Ep #40: Strategies for Handling Media Interviews with Communications Expert Chris Bettin

As CRNAs, we don’t have a lot of experience dealing with the media or being in front of the camera. We’re used to working behind closed doors and out of the spotlight. But there are times whem we’re called upon to be a spokesperson for a place or an event. That’s why we brought on a public relations specialist to give us tips and techniques that make us feel like the experts we are.

On This Episode:

There may never come a time where you have to interview with a member of the media, but it’s a possibility for any CRNA.

Many different scenarios exist where you could be called upon to answer questions for a local reporter, and that might stir up anxiety inside of you. But it shouldn’t because you’re the expert in your profession. Understanding how to use that knowledge you’ve accumulated through your career in partnership with effective interview techniques will give you the confidence to step into a spokesperson role if needed.

That’s why we brought on Chris Bettin, Senior Director – Strategic Communications for the AANA, to take us through some of the tips and strategies he uses when coaching CRNAs. He’s worked with many people and departments to prepare interviewees and he’ll share those tools with you on this episode.

Chris will be moving on from the AANA after 21 years to start his own public relations company called Crossdot Communications. It’s a big loss for the AANA but we still hope to see him around the industry in the years to come. We’ve shared a link to his LinkedIn page below if you’d like to stay connected with him.

We really enjoyed this conversation with Chris and hope you’re able to take away some useful tips during this episode. Check it out at the top of the page and use the timestamps to help you navigate through the many topics we discussed.

[1:38] – Chris Bettin is our guest today.  

[2:21] – Some background on Chris

[2:48] – Chris about to head off on a new endeavor in PR.

[3:27] – Why we’re talking about spokesperson training today.    

[4:23] – How do you deal with the media and why it’s so important for CRNAs.

[5:07] – Every CRNA is a candidate to be interviewed.

[6:05] – Scenarios where CRNAs might be called on to be interviewed.

[7:21] – What you need to understand about reporters.

[8:18] – The biggest fears we have in an interview.

[10:15] – Things that Sharon has learned from Chris.

[11:35] – The message you’re trying to deliver is critical so don’t wing it.

[13:47] – Have a built-in answer ready to give you time to gather yourself.

[15:47] – Three techniques for navigating an interview: flagging, hooking and bridging.

[20:47] – How can you control your nerves in front of the media?          

[21:39] – Do’s and Don’ts of spokesperson training.              

[23:20] – Any other techniques you want to share with us?

[24:28] – More on Chris’ new company, Crossdot Communications.

Click here to connect with Chris Bettin.


“Again, have confidence. What’s a reporter going to know about anesthesia and all the different aspects of it? You’re the expert. Rely on that factor to just give you the confidence to answer questions.

Chris Bettin, AANA Senior Director, Strategic Communications

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