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Managing Your Message in the Media Presented By: Kelly Loussedes Vice President of Public Relations March 30, 2009.

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Presentation on theme: "Managing Your Message in the Media Presented By: Kelly Loussedes Vice President of Public Relations March 30, 2009."— Presentation transcript:

1 Managing Your Message in the Media Presented By: Kelly Loussedes Vice President of Public Relations March 30, 2009

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 Officers 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 Message Management Preparation. You only have one chance to get it right. Always prepare. Have three key messages. Short, not sermons. Sometimes the host opens the door, other times you have to answer a question and segue to a key message. Lose the jargon. Avoid using industry terms. You may know what youre talking about, but the listeners may not. And, Remember to Speak with One Voice!

13 Nuts and Bolts of Media Relations Know your local media! Types Print – daily and weekly newspapers, trade publications Broadcast – radio and TV Be a Media Monitor!

14 Distinctions Between Print and Broadcast Media Print Allows more in-depth coverage Often more lead-time Great range of venues Broadcast Must be more concise Experienced Spokesperson

15 Tips for Print 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

16 Interview Tips (cont) 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 dont know something the reporter asks, dont guess. Tell him or her you will get back to him promptly with the correct information.

17 Interview Tips (cont) Never speak off the record. Assume everything you say will be reported, whether its 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.

18 Radio Interview Prep If possible, provide the radio host with interview questions before the interview. This is a great timesaver for a producer and it gives the producer an idea of what you can discuss. Research the show and tailor your message accordingly. Is it a national audience or a small town in Ohio? What is their format? Is it News/Talk, NPR or something else? Practice answering your questions out loud. Put your answers on index cards. Don't write complete sentences; use simple words to jog your memory. Have a summary sentence prepared to answer a question such as: "Do you have any final words of advice for us?"

19 During the Radio Interview Speak one to three sentences at a time. If they want more explanation, they will ask. Don't say, "Umm." Practice the day before and have a friend count your "umms." If the host has not mentioned by the end of the interview your chapter website or the Find an Agent feature, jump in and say, "By the way, to find a local health insurance professional in your area, go to After the interview, write a thank you note to the producer and the hosts.

20 Preparing for a TV Interview Before the interview begins, be sure to ask whether the interview will be live or taped. Discuss with the reporter the kind of questions he or she will ask. If the interview is live, ask if there will be callers with questions. What to wear to a TV interview: In general, conservative wear is best. Clothing colors should be neutral and if patterns are worn they should be very subtle. Distracting or shiny jewelry should be avoided. Wearing make-up is recommended for women and men, especially powder.

21 During the TV Interview Always assume the microphone is on. Until that microphone is taken from you and you leave the studio. Maintain eye contact with the reporter if they are present. If the reporter is not present, ask whether you should look towards the camera or at someone standing off camera. During a taped interview, the length of answer should be 7 to 12 seconds. During a live interview be prepared to stop for a commercial break. Be aware of the general message your words and body language portray. Always try to Project Positive Energy! – Youre glad to be being interviewed – You have knowledge you want to convey

22 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.

23 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...

24 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...

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

26 Do you have any questions for my answers? --- Scott Leavitt, NAHU President

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