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The Art of a Media Interview “Techniques to Hook, Bridge and Flag”

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1 The Art of a Media Interview “Techniques to Hook, Bridge and Flag”
Working with the Media The Art of a Media Interview “Techniques to Hook, Bridge and Flag” Presented By: Kelly Loussedes Vice President of Public Relations October 29, 2008

2 NAHU Media Relations Tools
Media Relations Tab on Homepage 8 Guidebooks Press release templates Canned editorials 5 PowerPoint presentations on media relations 6 NAHU FREE ads Sound Bytes Sample press kit So much more … !

3 Media Relations Guidebooks
Media Relations Officer’s Guide to Leadership Working with the Media Handbook Media Buying Guide Health Insurance Awareness Week Guide Hosting a Medicare Community Event MR Tools to Promote the Healthy Access Database How to Host a Press Conference Hosting a Hill Briefing

4 FREE NAHU Ads “You Don’t Have To Do It Alone” “Knowledge Is Power”
“Eat My Dust” Value of the Agent LPRT Long-term Care

5 NAHU Sound Bytes Compiled list of responses for you to use when reporters call – short and long version! We want to make you the expert. NAHU needs to “Speak with One Voice”

6 Media Spokesperson Database
The Media Spokesperson Database is comprised of NAHU members who are experts on important NAHU issues such as Medicare Part D, HSAs, long-term care and the uninsured. We recently made enhancements to our Media Spokesperson Database housed on the homepage of the NAHU website.

7 Find an Agent Feature Extremely popular resource on the NAHU homepage.
Profiled on major media outlets like The Today Show, Good Morning America, New York Times, LA Times, Washington Post and countless others.

8 Single Payer Campaign Continue to conduct daily media searches in the top 25 media markets for articles highlighting single payer systems. Aggressive national media monitoring in key metropolitan areas has allowed NAHU to respond to reporters with timely letters-to-the-editor.


10 Faces of the Uninsured Campaign
Brochure that provides testimonials from 5 individuals and families from across the country that were previously uninsured but with the help of an NAHU agent now have health insurance. Effectively counters the single payer debate.


12 The Value of Media Outreach
Project a positive image about our industry Generate understanding of role in health care Educate public about insurance Identify NAHU members as a source of information Provide balanced commentary Advance legislative agenda

13 Tips for Newspaper Interviews
First Question -- When is your deadline? Buy prep time Establish “interview setting” Clear your desk Close the door Use prepared notes – sound bytes on NAHU website Keep message points in front of you

14 Interview Tips (con’t)
Speak clearly and concisely – be able to explain your story in a few brief sentences. Present your conclusion first. This sounds odd, but your time talking with a reporter will be limited, you need to assert the main point first and then support the statement with facts. Be honest. If you don’t know something the reporter asks, don’t guess. Tell him or her you will get back to him promptly with the correct information.

15 Interview Tips (con’t)
Never speak off the record. Assume everything you say will be reported, whether it’s before, during, or after an interview. Make sure that what you tell the reporter is what you want to see in print. Most reporters will not allow you to see the article before it goes to print. Always invite the reporter to call you for more information or clarification.

16 The Art of “Bridging” A bridging statement is simply a transition from one topic (based on a reporter's question) to a subject you want to talk about (your message). You should answer the question as briefly as possible, and then bridge to your message. Sometimes you are introducing your message for the first time, while other times you are reinforcing it.

17 Bridging Examples Here are some examples of bridging statements that will effectively help you stay on message: The fact is … What I recommend people do is ... Let me re-emphasize something I said earlier about ... That's why it is important to ...

18 Interviews Gone Astray
Sometimes you need to abruptly change the direction of the interview. Perhaps the reporter has wandered into a different direction, or is touching on a controversial issue, and you want to get back on message. Here are some bridging statements you can use: The question that you should ask is ... The real issue here is ...

19 Bridging Tips The First Question Rule: Take Control
You can begin your answer with a “bridge” such as: “Mike, that’s a great question. Let’s take a step back and look at some important information. I’d like to give you some history….” Then deliver your message. 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: That’s too hypothetical at this point, but…. I don’t want to speculate on that, but what I think you’re trying to get at is….

20 The “Hook” The Hook is a technique that gets the interviewer to follow-up on your first point allowing you to get a second point in. For example, you can say, “There are two very important considerations that must be taken into account before we can support this proposed health care policy. The first is “ then expand on that point. The interview will seem incomplete if the reporter doesn’t follow-up with, “and the second point?” This is a good way to ensure that both your points get air time.

21 Flagging Flagging alerts the reporter to what you consider most important. It’s a good way to emphasize the key point or points you want the reporter to remember. Flagging is simply giving the reporter a verbal clue about what is important: What your audience needs to know is … What I want to be sure you understand here is. . The critical point is…. If there’s one point viewers need to understand….

22 Be Prepared! Consider your Messages --
Review sound bites and quotable phrases Facts and statistics Examples Analogies Be ready to speak in layman’s terms — no jargon. Project Positive Energy -- You’re glad to be here You’re interested in your audience You have knowledge you want to convey

23 Ten Tips Use simple, direct answers Repeat messages Pause
Don’t over answer: make point, stop talking Avoid jargon Listen, don’t interrupt Stay in your zone of expertise Don't get angry Never say “off the record” or “no comment” Don’t say it if you don’t want to see it

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