We recently worked on a media training project for a client. Here are a few additional tips for working with the news media and making your media interactions more meaningful:
• Ask the reporter for his/her name, the purpose of the story, the deadline, when it will be published, and how you may help.
• Have the main points clear in your mind and speak in short sentences. Don't ramble. Rehearse the main points beforehand but be careful about them becoming too memorized.
• Have your thoughts/message down to two or three key points and deliver these points to the interviewer.
• Go prepared with a number of short anecdotes, which the listener can readily identify with, and use concrete examples.
• Do not answer questions spontaneously. Think about the question before answering.
• If you don’t know the answer to a question it’s OK to say so. If you feel a further response is needed, tell the reporter you will get back with them.
• View any interview as an opportunity to get out your and your brand’s message.
• Tell the story to your audience, the one you want to reach.
• Consider every contact with the media, even on a potentially negative story, an opportunity to get your message across.
• Choose your words carefully.
• Don’t feel pressure to fill silences – often times reporters use this as an interviewing technique.
The media can lead or follow a news story. By anticipating where a reporter is going, you can combat bad news by telling the good news. You can help shape the story with your message by figuring out the reporter's direction and angle.
Remember that from what you say only a fraction will be used.
Contact Nye and Associates at 316-263-5878 for more on our media training and media relations packages.