Sports managers very often give interviews to the media print media, television or radio, and whether it is for a short audio clip in connection with an event, or a longer in-depth feature article, every interview must be viewed as an important opportunity to promote the work of your organisation – without having to pay for it!

In an increasingly busy media environment, the headline is becoming more and more important. But don’t simply react to questions and hope that the headline turns out ok. Rather, go into your interviews with a strong idea of the headlines you want to portray, and keep these in mind throughout.

Here are three techniques you should be using to think in headlines:

  • First, clarify your message: before your interview have 2-3 key headlines in mind in advance, which if everything goes to plan – will become the headings and sub-headings of articles. If you can’t clarify your message in advance, you shouldn’t be doing the interview!
  • Second, answer the topics rather than the questions: the best way to control the agenda of the interview is to focus on the keywords of the question being asked. Your headlines should reflect these like keywords and therefore, even if you don’t answer the question directly, it will be sufficiently relevant to be able to keep momentum.
  • Third, bring life to your words: seek to emphasise your headlines – this can be done by repeating them, by changing the tone of your voice, your body language, or even using anecdotes and personal experience. This will help reinforce to the interviewer, and the potential audience, that these are the main points to take notice of.

Interviews can of course be challenging, with the need to answer tough questions in an efficient and effective way. But by having a clear vision of the headlines you would like to see, you can control the agenda of the interview and promote your work as a result.


BCW Sports practice is the sport unit of global advisory firm Burson-Marsteller. We provide strategy and communication advice for sport clients around the world. For more information: