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'Tis better to be silent and be thought a fool, than to speak and remove all doubt. --Abraham Lincoln.

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Presentation on theme: "'Tis better to be silent and be thought a fool, than to speak and remove all doubt. --Abraham Lincoln."— Presentation transcript:


2 'Tis better to be silent and be thought a fool, than to speak and remove all doubt. --Abraham Lincoln

3 Looking at yourself through the media is like looking at one of those rippled mirrors in an amusement park. --Edmund Muskie

4 The most important idea youll take with you today is: Its your interview. Use it to tell your story, not just to answer a journalists questions.

5 Your interview is not your time to answer questions -- it is your opportunity to present your messages. The journalist in not in charge – you are.

6 Today You Will: Learn how to take control of the interview from the first question. Understand how to meet the journalists motive with your message. Use bridging, flagging, and repetition to ensure that your message conveys. Learn how to handle specific types of media interviews -- including print, television, radio, and -- like a pro.

7 Preparation is Key -- Consider your Long-Term Care Message -- Before you meet the interviewer: Think through the possible tough questions. What are NAHUs weaknesses? What do you say when the reporter responds to your message point with, Yes, but…?

8 Preparation is Key – Consider your Long-Term Care Message -- Before you meet the interviewer, prepare: sound bites and quotable phrases. facts and statistics. examples. analogies. Be ready to speak in laymans terms no jargon.

9 Preparation is Key -- Your Messages Sound Bite: Long-term care insurance should be available and affordable for every American.

10 Preparation is Key – Understanding the Media Understand the Journalists Motive The job of the press is to encourage debate, not to supply the public with information. -- Christopher Lasch

11 Preparation is Key – Understanding the Media Understand the Journalists Motive: Most reporters want to tell a fair story – not promote your agenda OR make you look bad Dont mistake reporters for friends – or enemies. Because they laugh at your jokes doesnt mean they wont write a negative piece. Good reporters ask tough questions. Tension and friction provide the leads they want. Reporters are looking for news; they dont see themselves as a mouthpiece for NAHU

12 Preparation is Key – Understanding Media Research your Reporter: Know how NAHU fits into reporters story. Dont agree to a request for an interview if you dont like the story. For example: a feature piece on employees sinking morale during a recession might not be a good place for your message. Watch news and listen to radio interviews conducted by your interviewer; read articles written by your journalist. You will get a sense of what they emphasize in their work.

13 Preparation is Key – Understanding Media When a Reporter Calls to Request an Interview, Ask: Who is the reporter and who is the expected audience? What is the publication or program and the outlet? What is the deadline? (This lets you know how much time you have to prepare.) What type of story is this – breaking news or feature? Who else is the reporter interviewing for the story? For radio and TV, will this be a live or a taped interview? For radio, will this be a call-in show?

14 During the Interview – All types of media Whether the Interview is Print, Radio or Television: -- Project Positive Energy -- Youre glad to be here. Youre interested in your audience. You have knowledge you want to convey.

15 During the Interview – All types of media NAHUs Core Long-Term Care Messages: One of the best ways to address the long-term care insurance problem is by creating incentives for individuals to purchase private or, when available, partnership long-term care insurance plans. LTC premiums should be tax-deductible for everyone, not just individuals who itemize deductions. Long-term care insurance should be available through cafeteria plans and Flexible Spending Accounts.

16 During the Interview – All types of media The First Question Rule : Take Control The first question is your first chance to get your message out. NO MATTER WHAT THE QUESTION, KNOW YOUR ANSWER GOING IN. This provides you with the comfort of knowing what youre going to say. It allows you to set both the tone and an agenda.

17 During the Interview – All types of media The First Question Rule : Take Control You can begin your answer with a bridge such as: Mike, thats a great question. Lets take a step back and look at some important information. Id like to give you some history….. Then deliver your message.

18 During the Interview – All types of media Telling Your Story: Three Tools of the Trade Bridging Flagging Repetition

19 During the Interview – All types of media Bridging -- Allows you to transition from the interviewers question -- or your answer to it -- to your message Remember: Youre there to put your message out, not to answer questions. You can: Answer and bridge. Just bridge. Bridge and then answer.

20 During the Interview – All types of media Some Reliable Bridges -- Whats important to remember is.... Before we move on to another subject, I want to add.... Even more important.... Your viewers / listeners / audience / readers should also remember.... The reality is…. The reason Im here….

21 During the Interview – All types of media More Bridges -- There is more to the story, specifically.... You make a good point there, but our main consideration was.... Let me take a step back.... What the public needs to understand…. Id just like to touch on…. But may I just add….

22 During the Interview – All types of media No spinning, fudging, or skirting! Instead of no comment, bridge by saying: I dont know the exact number, but I can tell you…. I dont know; Ill be happy to help you find out, but whats important here is…. This is what I know…. Im afraid that information is confidential, but I can tell you….

23 During the Interview – All types of media Flagging -- Focuses attention on your message and provides emphasis. To flag one of your core messages: stop, use a gesture and wording to highlight your point: What the audience needs to know is.... What I want to be sure you understand here is.... The critical point is…. If theres one point viewers need to understand…. I just need to emphasize….

24 During the Interview – All types of media Repetition -- Assume that it takes several repetitions for the average listener to take in what youre saying. Youre not sounding like a broken record; youre making sure your audience gets your message. Not only is it okay to repeat; its necessary. If you walk away thinking that you over-emphasized your message, consider it well done!

25 During the Interview – All types of media -- Practice -- Generate interview responses using bridging, flagging, and repetition.

26 During the Interview – All types of media During Your Interview -- NEVER ANSWER A HYPOTHETICAL QUESTION! A journalist might try to get an interesting story by leading you into a what if scenario. Never speculate. Instead, bridge to one of your core messages with: Thats too hypothetical at this point, but…. Well deal with that when the time comes, but.… I dont want to speculate on that, but what I think youre trying to get at is….

27 During the Interview – All types of media During Your Interview -- Correct a reporters error by stating the right information; dont repeat incorrect information or negative comments. Remember: journalists are looking for intriguing quotes. Use NAHUs name often. Remember what you want to get out of this. Listen carefully to the journalists questions and comments. Be candid – no spinning, fudging, or skirting the issue. If you dont know, say so. Do not become frustrated if an interviewer seems unfair, biased or unfamiliar with your issue.

28 During the Interview – All types of media Be Very Careful of Off the Record Most journalists agree on these definitions: Not for attribution: The comments may be quoted directly, but the source may only be identified in general terms (e.g., "a government insider"). On background: The thrust of the briefing may be reported (and the source characterized in general terms as above) but direct quotes may not be used. Deep background: The information may be included in the article but not attributed to the source or provided with any distinguishing characteristics about the source.

29 During the Interview – All types of media Anything Else? Absolutely! When a journalist asks if theres anything else youd like to add, the answer is: Yes, what people need to understand is… or another appropriate bridge to one of your core messages. Summarize your messages, or use the opportunity to review anything you think got too little attention in the interview. Dont relinquish this final opportunity!

30 Television -- specifics Television: Before the Show Provide graphics and background footage and make arrangements with the producer in advance. Pre-taped conversations inform the reporter, relax you, and help shape the interview, but they are not off the record. Be ready and able to tell your story in seconds. Relax your throat muscles by yawning, stretching, or drinking water. Review your material; walk around and go over your points quietly to yourself.

31 Television -- specifics During the Interview – As you settle in, say to your host: So, Tim, what are we going to talk about? This puts you on the offensive and more at ease. This puts the interviewer in a defensive position.

32 Television -- specifics During the Interview -- Sit on your jacket hem to keep the collar from bunching up behind your neck. Watch the host for your cue, not the camera or producer. When you are introduced, look at the camera, smile slightly and/or nod. After the introduction, always look and speak directly to the reporter or host, not the camera. Be patient, attentive, and engaged during cutaway shots.

33 During the Interview -- Avoid saying uh-uh, "ah," "like," umm and "you know. Be careful about referring to any off-camera conversation. Never interrupt or take a side question. Never assume that you are off-camera until you leave the studio. Remember: the camera and microphone are always on! Television -- specifics

34 Body Language Speaks Volumes Slouching reduces your energy level and looks bad – sitting up straight projects confidence and honesty. Gesturing too much can make you look unsure and nervous; its also distracting. Sitting completely still, however, looks unnatural; a few gestures, especially for emphasis, are fine. When youre not gesturing, keep your hands folded and in view.

35 Television -- specifics Body Language Crossing and uncrossing your legs is a typical nervous reaction, but it is distracting. Sitting too far back in a chair can make you appear defensive; try to look relaxed, but formal. Biting your lip or clenching your jaw could be read as a sign that you are trying to hide something. Try to maintain eye contact; looking down or looking away can also indicate that you are not being forthright.

36 Television -- specifics Dress -- Avoid wearing narrow stripes, pinstripes, or small patterns. Blues are great for women; black, navy, and grey for men. Avoid large or dangling jewelry or shiny tie clasps. Look neat and natural, but not overdone. Avoid eyeglasses with lenses that darken.

37 Types of Studio Interviews – TV and Radio Live (and Live to Tape) Interview: The best part is that you know what will come through to viewers or listeners -- all of it. Do what you do best: bridge, flag, stick to your messages, repeat. Interview for Edit: This interview will be cut and reassembled -- leaving some parts out -- so every answer counts. Ensure that every response contains a message. Remote interview: Considered by many to be the most intimidating because youre alone with the camera. Look at the camera and project a genial and professional manner. During the sound check, turn the volume up a little louder than you think youre going to need it.

38 Print -- Specifics Print: Before the Interview Set a time limit; you can choose to continue if things are going well. You have more time with print than with TV or radio; prepare for more complex questions and longer answers. Bring materials – chart, fact sheet, press kit – to leave behind.

39 Print -- Specifics Print: During the Interview Remember: the journalists questions dont appear in the story – only your responses will be quoted. Remain positive -- even in the face of antagonistic questioning. Arrive early. Record the interview.

40 Print -- Specifics Editorial Board Meetings Everything you say should be considered on record and for attribution. Generally these begin with a broad question. Jump in and guide the interaction. Control the meeting by delivering your core messages. Be prepared for tough questions; bring supporting evidence like academic studies and opinion surveys. You may bring third parties or other advocates for your cause. Bring leave-behinds like charts, fact sheets, or a press kit.

41 Radio -- Specifics Radio Be clear, concise and conversational. Speak more slowly than you would normally; enunciate more, as well. Remember that listeners may tune in at any point in the program, so make sure your answer includes all important information. Repeat your best arguments as often as possible. Be aware that listeners – and callers – tend to be unsympathetic to the issue being discussed. Bring back-up materials, talking points, or notes with you.

42 Specifics for Your Radio or Print Interview -- Phones Tips for PHONE INTERVIEWS – Radio and Print Stand up and pace -- your voice will project better. Avoid cell and cordless phones -- they often make poorer connections. Some people prefer long cords to facilitate pacing. Have a colleague available to help with locating notes, monitoring progress of your interview. Swallowing and drinking water help to relax the muscles in your throat.

43 Take Care with The often casual nature of has lured many into dangerous waters. REMEMBER: Humor often doesnt come across. Your exact words can be forwarded anywhere. Your exchanges with a reporter OR FORWARDED TO A REPORTER are considered on the record and can be quoted as such.

44 Media Notes In Telling Your Story, Keep in Mind thatNews is : Something different today than yesterday. Surprising, unexpected, or counterintuitive. The first, biggest, most comprehensive. Raising new issues, problems, solutions. Linked to whats already in the news. Intriguing to your neighbor. -- whatever creates tension or a point of friction --

45 Media Notes Not All News Is the Same Not all news is national. Regional, local, and trade press can help you reach important audiences. Not all news is hard news. Consider feature and trend articles as potential venues. Not all news is off-line. news alerts, news Websites, and on-line newsletters are all increasing in importance.

46 Final Thoughts Use Your Interview to Tell Your story Take control with the first question. Use BRIDGING, FLAGGING, and REPETITION to highlight YOUR CORE MESSAGES. NEVER answer a hypothetical question. Keep your cool and remain positive throughout any interview. Remember: the camera or microphone is always on.


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