In my two previous posts, I covered seven ways to make friends with the media:
- Do your homework.
- Fine-tune your message.
- Contact the media the way they want to be contacted.
- Make their job easy
- Respect the media’s time.
- Be responsive.
- Remember the 80/20 rule.
Here are some more tips.
8. Media train your spokespeople.
Although some people are just naturally good at interviews, almost everyone needs some training. Make sure your spokespeople do practice interviews with a trained PR consultant. Preferably videotape the practices. Run through the presentation and demo (if any), and review any questions you think the media might ask.
For example, I media-trained a spokesperson for a national consumer product roll-out that included a lot of TV talk shows. During the initial practice, his body language directly contradicted his words. He sat in a negative, defensive mode, arms crossed, physically cutting himself off from the “interviewer.” He nodded “no” when he said “yes” and the like.
After only a few sessions, however, his words and actions were in sync. He went on to become a very effective spokesperson for many years.
The point is: media training is essential. Do not skimp on this step.
9. Make friends before you need them.
The media like feedback. They like to know people are reading their articles and blog posts, and are watching or listening to their programs. So comment on an article or report even when you are not pitching a story. It can be a good way to introduce yourself. I have received very nice responses to just such comments.
10. Be honest.
This should go without saying, but never lie to the media. Outside of the moral or ethical considerations, honesty is basically good business. If you lie, chances are good you will be found out and you will never regain the trust of those editors.
As stated earlier, the nice thing about dealing with the media is that a lot of it is just common sense. Follow these guidelines and make friends with the people who can make a huge difference to your publicity success.
I hope you find this information helpful. More information about the media is available on my website at www.CommunicationsPlus.net.