If you’re a terrific interviewee, you’re “Good TalentTM”. And I’m not just saying that because that’s the name of my business. It’s actually an insider term that journalists use.

Good Talent is exactly what newsrooms need to write stories, create content and keep the news cycle spinning. If you’re a news junkie, you would have noticed that the same interviewees appear in the same stories from the morning right through to the night across all networks: radio, TV, print and online.

Have you ever asked yourself why? Well, the answer is simple. Media spend most of their time listening to, reading and watching other media.  If you’re the Good Talent on the story of the day, all the newsrooms will want you because you’re guaranteed to help create content that rates.

An example of Good Talent

When featured in the media, Good Talents are assertive, on message and leave audiences in no doubt as to what their point is.

Australian Grand Prix Corporation chief Andrew Westacott is a great example of Good Talent. He’s the one to watch ahead of this year’s Formula One Grand Prix.  He’s going to do back-to-back press interviews with all agency, and it won’t all be about Australian ace Daniel Ricciardo. 
He’ll be challenged on why the Victorian government should continue to invest 60 million dollars in a race that doesn’t make the state any money. He’ll be challenged on the ongoing environmental damage the race causes Albert Park. He’ll be asked to reflect on the recent death of former Grand Prix supremo Ron Walker. He’ll also be asked why Sydney shouldn’t host the race.

These are the kind of stories that news rooms chase after, and Andrew’s interview quotes on all these topics will fuel the news cycle for days. But more importantly, he’ll have his own goals, messages and sound bites that will undoubtedly create a debate that will capture the media’s attention and suit the Grand Prix’s own agenda.

Like any Good Talent, he’ll be proactive, strategic, brave and prepared.

Why isn’t everyone Good Talent?

Without proper media training, being interviewed by the media is a daunting affair. An unprepared interviewee may see it as an unpleasant necessity. They just want to survive it. So after a deep breath, they plough through, reacting to the journalist’s questions and hoping it’s over quickly.

The trap many interviewees fall into is assuming that the journalist has comprehensive knowledge of their field, and no matter how tough the questions are, they will be insightful and help the interviewee get their message across. But the fact is, journalists formulate their questions as they talk to you.

So if an interview feels like it’s routine or underwhelming, it’s because you haven’t made your point or story clear enough to the journalist. They’re not getting it because you’re not convincing them that your story is worth pursuing. And you will never get your message across if you’re waiting for them to ask the right question about it.

What makes Good Talent?

When a press interview is handled well, it can put your personal and organisational profile on steroids. Good Talent know this and rise to the opportunity. If you’re looking to become the next Good Talent in your industry or even just for your organisation, here are three points to remember:

Good Talent is prepared

If you get asked to be an interviewee, chances are you’ll know in advance. So that’s the time to prepare. Find out about your interviewer, research the network online, and most importantly, figure out your message, stories, and sound bites (learn how to do this here). It is a lot of work if you don’t have a PR person to help you out or a standard PR policy in your company, but the more you do it, the easier it gets.

Good Talent takes a stand

Sitting on the fence isn’t going to make a great interview. Journalists want interviewees that have a particular stance or viewpoint on a subject, and it’s a great chance to promote yourself or your organisation as the authority or expert on this subject.

Good Talent directs the interview

The journalist is only in control if you’re reacting to their questions. Instead, see their questions as a means to emphasise your message further. Each question is a chance to reiterate your points using a different method, such as a story or a sound bite. Even if they throw in a tough question or two, your answer should both answer the journalist and pivot them back to your message.

Good Talent is learned

Journalists interview tens of thousands of people across a career, so if you can become a memorable interviewee, you’ll quickly find yourself in the spotlight again and again.

Can you become Good Talent?

Yes, you can. I started Good Talent Media with the dream of helping to train and mentor a generation of outstanding media spokespeople, talent that any newsroom would love to have in a story.  Three years on and hundreds of clients later, we’re well on the way to achieving that dream. So if being a journalist’s dream is your goal, then become Good Talent.


Who impresses you in the media? Who would you call “Good Talent”?

Tell us below in the comments section.

Want to get your staff media-ready?

We provide media training led by experienced journalist Tony Nicholls, who has covered international stories and worked for many of Australia’s major news networks. Find out more about the types of media training we offer here.

Tony Nicholls

Tony Nicholls

Founder and Director of Good Talent Media

Tony Nicholls is an accomplished journalist who has held roles for more than ten years with the ABC, SBS and Network Ten, covering thousands of news stories across Victoria, Australia and in the international media.


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