We recommend using the message diamond
throughout your interview to structure your
answers. It’s a three-step process:
1. Answer the question by starting with your message
2. Prove and enhance message with an interesting story, example or
fact or other detail
3. Deliver your message again in a slightly diﬀerent way
While a reporter may not use your entire answer, if he or she pulls a
portion of the answer to use as a quote from your message diamond,
you will most likely be comfortable with that quote because it is on
message. This approach helps you keep control of the interview and
keeps you focused by weaving your message throughout the interview.
The message diamond draws on the same "inverted pyramid" model
that reporters use. In a digital, print or broadcast story, the headline or
lead proclaims the story’s conclusion or major point. A tweet does the
same. The rest of the story summons supporting facts and statements
in descending order of importance. You might think about it as
beginning with a statement that you’d ordinarily use to conclude a
statement. If it helps, you can incorporate the reporter’s question into
this statement, but only if that builds a diamond – and beware of
repeating a negative question.
Speak about beneﬁts.
Don’t go into complex details when you can explain how your clients
have beneﬁtted from the company’s products and services. If the
listeners don’t buy the “why,” they won’t care about the “how.”
Use real world stories.
These help reporters to understand your value and make it more likely
the ﬁrm will get a prominent place in the story.