Radio Interviews Via Phone

By Doug Weller


Don’t let mobile phone issues negatively impact your radio interviews.

Who doesn’t have a mobile phone these days?

Most of us can’t live without them – we feel like we’ve lost a limb if we are without a mobile phone for even a short time.

They’re as beneficial and convenient as they are intrusive.

Smart phones have definitely made it easier to reach our media audiences in record time.

Journalists and ‘Citizen journalists’ now use mobile phones to film and live stream dramatic events as they unfold. The audience experiences the news in real time. It really is incredible!

Poor quality news footage filmed on mobile phones has become acceptable. Now, poor quality footage is better than nothing – if it’s dramatic.

This isn’t the case with radio interviews.

Radio interviews obviously rely on sound only.

If the sound quality is poor, the message is diluted or even lost.

Why spokespeople should avoid mobile phones for radio interviews

1. Poor reception / Call dropouts

For all the advances in technology, many mobile phone connections are still pretty wobbly.

You don’t want to risk losing a connection in the middle of an interview.

Some people even engage in radio interviews using a mobile phone whilst driving a vehicle, increasing the call drop-out risk – crazy!

If you must use a mobile phone for your radio interview make sure you’re settled in a quiet stationary space.

2. Poor sound quality

Your audience shouldn’t need to work hard just to hear you on the radio.

Conducting a radio interview using your mobile speaker function can make it almost impossible to understand you.

The speaker phone can pick up surrounding noise that will compete with what you’re saying and distract listeners.

As a listener, I’ve switched off radio interviews being conducted using a mobile phone because the sound quality was so bad.

3. Battery issues

You’d think it would be a given that you would have your mobile phone fully charged and ready for your radio interview.

But many people get nervous at the thought of doing radio interviews and it’s easy to just focus on performance and forget to charge your phone.

Imagine your phone battery dying in the middle of your interview. It’s happened.

Again, avoid mobile phones for radio interviews.

If you don’t have a choice, make sure your phone is fully charged.

4. Call waiting


In the middle of your interview the call waiting alert can start as a new call comes in.

This is extremely distracting for you, the radio interviewer and the audience.

Straight away your message loses its impact as the call waiting alert becomes the focus.

If you must use your mobile for a radio interview, turn the call waiting function off before you start.

This goes for landlines too.

5. Radio studios and landlines are best

If you’re conducting a radio interview, do everything you can to get to a landline – going into the studio is even better.

If your interview has value for you it’s worth doing well.

Don’t let mobile phone issues trash your media opportunity.

The vast majority of the time, a landline conversation is going to be much better quality.

Listeners will be able to clearly hear what you’ve got to say and absorb everything without battling bad mobile reception.

If possible, go into a radio studio. The sound quality will be perfect and you’re able to build rapport with the announcer.

You’ll probably be given more interview time too.


Always remember the value for you in conducting radio interviews.

Ensure it’s a quality job to maximise the value to you.

Further Assistance

If you want to know more about engaging with the media, contact Corporate Media Services for more information about our media training programs and services. Make an email enquiry now… or call 1300 737 913

Ricy Muir Interview enlarged

Ricky Muir – A Deer in the Headlights

Ricy Muir Interview enlarged
By Doug Weller – Corporate Media Services

Some people like doing media interviews. They are confident, love the limelight and are naturally good at it – but most are not.

The majority of people struggle with nerves and anxiety at the thought of being on TV, with cameras in their face, answering questions.

The problem is fear. Fear of making a mistake. Fear of stuffing up. Fear of looking like an idiot in front of thousands, or potentially millions of people.

Most people can easily give you an opinion on anything. However, shove a microphone under their nose and even the most competent and accomplished speaker can go to water.

Many media spokespeople loathe conducting a media interview. I’ve met some who become physically ill at the thought of doing one.

Like anything, the more you practise, the better you get. So when it comes to improving your public speaking and media confidence, start small and gradually build up.

The Ricky Muir and Mike Willesee Interview

The Australian Motoring Enthusiast Party’s Ricky Muir had managed to avoid media contact for months after being elected to the senate.

Mr Muir remained elusive as requests for media interviews were referred to others.

Unfortunately when media shy Ricky Muir finally fronted, he leapt straight into a national TV interview with Australian journalist, Mike Willesee. Click here to view interview

Watching that interview, it’s fair to say he is not an accomplished public speaker.

He stumbled over his words, struggled to answer questions, asked to take breaks and was clearly rattled by the entire process.

There were at least 2 cameras, one facing him and one behind him, TV lights all around and members of the TV crew to contend with.

This is a hot, uncomfortable and distracting environment. For some it can be claustrophobic. Wearing a suit jacket in that environment, as he was, can make it worse.

It looked like Ricky Muir was having what I have seen thousands of times in media training sessions, mind blanks.

He seemed so uncomfortable and nervous, the words just wouldn’t come out.

Why on earth Ricky Muir or his advisors would choose his media interview debut to be on TV with Mike Willisee, one of Australia’s most experienced journalist’s and commentators, is absolutely bewildering.

Mike Willesee has been critiscised for the way he conducted the interview but this is rubbish. He asked totally acceptable questions in a non aggressive way.

Building Media Experience

The way to deal with inexperienced media performers is to ease them into the media interview process.

Perhaps start with some low level newspaper interviews and then move to radio interviews over the phone. The more interviews you conduct, the more comfortable you feel.

Television interviews like the one Ricky Muir was subjected to are tough for even the most experienced media spokesperson.

The last thing you should do without any media experience is sit in front of a TV camera and answer difficult questions.

I would never suggest anybody with limited media skills front up to something like that.

You work your way up to TV interviews, you certainly don’t start with them.


  • Some people are natural media performers, most are not.
  • Never go into a media interview unless you are feeling confident and empowered.
  • Don’t do media interviews until you’re completely prepared and know what you want to gain from the process.

Further Information

Mike Willesee responds to criticism over Ricky Muir Interview

Information Only

Any information presented on our website is of a general nature only and is not intended as a substitute for professional advice.

Further Assistance

If you would like further information about dealing with the media contact Corporate Media Services for more information or training.

Make an email enquiry now… or call 1300 737 913