Media Training in the Digital Age


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Why do bad interviews happen to good people? The reason behind that - bad prep work by PR folks who are missing the mark when it comes to media training. The second part to this is the willingness of the spokesperson to take the time to brief, research, and prepare. Media training isn't about just going over the dos and don'ts of media interviews but it's about understanding your key messages, delivery, authenticity, and knowing your audience.

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  • Send in a suggested list of questions for the interviewer to use. (Note: Do not try this before a first, second, or third date.) You’ll be able to answer these questions in a very succinct and clear manner, making great sound bites that can be pulled out and used in print articles, getting more publicity for you. It’s always a good idea to review your online press kit prior to the interview as well. Print media in particular will appreciate any background, supporting studies or research you can provide to back up your expertise.The best free publicity tip is also the Scouts motto: Be prepared. Lack of preparation is a publicist’s nightmare — yours too. So dress up, know your sound bites ahead of time, and review your online press kit.Being interviewed by the media is the best free publicity you can get. So do all you can to be the best interviewee (date) the journalist has ever had so that you will be the first person they call when they need a spokesperson in your area of expertise.Remember, good publicity begets more good publicity. When you come across as a polished professional in your media interviews, journalists will take note and call you for many future dates.
  • Be on timeBe courteous – ask about time expectations Establish polite conversation and initial rapportListen to questions carefullyAnswer appropriately, succinctlyHelp a journalist’s storyRemember your main goals/messages for the interview
  • Be on timeBe courteous – ask about time expectations Establish polite conversation and initial rapportListen to questions carefullyAnswer appropriately, succinctlyHelp a journalist’s storyRemember your main goals/messages for the interview
  • Media Training in the Digital Age

    1. 1. MediaTraining<br />
    2. 2. Media Training 2011 <br />Prepared by Cindy Kim<br />Email:<br />Twitter: @CindyKimPR<br />Blog: The Marketing Journalist Blog<br /><br />LinkedIn:<br />
    3. 3. make an Impression<br />
    4. 4. things to Remember<br /><ul><li>Types of Journalists
    5. 5. Common - junior/pro/cynic
    6. 6. Rare - Winos and politicos/bridge burners/newshounds
    7. 7. The Print Process
    8. 8. Researching a story
    9. 9. Editing
    10. 10. Deadlines
    11. 11. How PR people develop stories
    12. 12. Features/Case Studies
    13. 13. News stories
    14. 14. Opinion pieces
    15. 15. Interview Environments
    16. 16. One-on-one/lunch
    17. 17. Telephone/casual
    18. 18. Press conferences/roundtables</li></li></ul><li>things to Remember<br /><ul><li>Typically, Journalists and Editors:
    19. 19. Have very little time available and are working to tight deadlines
    20. 20. Won’t remember much about your company if they met you six months ago
    21. 21. Will have spoken with your competitors recently
    22. 22. May be distracted by thinking about the (unrelated) article they’ve got to finish that afternoon
    23. 23. Will have different levels of experience and knowledge of the industry
    24. 24. Are more interested in your customers than your company
    25. 25. Will be more excited by a sniff of a disaster / product failure
    26. 26. Will remember around 5-10% of what you tell them</li></li></ul><li>be Prepared<br />
    27. 27. things to Remember<br /><ul><li>Know your journalist
    28. 28. Know the publication
    29. 29. Know their space & what they cover
    30. 30. Know the topic for the interview
    31. 31. Know your messages/talking points
    32. 32. Be prepared for hard questions
    33. 33. Know your competitive messaging & positioning
    34. 34. Ask for a briefing document
    35. 35. Ask for the journalist’s bio
    36. 36. HARO</li></li></ul><li>be Conversational<br />
    37. 37. things to Remember<br /><ul><li>Be engaging
    38. 38. Be dynamic
    39. 39. Tell a GOOD story
    40. 40. Paint a picture; illustrate
    41. 41. Add personalization
    42. 42. ALWAYS answer the QUESTION
    43. 43. Make it a two-way dialogue
    44. 44. Be a resource (& accessible)</li></li></ul><li>be theExpert<br />
    45. 45. things to Remember<br /><ul><li>Demonstrate your expertise
    46. 46. Know the space
    47. 47. Understand the issues
    48. 48. Use examples
    49. 49. Ask the journalist if they’re familiar w/ this space
    50. 50. Use stats to back up your point</li></li></ul><li>be on Message <br />
    51. 51. Elevator Pitch<br />Supporting Messages<br />Proof Points<br />
    52. 52. things to Remember<br /><ul><li>Always know your elevator pitch
    53. 53. Think about your three most important messages
    54. 54. Repeat, repeat, repeat
    55. 55. Keep it succinct – simple ‘sound bites’
    56. 56. Personalize - add anecdotes and put it in your own words
    57. 57. Illustrate and paint the picture
    58. 58. Practice, practice, practice
    59. 59. *analyst & media briefings</li></li></ul><li>be in Control <br />
    60. 60. things to Remember<br /><ul><li>Remain in charge -- don't panic
    61. 61. Don't get into an argument or become critical
    62. 62. Don't make the other person appear wrong or guilty for not understanding or agreeing with you
    63. 63. Change emphasis -- negative to positive, e.g.
    64. 64. Change emphasis -- general to specific, or specific to general
    65. 65. Use an example to demonstrate your idea, or a visual aid
    66. 66. Maintain your sense of humour; the “light touch” goes a long way toward your success in giving interviews.</li></li></ul><li>Is it true your customers are having product issues?<br />
    67. 67. things NOT to do<br /><ul><li>Don’t pre-announce information
    68. 68. Don’t bluff your way through an answer
    69. 69. *Don’t take a call directly from a reporter
    70. 70. Don’t lie
    71. 71. Don’t be defensive
    72. 72. Don’t comment on subjects outside your knowledge area
    73. 73. Don’t answer hypothetical questions and don’t speculate
    74. 74. Don’t echo a reporter’s negative words; spin</li></li></ul><li>things NOT to do<br /><ul><li>No Such Thing as Off the Record
    75. 75. Never get into an argument
    76. 76. Never say ‘no comment’
    77. 77. Never tell a journalist he/she is wrong
    78. 78. Never criticize a competitor
    79. 79. Never lie or exaggerate!</li></li></ul><li>True or False?Silence during an interview is bad.<br />
    80. 80. things NOT to do<br /><ul><li>Don’t ramble on and on – take a breather and ask if the reporter has questions
    81. 81. And don’t use “um” during an interview</li></li></ul><li>thingsto DO<br /><ul><li>Remember to use the name of the company:
    82. 82. “COMPANYbelieves…..”
    83. 83. “COMPANY’s solutions….”
    84. 84. “COMPANYhelps its customers….”
    85. 85. Maintain an ‘open door’ attitude to talking about your company (publicONLY)
    86. 86. Try to build rapport with the journalist – long term relationship goal
    87. 87. Become comfortable with silence
    88. 88. Project a confident, yet helpful demeanor
    89. 89. Check in with the reporter for understanding, clarity</li></li></ul><li>Who is COMPANY?<br />
    90. 90. What are the biggest challenges facing….?<br />
    91. 91. How does COMPANY solve business challenges….?<br />
    92. 92. What makes COMPANYunique?<br />
    93. 93. be Successful<br />
    94. 94. things to Remember<br /><ul><li>Successful Media Interviews will:
    95. 95. Convey a positive image of your company
    96. 96. Position your company favourably against your competitors
    97. 97. Influence journalists to perceive your company as a key player in your market
    98. 98. Generate an article or mention in a feature following the interview
    99. 99. Lead to closer media relationships and ongoing coverage in target publications
    100. 100. As a Spokesperson you are:
    101. 101. The voice of the company
    102. 102. The expert on your subject / industry
    103. 103. The person with the single largest impact on whether coverage appears as a result of the interview. </li></li></ul><li>be Memorable <br />
    104. 104. things to Remember<br /><ul><li>Have a positive attitude toward the interview, regardless of what the rest of your day has been like
    105. 105. Remember that how you relay that information will have the most impact on what is remembered by the editor
    106. 106. Illustrate confidence, control, comfort and certainty in your interview
    107. 107. Use warmth, sincerity, facial expressions and vocal inflection to create a strong and positive impression
    108. 108. Be passionate about your subject.</li></li></ul><li>be Clear<br />
    109. 109. things to Remember<br /><ul><li>Keep your explanations as simple
    110. 110. Don’t assume they know your language
    111. 111. Control your use of jargon
    112. 112. Use analogies to add colour, and especially if the editor appears to be confused
    113. 113. Speak dynamically, using hand movements to help convey your enthusiasm
    114. 114. Beware of using "vocalised pauses" (um, uh, okay...), as they can become very distracting during an interview
    115. 115. Avoid over-answering -- you risk being quoted out of context</li></li></ul><li>things NOT to do<br /><ul><li>Live Interviews or Briefings
    116. 116. Don’t fidget or play with your pen – it can be distracting for the journalist
    117. 117. Maintain eye contact
    118. 118. Use hand gestures to animate your voice
    119. 119. Smile and nod encouragingly when the journalist asks questions
    120. 120. Pause
    121. 121. Use facial expressions to add warmth to your delivery
    122. 122. Don’t leave your cell phone on
    123. 123. Don’t play with your BlackBerry during an interview (face to face)
    124. 124. Telephone Interviews
    125. 125. If caught by surprise, find out the focus of the interview and call back
    126. 126. Avoid using mobile phones
    127. 127. Find a quiet room – and shut the door.</li></li></ul><li>thingsto Remember<br /><ul><li>Don’t !
    128. 128. Provide non-published financial information
    129. 129. Say anything slanderous!
    130. 130. Reference customers that are not yet ‘cleared’ / deals not yet signed
    131. 131. Mention impending changes/re-structuring
    132. 132. Share any views on your company’s shortcomings!
    133. 133. Do!
    134. 134. Summarise (“This is an important issue for three reasons…”)
    135. 135. Spell your name
    136. 136. Confirm your job title and company
    137. 137. Deliver on promises made (Agency will help you do this)</li></li></ul><li>Q&A <br />Thank You<br />