If there is no news there is no reason to invite reporter. There is no news if you don’t have the answer on the five basic NEWS questions. The answer is considered sometimes the negative one or don’t know as well. When relevant news consist of the answer on the question How as well. For business reporters How much question is very important one.
Remember the Five W's and two H’s : The answers to the questions Who , What , When , Where , Why , and when relevant How/How much are the foundation for every news. As such they offer the basic outline of an event or issue. If one of five W’s is missing from your Press release it will not be treated as newsworthy and will end in the editors dustbin. Which question should be answered first: It depend on their importance. If the purpose of release is to inform audience that new foreign investor entered the market at the top of the body of release you should place the sentence answering the question WHAT. If the company that entered the market is known world wide and if it is entering in the region for the first time ever, the first questions to be answered are who and what. “McDonald stepped in…” (WHO and WHAT) should be a headline while the sub head can give more explanation on HOW and HOW MUCH. You should always link the facts with their relevance to the peoples lives or the wellbeing of the country. How many people will benefit from the McDonald, what the country will get in return, etc. Selecting what to place at the top and what to leave at the end, depend very much on the goals and objectives of organization you are working for. However, the process of selection depends mostly on your target audience. Sometimes it is very difficult to target various audience only by using one News release because it is difficult to shape the information for fragmented target audiences. This is why you can be more strategic in issuing several News releases on the same issue/event and in devising them for different news organizations and different target groups. For example, one press release for domestic audience another one for international audience, or written press release for print media and video press releases for television…) Distribution: Send release to all media on your list at the same time and try to do it as earlier as you can so reporters have time to interview people and create a story. If you have an exclusive thing to say and you don’t want to risk in sending out the release well in advance, than send out Media Alert to inform media that you are organizing event. In this case release prepared well in advance should be delivered to the media during the event or immediately afterwards. If you are organizing big event, prior to Media Alert issue a Media Advisory with explanation on the subscription, space, trip and other administrative and logistic issues.
In dealing with the media, the interview is best opportunity to convey your message therefore most important thing is to make sure that public will get your message right. If your message is not clear the result will be contra-productive, the perception of the public will be wrong and will affect negatively the decisions people take on daily basis. As a consequence, your credibility, reputation and your good image is ruined. Therefore, when you make sure that you devised the right message you must make sure that the same one has been transferred to the receiver in the appropriate and clear manner. Secondly, you must deliver it in the way that it will be easy memorized and thirdly you must use your communication skills in convincing the public in order to change their mind set or gain its support. There are several different forms of interviews, e.g. for the print media, radio or television. Although they differ a lot there are some general rules that apply to all types of interviews. Be aware that you are talking to the general public, not to the journalist. He or she is only the mediator, the transmitter that will mirror you in front of the public. Use media appearance to show that you like and care for people. Try to link human interests to the numbers or story you want to tell. Bring faces to the facts and number. Explain what and how of the benefits people will get from your activity. Have in mind that media has a habit of preferring bad news or sensational news. Don’t leave the space for negative things to prevail. Be positive and try to refer to things in the most positive light possible, otherwise the interview will not tackle solutions. It will concentrate in the problems only. This does not mean that you have to ignore difficulties. The skill of balancing positive and negative is very important for you as opinion maker. First rule is when speaking to journalist never go off the record and never say things that you would not like quoted in the media. The interview is not finished until the journalist leave your room. However if you want to give a journalist background information without being quoted, be sure to say ‘this is off the record’. Try to use common language and to avoid technical language or bureaucratic jargon. You want people to red/listen/watch you, not to turn another page or switch to another channel. The use of visual wordings and good story or anecdote can create a lasting picture in the minds of people. Use them to balance boring numbers and bureaucratic jargons. You play safe if you stick to the facts, if you reflect the truth and human interests and if you are positive. When question is one that you don’t like, don’t repeat its negative part. Start the answer with positive statement. If you are asked for sensitive issues or issues where you were already criticized, thank reporter for asking and emphasize that many people thought…but luckily the truth is different… Use it as an opportunity to clarify ambiguities and disturbing dilemmas. If reporter interrupts you with new question, don’t be ashamed in responding that “you’ve asked several questions” and than answer the one you want. If the question is tough, ask a question, this helps you in buying time to frame your answer properly. And remember, always stick to your message. Whatever questions arouse after giving straightforward answer discreetly use bridging sentences (links) to come back to your message. For instance “ There is another issue related to this…”, “ I look it from another perspective and from angle of….” , Our organization is not involved in those controversies. Our goal is ….”. Have in mind the need to reiterate your most important points. Incorporate them in every answer if interview is taped, enrich them through wording if interview is live and provide depth if it is devised for print media. Consistency in repeating your message and your main points will help clarity and level of understanding on the issues your are speaking about.
Meeting with media in general is not always pleasant, especially when organization is facing the crisis or problems in serving their clients or fulfilling its mission. This is why whatever press occasion you are participating in, you need to be prepared not only for the core message you aim to deliver but for other issues as well. Before appearing in front of reporter you should prepare the answers on the questions that are common to your field of expertise as well as the answers on the anticipated questions that might be raised. Anticipated questions can be those that you like or dislike. If you think of them in advance of the interview or any other press event you would not be caught in surprise. So before the interview ask yourself why journalist want to interview you? Why now? Imagine what he can ask and how can you bridge required answers to your wants. Think about the worst questions that might arouse and prepare the answers well in advance. Don’t forget: being self critical is human. People value it. And of course on top of everything else think what is the story that you would like to tell the public and how your are going to tell it. POINTS to remember: Prior to an interview, you should work on your set of messages and their structure. The message usually consist of the call for action and arguments/facts that supports this call. Prior to an interview, practice speaking. Practice, practice, practice. Your are not different and special. You will become different and special if you spent some time investing in wording/speech technique; in the audio/voice techniques and body language. All three aspect are part of one single set called set of communications skills that are very important in building good relationship with media and in marketing your good image.
The easiest way to cope with stress when in front of camera is to ignore it and concentrate in the reporter questions or what other speakers are saying. Try to leave your emotions behind and concentrate in people sitting in front of you. They are asking/telling something where your response is needed. Create eye contact with the speaker and do not look at the camera. Your attention will shift naturally to what people in studio are talking about, camera presence will be forgotten. However, if you have the message that you would like to directly communicate to public, than turn looking camera but no longer than 10 seconds. Prior to live interview ask producer which is camera that will focus on you. When deliver the message look at that camera. Camera records every single movement. Smallest movements in camera look like big distraction. Frequent eye movement looks very bad and creates impression that you don’t believe in what you say. This is another reason why eye contact with speaker is very important. It will keep your eyes focused and free of unnecessary movement that looks very bad on the screen. Do not argue mentally because in camera it becomes visible. Stay quite and think positive. Speak with confidence and believe in what you say, otherwise you will not sound convincing. Be aware of your body language. If you don’t have long experience with TV stick to classic posture. Take care of your hands, cross them one over the other to prevent fidgeting or making other unconscious's gestures. Be aware of the hands and use them in conscious manner to gesticulate effectively in supporting your speech. For TV and Radio, you need to put more emphasis into your voice than you'd do in the daily life. Being aware of your voice helps in this direction. If you do not put more effort and practise for a while you'll sound flat and boring. If you don’t read but you try to tell the story, you are on the right track. The difference from the common conversation is that you need to tell the story little bit faster than usual and to stress/emphasize frequently the words. The words should be spelled clearly, they must be distinguished from each other, while those to be emphasized ideally will be the words which are linked to your strategic messages and which you would like public to remember. Keep in mind that verbosity is the enemy of broadcast media. Speaking less and saying more is something that will come by time. Speak in short sentence but always in full sentence. The answers “yes, no, fantastic, great, it is bad, your are right….” do not have any meaning to those who turned on TV in the moment your were spelling those words out. Try then to use full sentences and to repeat time by time you message and words that visualise contents in order to grab those attention of those who did not have a chance to see/hear the beginning of the interview. Don’t refuse make-up. It will soften the shining of the forehead/ nose. If you’re bold the powder is matter of must. Think visually. Your appearance must impress. First of all try to be natural, and to have a trendy look. Man: Wear one color (plain-clothes) clothes and put discrete tie. Variety of colors/stripes will appear bad on screen and dislodge the attention of the viewer from message you want to transmit. Women: Don’t wear very short dresses and put away big shinning things (tools) like large ear-rings or rings Classic posture: The classic position: Relay well in the chair; keep your head straight with eyesight directed to journalist; put your leg over the leg, and over the legs put hands “ one over other “ Avoid multi color clothes or those with stripes. It will distract attention of the viewer. Consult reporter/producer on the colors you should wear. If interview is taking the place in your working premise think of background. Get rid of the pictures and figures that you don’t like to be recorded. Place the logo or award of your organization in the visible place. POINT TO REMEMBER: Be brief and simple. No answer should pass 10 to 15 seconds. Remember and respect the timing.
All kind of the radio interviews have to be developed in a quiet environment. So, before you start with it, close the windows in order to avoid recording the noise that comes from outside. Many times interview/statements has not been aired in the radio due to a time constrain of the reporter or broadcaster to work on the quality of a sound bite. If interview is taking place in your working premises put a Do Not Disturb sign outside the door. Most important rules while speaking to radio reporter is your voice, clarity and rhythm of the speaking. Radio is most dynamic media outlet and such it involves dynamic speeches. Speak for the ear, not the eye, is an sentence you can hear quite often from the radio reporters. And they are right. If you read a newspaper article and miss something, you can re-read it but in radio, you have only one chance to hear the news. If you’ve missed something, you can not go back and listen to it again. There is no rehearsal. Clarity is most important. Sentences should be simple, direct and conversational. Always try to speak in present tense, it gives the news a sense of immediacy. If in TV people can see things you are speaking about, in radio they don’t have this chance. Visualize topic by using descriptive words. A simple word is always better than a complex one. Do not touch the mike and keep your head straightforward. Practice breathing, it will help you controlling the voice and will improve the way you sound.
A press conference is an effective tool of a wide outreach. It should provide more information that you can do via press releases or interviews, therefore w hen organizing a press conference, ensure that the event is newsworthy and that you are properly prepared to handle it. If press conference is not newsworthy and if it not properly handles reporters are unlikely to attend it. They will start ignoring other events organized by your organization. Press conferences can be a good way of announcing the success stories such as big increase of the foreign direct investment, new investment project that will employ big number of the people, new initiatives of exporters). You might consider organizing on site press conference which could bring first hand information for the success stories achieved in the project site, or in the place which is perceived as a good opportunity for investment and where news conference will reveal quick win solutions followed by sound call for action. Press conferences are also a good means for releasing findings of the sector studies, reports or to announce the results of any other research. Usually the press conference have more than one speaker and it takes no more than an hour, however there should be room for interviews with spokespeople of your organization afterwards. In ideal case the press conferences are opened by the host spokesperson who will announce the beginning of the conference and instruct reporters on the schedule. The spokesperson usually introduce the speakers (three speakers is ideal, more will be difficult to grasp) and moderates the session with questions and answers at the end of the conference. It is rude to invite reporters for press conference and reduce their chance to ask the questions. This limitation is usually used by reporters to generate negative coverage. Most critical component is having high-profile newsmakers speak at the event. Reporters follow the leaders and the more diverse and prominent the speakers are, the better the chances for news coverage will be. Joint press conferences works well in this direction. For instance joint ANIH/ANE Chamber of Commerce press conference would reveal the diversity and broad spectrum of information. Where possible include government officials as co organizer as well, or other well-known organization or VIP’s who are supportive of your initiative. Speakers should deliver different points that help illustrate the core message while the messages and information delivered should be clear and focused. They should stick to the facts. Speakers should limit themselves in average to five minutes. If they are good newsmakers reporters will address questions to get more details. Answers on the questions should be as directly as possible but whenever possible they should reflect your position, message and main points. Repeating information and messages is good because it ensure the audience to hear, understand and memorize them properly. If messages has not been memorized and understood you will not win the support for action.
Public Relations Management Session 4 Tools In Media Relations
PUBLIC RELATIONS MANAGEMENT <ul><li>Semester IV </li></ul><ul><li>Session 4 </li></ul>
THE NEWS RELEASE... <ul><li>Shorter is better. </li></ul><ul><li>Bait the hook with a good headline/angle. </li></ul><ul><li>Tailor your release to the appropriate media. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Print: Details </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>TV: Visual elements </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Radio: Sound bites! </li></ul></ul>
FIVE W’S - IS NEWS <ul><li>What </li></ul><ul><li>Who </li></ul><ul><li>When </li></ul><ul><li>Where </li></ul><ul><li>Why </li></ul><ul><li>But in business reporting the news have one question more: </li></ul><ul><li>HOW MUCH? </li></ul>
Press Release W HAT Five W’s and two H’s H OW MUCH H OW W HY W HO W HEN W HERE
INVERTED PYRAMID <ul><li>LEAD </li></ul><ul><li>MOST IMPORTANT </li></ul><ul><li>INFORMATION </li></ul><ul><li>BODY </li></ul><ul><li>ELABORATES ON LEAD </li></ul><ul><li>QUOTES & BACKGROUND </li></ul><ul><li>INFORMATION </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>LEAST INFORMATION </li></ul><ul><li>Note: Inverted pyramid accommodates the media who will cut from bottom </li></ul>
THE MEDIA INTERVIEW... <ul><li>Shorter is better! </li></ul><ul><li>Fact Sheets </li></ul><ul><li>Keep It Simple! </li></ul><ul><li>Clarify when necessary </li></ul><ul><li>Spread the credits </li></ul><ul><li>We are bigger than the sum of our parts! </li></ul><ul><li>Damage Control </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t lose it! </li></ul><ul><li>Keep on point </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t comment on other organizations </li></ul><ul><li>Positive disposition </li></ul>
THE MEDIA INTERVIEW… <ul><li>KISS </li></ul><ul><li>Keep It Short and Simple </li></ul><ul><li>Be focused </li></ul><ul><li>Stick to the facts </li></ul><ul><li>Never ever lie </li></ul><ul><li>Be positive </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t speculate </li></ul>
THINK AHEAD – THINK QUESTIONS <ul><li>Common questions: </li></ul><ul><li>Prepare three questions you are commonly asked </li></ul><ul><li>Answers should not be longer than 30 seconds for each question </li></ul><ul><li>Anticipated questions: </li></ul><ul><li>Prepare three questions you would like to be asked </li></ul><ul><li>Prepare three questions you hope never to be asked </li></ul><ul><li>Be prepared in answering all of them </li></ul>
CAMERA IS ROLLING - WHAT ABOUT STRESS? <ul><li>Ignore camera </li></ul><ul><li>Remind yourself that you are there to speak with people not to camera </li></ul><ul><li>Be aware of your hands and try keeping them under control </li></ul><ul><li>Be yourself </li></ul>
RADIO INTERVIEW <ul><li>Speak for the ear, not the eye </li></ul><ul><li>The answers are measured in seconds not in minutes </li></ul><ul><li>In one minute time radios are to air four news items </li></ul><ul><li>A good communicator succeeds to answer 3 questions within 60 seconds </li></ul><ul><li>Use the active not passive voice </li></ul><ul><li>Whenever possible speak in present tense and </li></ul><ul><li>Always use the language that people can understand </li></ul><ul><li>Avoid technical words and acronyms </li></ul><ul><li>At the end of the interview always reiterate your core message and remind the audience what you already told </li></ul>
PRESS CONFERENCE <ul><li>Who you want to reach and why? </li></ul><ul><li>What you want to say? </li></ul><ul><li>Is it news? </li></ul><ul><li>Does it affect people lives and how? </li></ul><ul><li>Who is going to speak? </li></ul>
CREATING A PRESS KIT <ul><li>A press kit is a set of materials designed to communicate your message in detail to your local media. </li></ul><ul><li>It’s used to help reporters gain an understanding of the association so they will write about it. </li></ul>
WHAT’S IN A PRESS KIT? <ul><li>Fact Sheet </li></ul><ul><li>Brochures or Newsletters </li></ul><ul><li>Glossary of Terms </li></ul><ul><li>Contact information </li></ul><ul><li>Business Card </li></ul><ul><li>Cover Letter or Pitch Letter </li></ul>
THANK YOU <ul><li>Contact </li></ul><ul><li>Moksh Juneja </li></ul><ul><li>Social Media Catalyst </li></ul><ul><li>Avignyata Inc. </li></ul><ul><li>Mobile: +91 9322121170 </li></ul><ul><li>Email: [email_address] </li></ul>