Want to increase the visibility of your business? Perhaps you seek to educate people about your product or service, inform them about your events, or change their opinion about your price. Maybe you want to be seen as an industry thought leader or you want to generate business leads or prospective employee interest. No matter the goal, media coverage is a great way to get more attention.
So what do you need to know when working with today’s multifaceted (television, radio, print, online) and competitive media landscape–one that is constantly changing and largely based online; one that is steeped in competition to increase their audiences? These do’s and don’ts for working with the media will boost your chances of coverage success.
- Be prepared; winging it is not worth it or may ruin the opportunity or relationship.
- Stay calm and engaged; no looking at the clock or incoming messages while interviewing.
- Speak in a conversational tone and use simple sentences
- Show enthusiasm and be energetic, even if you need to be standing up during a phone interview.
- Stick to your key messages
- Make positive statements
- Let the reporter know you can get information that you don’t have readily available; then follow-up as promised.
- Be available for follow-up calls
- If the reporter gets something wrong, correct it quickly.
- Talk too much or feel obligated to fill the silence
- Hesitate to say you don’t know the answer to a question
- Say “no comment,” explain why you cannot answer
- Answer hypothetical questions or speculate
- Repeat any negative statements or false facts made by the reporter
- Argue with a reporter; remember this is a relationship you want to build or foster.
- Knock your competition
- Look at your watch, roll your eyes, or sport a bad attitude
- Ask the reporter for story approval
Overall, consider each and every media opportunity/interview as a business transaction. Reporters are storytellers, not your friends. It is not a reporter’s job to promote or protect you. They are not there to make you look good or bad. They want information and they want it quickly to meet deadlines. They want their audience to relate to your information and they want to play an important role in increasing their outlets audience size.
So focus on how you can help reporters understand the value or importance of what you are saying so you can better help them tell your story. And remember that nothing is “off the record.” The pen is always poised and the video camera is always on. Reporters are not out to get you, but they are always looking for a good story.
Ready to get more attention? The Thought Board is ready to help you make it happen.