“Obama Says Afghan Policy Won’t Change After Dismissal” and “Gates Tightens Rules for Military and the Media” are just a couple of the recent newspaper articles that reflect high-ranking military officials’ opinions to the war in Afghanistan. Whether your opinion as a Field Grade officer in the U.S. Armed Forces agrees or disagrees with the current Administration’s policy on this issue, it is YOUR responsibility to relay this policy to the media if confronted for an interview.
The future senior-ranking military officials are those of us who are Field Grade officers today. As an individual rises through the officer ranks, he/she may be approached by a reporter to conduct an interview on a domestic or international situation. The purpose of this essay is to show the importance of how solid interviewing skills can affect perception of the military when dealing with the media.
I am going to cover three of the most common techniques for a successful interview. First, I am going to address how to assess the interview request. During this phase, I am also going to address what an interviewee should do once the interview is agreed upon, the importance of establishing a rapport and how to set a good image. The second technique will be the actual conducting of the interview. Lastly, what the interviewee should do after the interview has concluded.
Douglas B. Wilson, the new Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs, stated Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates’s memo “is based primarily on his views that we owe the media and we owe ourselves engagement by those who have full knowledge of the situations at hand”. In order to present the most accurate information to the media, one must be knowledgeable of the skills of good interview etiquette. The first step is assessing the interview request.
When assessing the interview request, getting answers to certain questions will help the interviewee assess the request. The five best tips...