Think about your favorite media outlets. You know, the ones that show up at the top of your Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter feeds every day. Now, picture them wanting to talk to you about your latest product launch/upgrade/channel partnership, etc. This is no pipe dream scenario – the right PR and marketing communications tactics will make this a reality. Are you ready? What will you say? Does the thought of connecting one-on-one with influential reporters and editors strike a bit of fear in you? Fear not.
We’re about to give you 5 tips to make your media interviews a breeze – and ensure that your message resonates. First things first, though – it’s important to understand the roles involved in media relations (your company, the PR rep and the reporter) in order to maximize opportunities and learn how to navigate through different inquiries. It's a quick read, so check it out here.
A little planning can go a long way. Relax. Breathe. You’ve got this. Here’s what you need to know:
- Storytelling is the most effective form of media relations. Storytelling interprets the news with anecdotes, customer examples, and perspective - it goes beyond facts and weaves your message into a story with context.
- Make your message repeatable. Sound bites make a difference.
“If it doesn't fit, you must acquit.” Johnnie Cochran
“We have nothing to fear but fear itself.” Franklin D. Roosevelt
“Read my lips, no new taxes.” – George H. W. Bush
- Make your most important point first and think like a journalist. Use deductive reasoning and back it up with facts or “proof points.”
“The most important thing to remember is…”
“I’ve talked about a lot of things. It boils down to these three things…”
“The real issue is…”
- While building a rapport is what we all strive for, don’t get too comfortable and forget your purpose (the media always know their purpose). Reporters can make you feel comfortable – it’s safe to assume everything is “on the record” even if you say otherwise.
- Tactfully block and bridge if you’ve been asked a question you can’t or don’t want to answer. Never say “no comment” – if you cannot comment, explain why.
“It’s our policy not to discuss [topic] specifically, but I can tell you…”
“I think what you’re really asking is…”
“That speaks to a bigger point…”
Employing these tactics will ensure that you communicate clearly and effectively. If something does go sideways (best laid plans and all) that’s where your PR team comes in. We’re on the calls with you to step in as needed and assist you in getting your message across. Don’t worry – practice makes perfect, and your conversations with the media will get easier along the way. If you have any questions on fine-tuning your media relations, shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.