Anticipating Interviewer’s Agenda


CEO, Chip Perry
Correctly anticipated interviewer’s agenda

Dismiss the notion you can control the entire interview. What if the reporter had an argument with a spouse and is in a bad mood? Or, what if he/she is under unusual deadline pressure with lots of stories to cover and file and in a rush and impatient?

Sometimes interviewers simply change signals on you and insist on going in directions you’d perhaps prefer not to travel. Good preparation allows you to anticipate this and bring your answers back to your primary objective, and to do it responsively. It’s a matter of focusing on how you can fit your messaging agenda around the reporter’s agenda.

Chip Perry is CEO of the very successful online automobile marketing and advertising site Preparing for an interview opportunity on the Fox Business Network with anchor Neil Cavuto, Perry assumed correctly Cavuto would want to talk about carmaker bailout loans granted by Washington. Also, by watching Cavuto’s show a couple of times, it wasn’t difficult to figure out Cavuto isn’t in favor of all the billions being handed out.

But Chip Perry still saw the chance to effectively position his company as an important player in the commerce of cars and get his message to the industry: get rid of inefficiency. And one way to do that is more efficient advertising. According to Perry, more than 90% of the $30 billion spent on advertising is invested in traditional mass media. His point, there’s a lot of waste. Based on the number of cars sold, he estimates that’s more than $2000 per car; probably well over the typical per vehicle profit a dealer makes on sales. (Click on video below.) Implicit in his message is that provides a much more cost effective advertising alternative.

One irony to note here. is owned by Cox Enterprises, one of the most successful and respected owners of “traditional” media in America. Their newspapers and radio and television stations depend heavily on the automobile category for their advertising revenue. But, Perry was speaking to his business model, one of the reasons for’s success.

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