Don’t approach a conversation with a reporter as you would a visit with anyone else. Journalists come to an interview with an agenda. You should, too.
Talking to reporters is not like talking to anyone else
Reporters have agendas when they come to interviews. You should, too.
People often miss a golden marketing opportunity when a reporter calls. They accept the invitation to be interviewed, answer questions obligingly – or worse, refuse to comment – then leave the meeting without delivering a single commercial message. Big mistake.
You should not treat a conversation with a reporter like you would a conversation with a friend or colleague. Nor, most of the time, should you refuse to cooperate. Instead, treat the conversations as both a marketing opportunity and a mini-audition. Answer all questions in a helpful manner and the reporter may return to interview you again. Answer some questions in a way that helps your cause or company, and you may benefit too.
But doing that takes training and practice.
No “spin.” Just clarity, brevity and accuracy.
Sikich experts have trained scores of business leaders, physicians, professional athletes and not-for-profit executives to be excellent media spokespeople. We help you understand the editorial environment, appreciate the reporter’s mission and anticipate the questions.
We work with you to develop appropriate media messages. Not “spin” (that term is verboten at our firm). Just clear, concise and accurate “headline statements” that tell your story in ways a reporter will find helpful.
Using a simple mnemonic, we help you address any question a reporter asks, bridge to a point you wish to make, then communicate that point.
We can advise clients as to the right and wrong ways to answer the question; when to go “off the record;” how to treat live and recorded opportunities; what to wear; where to put your hands; and how to avoid those embarrassing gaffes. Then, we’ll practice, practice, practice until you are comfortable.
But our training and guidance doesn’t end with the class. We prep you for each encounter and attend the interview with you. If and when appropriate, we’ll assist by interjecting a question or a reminder of a point you wish to make. And when the session ends, we’ll review it with you – and look for ways to improve the next time around.
Speaker Training, Too
Much of what we teach in media training can help with public speaking: creating a story “arch;” engaging the audience; and delivering a message that is clear, concise and accurate. If you’re like most – and prefer wisdom tooth extraction to giving a speech – contact us. We can help you make the most of an important opportunity.