Making It YOUR InterviewTechniques for working the media & other confrontational audiencesNew Jersey Builders AssociationMay 13, 2013Presented by Doug Fenichel, APRIn-House Public Relations
IntroductionsMaking it YOUR Interview1. Your Name2. Who you work for3. What you do there4. What you do for the New Jersey Builders Association5. Why you’re here6. Have you ever done a media interview? How did it go?
IntroductionsMaking it YOUR InterviewDoug Fenichel, APR• 10 years in radio/television and newspaper journalism• Joined AT&T Public Relations during break up• Accredited public relations executive.• President, In-House Public Relations• Adjunct Professor of Communications – Fairleigh Dickenson Univ.• Past President, Public Relations Society of America-NJ Chapter• Member, Mount Olive Economic Development Committee• Member, Flanders Fire Company #1 and Rescue Squad• Member, Community Builders and Remodelers Association• Member, North Central Jersey Association of Realtors
IntroductionsMaking it YOUR InterviewIn-House PublicRelations Clients
GoalsMaking it YOUR Interview1. Increase confidence & comfort level with the media2. Develop an understanding of the media3. Learn how to structure a “media contract”4. Become a “credible” spokesperson5. Enhance your reputation (and that of yourorganization) with the media
Media: Who are they?Making it YOUR InterviewMEDIA
Media: Who are they?Making it YOUR Interview• News media shape perceptions ofproducts, companies and industries• Negative/positive perceptions affect sales,stocks, ability to do business• Negative/positive story outcome candepend on you and how you deliver yourmessage!
Media: Who are they?Making it YOUR Interview• Traditional• Books• Magazines• Newspapers• Electronic•Television• Radio• Social• See above• Blogs• E-zines• Social networking sites
Media: Who are they?Making it YOUR Interview Professionally curiousand skeptical Competitive Deadline-driven See journalism as acause Covering multiple orvery broad beats Multimedia
Media: Who are they?Making it YOUR InterviewA “Good” Reporter:Objective...Not personally involvedFair…Gives both sides a chanceAccurate...Gets it right the first timeListens…Truly wants to understandInteresting...if nobody cares, the storyisn’t worth much (“If It Bleeds…ItLeads”)
Media: Who are they?Making it YOUR InterviewBad influences• Incredible competition• 24-hour news cycle• Insecurity• Beat the clock• Find a new angle• Live and die on their deadlinesIt’s a world of constant change
Media: Who are they?Making it YOUR Interview• Visual medium• Assignment desk postsassignments for A.M.• Morning Show cut inreporters following lastnight’s news• Stories and Footage for theFive is done by 4:15• 6 is the 5 only with addedCan break in any time• Video isn’t just for TVanymore
Media: Who are they?Making it YOUR Interview• Audio medium•Dying medium for local news• Pre and post-market news radio• The Peak – DRIVE TIME• Material is collected all day• Most info from wire services, localnews not always wanted• Web radio
Media: Who are they?Making it YOUR Interview• Assign and find “TalkingHeads”• As day progresses picking upfrom local stations, wires• European News is usuallyearly morning
Media: Who are they?Making it YOUR Interview• Original social network• Members contributestories• Reporters add to localstories• Focus is rarely local• Distribute to other media• Accessible on the Web
Media: Who are they?Making it YOUR Interview• Dailies, weeklies, general, trades• Reporters get ideas from manyplaces, including wire services,other media, trade journals andreleases• Reporters have multiple beats andcannot be experts in all of them• Papers divided into desks, run byeditors who manage reporters• Mid to late afternoon – crunch time• Early evening – deadline & rewrite• Huffington Post, Patch, bloggers
Media: Who are they?Making it YOUR InterviewHow does a recovering housing marketimpact New Jersey’s economy?How would you modify your answer to this for different media?
Know what you know.Know what you don’t knowKnow how to state what you know.Know how to get away from what you don’t knowPreparing yourselfMaking it YOUR Interview
Preparing yourselfMaking it YOUR InterviewFACTFACTCONCLUSIONMost people speak in pyramid style
Preparing yourselfMaking it YOUR InterviewFACTFACTHEADLINENeed to learn to speak in headlines, then add support
Preparing yourselfMaking it YOUR Interview• Know and articulate three key messages• Deliver messages in a simple, straightforwardand positive manner• Key messages applicable to all publiccomments you make• Messages are consistent in all communications
Preparing yourselfMaking it YOUR Interview• Who am I trying to reach?• What do I want them to remember?• What is the audience concerned about?• Are my messages simple,straightforward, and understandable?• Would I be persuaded...if I didn’t alreadyknow what I know?
Types of interviewsMaking it YOUR InterviewPhoner In-Person Ambush
Types of interviewsMaking it YOUR InterviewOn Camera Social
Playing by the rulesMaking it YOUR InterviewYes, there are rules…
Playing by the rulesMaking it YOUR Interview• A direct question deserves a directanswer• If you don’t know the answer, say so• No “no comment”• Honesty is the best policy• If a reporter gets something wrong,immediately correct it
Playing by the rulesMaking it YOUR InterviewThere is no “off the record”• If you don’t want it quoted, don’t say it• Off the cuff remarks can be next day’sheadlines• Background statements can be quoted
Playing by the rulesMaking it YOUR InterviewThere is no “no comment”• Declining to answer a question is ok, butNEVER say “No Comment”• And ALWAYS use the opportunity tobridge to what you want to say
Playing by the rulesMaking it YOUR InterviewDeclining to answer• When is it appropriate to not answer aquestion?– Personal opinion– Competitive information– Hypothetical situations– Response to unfamiliar stats or comments– Status of issues under negotiation or legal review– Info you don’t know
Blocking & BridgingMaking it YOUR Interview• Blocking -- Halting the direction of theinterview• Bridging -- Going from where you are towhere you want to be• Flagging – Redirecting the interview toa key point of importance
Blocking & BridgingMaking it YOUR InterviewQuestion AnswerResponseDeserves a ResponseBridgeBlock
Blocking & BridgingMaking it YOUR Interview• Dont evade...restructure• Asked about a problem? Talk about asolution• Dont become fixated by the question• Number your points
Blocking & BridgingMaking it YOUR InterviewThird-PartyEndorsementsAnalogiesFacts/StatisticsExperience/Examples
Blocking & BridgingMaking it YOUR Interview• Swim into safer waters through the useof “connectors”– Yes...The real issue here is...– No, but what I can say about that is...– I don’t know...but what I do know is...– Let’s look at that another way...
Dirty TricksMaking it YOUR Interview• Mike is always live• Camera is always on• Anything in sight is fair game• “Would you say…”• “I heard that…”• Silence isn’t golden• Antagonism is powerful
Commandment 1Making it YOUR InterviewThou shalt treat reporters(and everyone else)with respect…even when it isn’t returned.
Commandment 1Making it YOUR InterviewThat means:•Returning calls•Honoring deadlines•Honoring agreements•Insisting on your rights
Commandment 2Making it YOUR InterviewBegin your preparations:• Agree to a time do to the interview•Call public relations, others•Negotiate the “interview contract”
Commandment 2Making it YOUR InterviewInterview contract• Agree to a time do to the interview•Call public relations, others•Negotiate the “interview contract”•Understand your rights, their right
Commandment 2Making it YOUR InterviewYour “Bill of Rights”• Know what the story is about• Help define the agenda• Know how long the interview will take• Know whether you’ll be quoted• Know who else is being quoted• Know if there are photos or video
Commandment 2Making it YOUR InterviewYour “Bill of Rights”• Know if interview is live or taped• Know about your interviewer• Ask questions about the interview• Be treated respectfully• Depend on PR or other help
Commandment 2Making it YOUR InterviewYour “Bill of Rights” excludes:• Knowing the questions in advance• Seeing the story in advance• Changing quotes or editing the story• Expecting to be the only one presented
Commandment 2Making it YOUR InterviewReporter “Bill of Rights”:• Reasonable access to legitimate,prepared news sources• Have deadlines, logistical needsconsidered•Get a concise and direct answer•Conduct follow-up calls for clarification• Refuse a request to see the story inadvance• Redirect the interview to the subject• Evaluate and report the story
Commandment 2Making it YOUR InterviewPreparations include being helpful• What do you need?•How can I help you?•What is your deadline?•How did you find me?•Did anyone refer you to me?•What is your story about? Am I reallythe correct source?• How can I help you better understandmy business?
Commandment 2Making it YOUR InterviewPreparations include being helpful• Who will read/watch your story?•What is the context of your story?•What triggered your story idea?•Is there a specific point of view you’d likto explore?• How much of my time will you require?•When and where will it run?
Commandment 2Making it YOUR InterviewAll this leads to 2 major points:• Builds relationship, trust & understanding•Puts the reporter as ease becauseyou understand reporter’s goals, needs• Helps you decide if you want to proceedand, if so, if you’re the right person.
Commandment 3Making it YOUR InterviewThou shalt remember:“I am the expert unto whom thereporter came for information”“I shall pitch as well as catch,for it is as much my game asThe reporters!”
Commandment 4Making it YOUR InterviewThou shalt gather thine information.Thine information shall make theeprepared, for such is the stuff ofsuccessful interviews.From thine info, thou shalt writethine heds
Commandment 5Making it YOUR InterviewThou shalt do the interviewConfidence, always rememberingCommandment 3
Commandment 6Making it YOUR InterviewThou shalt do thine interview right:• Stay on message• Stay on the record•No opinions•Think before you speak•Don’t repeat language• Speak only about what you know
Commandment 6Making it YOUR InterviewThou shalt do thine interview right:• Be honest• Don’t speculate• Don’t comment on rumors• Correct misinformation• Bridge, bridge
Commandment 7Making it YOUR InterviewNever shall thou say“No comment”
Commandment 8Making it YOUR InterviewThou shalt stay cool…
Commandment 9Making it YOUR InterviewHow dost thee understanthe question posedunto thee?
Commandment 10Making it YOUR InterviewThou shalt thank thineinquisitor and be availablfor his or her follow up.
A few more dos and don’tsMaking it YOUR Interview• Agree to the Interview• Remember the reporter has a stake ina good story• Remember your message• Make sure you understand thequestion• Make answers concise & quotable• Think before talking• Keep your headlines in mind
A few more dos and don’tsMaking it YOUR Interview• Be anecdotal, enthusiastic & likable• Listen actively• Be correct , don’t guess
A few more dos and don’tsMaking it YOUR Interview• Don’t– Accept “what if” questions– Use jargon– Go off the record– Repeat negative language– Throw ad weight around– Depend on the reporter to ask all thequestions you want to answer– Allow mistakes to go uncorrected
A few more dos and don’tsMaking it YOUR Interview• Don’t– Offer personal opinions– Stray from agreed-upon subjects– Disparage others– Don’t preannounce– Don’t allow words to be put in your mouth– Don’t worry about using hands or smiling
After the interviewMaking it YOUR Interview• Get on with life!!• Unless requested to do so, dont call thereporter and offer to check technical points• If you dont like the line of questioning,dont try to go over reporters head to get astory killed• If story works out, dont send gifts (thankyou note is OK)
What does a PR guy do?Making it YOUR Interview• Knows the reporters• Negotiates “contract”• Helps you with headlines, talking points• Follows up with reporters• Gets you into stories you should be in• Coaches you
Making it YOUR Interview“Were it left to me to decide whetherwe should have a government withoutnewspapers or newspapers without agovernment, I should not hesitate amoment to prefer the latter.Thomas Jefferson
Making it YOUR InterviewAll business in a democratic societyBegins with public permission andExists by public approval.Arthur W. Page