.K. to stop and start over again if you donít like the way you worded your answer.

  • IMPORTANT: In a TV interview, look at the reporter and not the camera. The only exception is in a satellite interview, when the reporter or anchor may not be on location. If youíre uncertain where to look, ask.

  • Stay stationary in front of radio or TV microphones and avoid sitting in a chair that rocks or spins. Wandering around or rocking in your chair can cause the recorded volume to rise and fall.

  • Be aware of and avoid nervous habits such as pen tapping that can interfere with the interview. Donít cross arms.

  • Donít expect the reporter to announce when the camera is on, just assume that it is always rolling.

After the interview

  • In most instances you will not have the opportunity to check over the reporterís story before it appears. However, you can ask questions at the end of an interview to test for comprehension. For example, you might ask, ëWhat do you think is the main story angle here?í

  • You may want to ask when a story will appear. The reporter may not have an answer, but if he or she does they will be happy to tell you.

  • Give the reporter your business card to make sure your name and title are spelled correctly.

  • If you feel after reflecting on an interview that you misspoke or gave incorrect information, call the reporter as soon as possible and let her or him know. Similarly, you can call with additional information if you forgot to make an important point.

  • Give positive feedback to reporters, if merited, after a story appears. Like the rest of us, they usually hear only complaints and rarely get a call or note to say theyíve done a good job.

<=== Getting the Word Out

<== Writing to the Media




Honorary Co-Chairs
UA President Emeritus
Dr. Peter Likins

Tucson First Lady
Beth Walkup
Jim Burroway
Becky Corran

Cynthia Garcia
Paid for by
No on Prop 102
P.O. Box 87955
Tucson, AZ




Questions? email