Posted by: beckbamberger | January 7, 2009

Media Prep: a MUST! Tips on how to prep

So many clients get freaked out with TV interviews, and it can be understood: live TV is a one-shot opportunity, a no “re-do” spot. So are interviews with media on the phone or simply in person.

Here are some media prep tips from David Rourk’s blog:

– Prepare by speaking in short sound bites — avoid long, rambling stories. The tighter the better. Try to condense your thoughts into their most potent, descriptive words. A reporter is only allotted so many words and so much time, so make it easy for him or her. This also cuts down on the chances of being misquoted and damaging your public relations efforts.

– Prepare by using bridging statements when needed. There will be times when a reporter knows little about your profession or the issue he or she is asked to cover. Or, the reporter may have bad research information from the Internet, which is loaded with good, bad and misleading information. A bridging statement gets you past those potentially damaging questions and refocuses the interview on what’s important. This is not dodging a question. It is helping the reporter get the story correct.

– Prepare for the unexpected. Never tear off the mic and storm away. No one has pulled this off in a professional manner. Better to hold your ground, stay on message and maintain your composure and professionalism — most likely the media is on a tighter deadline than you are.

– Prepare for the pre-interview chit-chat phase. Establish rapport with the reporter before the interview. Remember, the whole interaction is on-the-record. Avoid talking about anything you don’t want repeated in the paper or on TV.

Put yourself in the reporter’s shoes. If an expert gives you great quotes or analyses which easily fall into place, chances are you’ll call that person again. However, if an interviewee speaks in jargon with rambling, incoherent sentences, you’ll never call that person back because you’ll find someone just as good who understands your needs.


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