Local Press Part 2: What To Do, What To Say
Today's guest blog was written by Chapter President Gretta Kissel. So your chapter got some amazing press! Now what? Here are Gretta's top tips for acing your press interview from facts to feelings.
Congrats! You’ve gotten a local newspaper or TV station interested in your GlamourGals chapter. You’ve scheduled a date and location for the interview, but suddenly it hits you: what are you going to say? What if you draw a blank when they ask a question, and they call the whole interview off? Or worse—what if you have spinach in your teeth, and they write about that instead?
There’s two pieces of good news here. First of all, both of those scenarios are extremely unlikely to happen. And second, there are tons of things you can do to prepare for the interview and ensure that it goes smoothly! My name’s Gretta Kissell, and I’m President of the GlamourGals of Tiffin-Fostoria chapter based in Ohio. As Jena mentioned before, our chapter has recently been highlighted by some local newspapers and a television station (thanks to her infallible methods of reaching out to local press, of course). Through these experiences, I’ve discovered some helpful tips on how to lessen nerves and maximize the quality of information you can share about GlamourGals during interviews. By studying these tips, you’ll be prepared to answer any question you’re asked in an interview!
Tip #1: Don’t Forget The Basics
What I’m about to say may seem obvious, but when you’re facing your interviewer (or a microphone or the blank page of an email) it’s very easy for your brain to accidentally skip over information that may seem obvious to you but isn’t for anyone not in GlamourGals. Here’s some basic questions and answers that I find helpful to discuss right away:
- What is GlamourGals? Some key words you might want to include: “GlamourGals is a national volunteer organization that works to end elderly isolation by providing companionship to nursing home residents through manicures and makeovers.”
What do you guys actually do at a makeover? Here you can describe a typical makeover. For example: “Our chapter spends two hours at a nursing home. The first half hour we make crafts for the residents. The next hour we spend painting nails and providing makeovers for residents, and during the last half hour we visit bedridden residents.” Your chapter may be set up a bit different, and that’s okay! Just cover what your chapter’s events are like and you’ll be good.
Who are the chapter officers? The interviewer may not ask, but it’s important to mention all chapter officers. They contribute to the greatness of your chapter and deserve credit for their hard work!
Now that the basics are out of the way, you can dive into the specifics of what makes GlamourGals so worthwhile!
Tip #2: Find Your Facts
The point of an interview is to highlight the importance and impact of GlamourGals in the elderly community, and one of the best ways to do this is through facts and numbers. Chapters.glamourgals.org is going to be your best friend for this; using this website, you can check information about your chapter and GlamourGals as a whole. Here are questions that would be useful to have information about for your interview:
How many volunteers are in your chapter?
How many service hours has your chapter completed?
When, how, and why was your chapter started?
On average, how many makeovers and manicures do you provide per event?
Don’t stress out memorizing every single detail about your chapter. Just brush up on some facts so that you’ll know what to tell the interviewer about the size, organization, and tangible impact of your chapter in the community. By having this information before your interview, you’ll feel more prepared and have stuff to talk about to act as a segue for the conversation.
Tip #3: Get in Touch With Your Feels
Of course, facts can’t always cover the emotional impact that GlamourGals has on both residents and volunteers. Brainstorm some of your most touching interactions from makeovers and moments where you noticed a powerful impact that GlamourGals had on a resident or yourself. Maybe it was a lesson your elderly friend taught you about valuing family, or a moment when the volunteers and residents both went caroling down the nursing home halls. Checking old journals on the chapters.glamourgals.org website can be super helpful here, as there are probably some really impactful experiences discussed in them. Also think about what you’ve learned from GlamourGals. How have you and your volunteers grown? This may seem very easy to answer, but having a strong concept of the specific ways you’ve grown will allow you to answer the question directly without struggling to put your thoughts together.
And now, the most important tip of all…
Tip #4: Take a Deeeeep Breath
Being in the local press is an awesome opportunity for your chapter! You may be nervous to be interviewed, but remember: everyone from the interviewer to the readers wants you to succeed. As long as you speak truthfully and passionately, the interview will go swimmingly. For those still struggling with nerves, however, here are some tips to lessen anxiousness:
Take deep breaths. This is especially important right before the interview, when your heart rate will feel like it's beating faster than a rockstar’s drum solo.
Smile. Smiling is scientifically proven to increase chemicals in your body linked to positive emotions. Plus, going into the interview with a smile will make your interviewer feel good too!
If your muscles feel tense, stretch a little beforehand!
I’ve learned that once you start answering questions, the symptoms of your nerves disappear and you’ll start to enjoy yourself. Plus, thanks to all of the relaxation tips you’ve just learned, you’ll be able to handle your pre-interview nerves with ease. So congrats again! You’re now ready to confidently face an interview and passionately discuss the greatest volunteer organization ever: GlamourGals. Make sure to remember the basics, find your facts, get in touch with your feels, and take a deep breath. You’re going to do great. Good luck everyone, and don’t forget to smile!
By: Gretta Kissell