Escorting and Facilitating Media Interview Checklist

Checklist 2 min
As a military communicator, you will interact with reporters who come to the installation for interviews. Use this checklist to prep, facilitate and escort the media's visit.

Pre-Interview Tasks

  • Assist with finding and prepping the correct subject matter experts (SMEs) for the interviews.
  • Make sure the interview location has been "sanitized" by SMEs who know what should and should not be photographed or videoed.
  • Follow security protocols to arrange media access to the facility on the day of the interview.
  • Confirm with entry control that media is approved for escorted access to the installation.
    • Don't let denial of entry derail the interview.
    • Check if media is cleared to be escorted into any areas with higher security (i.e. flightline).
  • Introduce yourself to the reporter and allow the reporter to do the same. Greet them professionally.
  • Remove your ID badge to avoid a potential SAPP violation.
  • Provide the media with a press kit (fact sheets, bios, press releases, B-roll) and explain its contents. Make sure the information is relevant. 
  • Explain the ground rules for the interview and review itinerary.
    • The interview will be no longer than the agreed-upon amount of time for the interview. This is a hard ground rule; it is best to tell them that the interview subject has X amount of time available.
    • Remind the reporter that they must stay on topic. Only one topic may be discussed. If there are others they wish to discuss, they must be addressed at a later time.
    • If it is a moving interview that involves multiple locations, review the location details of the pre-established itinerary.
    • The media team must remain in a designated area, and you must escort them only to areas that have been planned and cleared before the visit.
  • Escort the reporter to the SME.

 

Post-Interview Tasks

  • Ask the reporter if they have everything they need and confirm all their questions were answered.
  • Find out when the story will be aired or printed.
  • Provide them with your contact information should they need assistance. Give them your official contact information to avoid a reporter calling you at all hours when they are trying to meet a deadline.
  • Never leave the reporter alone! Escort the reporter to the gate to ensure they stay focused on the story they came to cover, but don't smother them. They are media, not a prisoner. The former means treating media like they are a guest on the installation. The latter is a good way to get a story you don't want to be written about your organization.