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Media Training Elizabeth Clements Fermilab Office of Communications May 5, 2010.

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Presentation on theme: "Media Training Elizabeth Clements Fermilab Office of Communications May 5, 2010."— Presentation transcript:

1 Media Training Elizabeth Clements Fermilab Office of Communications May 5, 2010

2 Training objectives Increase your understanding of how to effectively communicate through the media By the end of the session, you will: Have a general overview of how media works Understand importance of preparing for media interactions Be able to define key messages, analogies and sound bites Know what to do before, during and after an interview Understand where to go for assistance in dealing with media

3 How the media works

4 What media want Media want To sell papers/magazines To attract listeners/viewers So stories must Appeal to their readers/viewers/listeners Be entertaining, interesting, newsworthy

5 Whats newsworthy?

6 What makes a story interesting? Impact Immediacy Proximity Prominence Novelty Conflict Emotions End of world LHC restart Local LHC researcher Tom Hanks Baguette shuts down LHC Race for the Higgs End of world

7 Journalists Want to be accurate and fair Arent (usually) out to get you Will take cues from you Are liked by their audience

8 Publication process Journalist writes Editors edit Headline written More editing to fit space Final product is published (or not!) You will rarely get to see the product before publication

9 How to work with the media 1.Get on TV/radio, in print –Be interested, interesting and available 2.Get your message across –Develop key messages and stick to them

10 What makes you interesting? You are animated and enthusiastic You can –Describe how your work matters –Give clear and concise answers –Use analogies and anecdotes –Use sound bites –Avoid jargon

11 Jargon [The Standard Model] foresaw four long-range force particlesreferred to as gauge bosons whereas nature has but one: the photon. The other three have a short range, less than about 10–17 meters, less than 1 percent of the protons radius. According to Heisenbergs uncertainty principle, this limited range implies that the force particles must have a mass approaching 100 billion electron volts (GeV). - from Scientific American

12 Jargon [The Standard Model] foresaw four long-range force particlesreferred to as gauge bosons whereas nature has but one: the photon. The other three have a short range, less than about 10–17 meters, less than 1 percent of the protons radius. According to Heisenbergs uncertainty principle, this limited range implies that the force particles must have a mass approaching 100 billion electron volts (GeV). - from Scientific American

13 Jargon strategy 1: Avoid it The diameter of an atom ranges from about 0.1 to 0.5 nanometers. Atoms are so small 20,000,000 just span a pinhead. An atom is a million times smaller than the thickest human hair. Give it the mom and dad test first.

14 Jargon strategy 2: Explain it Quarks are fundamental building blocks of matter. The Standard Model is the best theory that physicists currently have to describe the building blocks of the universe.

15 Getting your message across Prepare key messages And stick to them!

16 Key message 1-2 key ideas Start with main point Simple language Short sentences 20-30 seconds to say Positive message

17 Key message example: question How did Congress conclude that spending hundreds of billions of our tax dollars on thousands of pet projects will stimulate our consumer economy? How much stimulus will result from funding a small group of physicists working at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory outside Chicago? They are racing to find evidence of a hypothetical particle called the Higgs boson before a competing team in Switzerland doesif they get some stimulus money…Can we buy another bag of groceries, pay the mortgage or reduce accumulating bills if a handful of scientists in Chicago are able to prove the existence of something no one has ever seen? - Former Connecticut Congressman Bob Simmons

18 Key message example: answer The connection between basic science and our global economic competitiveness is not always obvious. Quarks and leptons dont bring to mind immediate technological breakthroughs and consumer products, even though they are the fundamental blocks that build everything around us. However the same particle accelerators that originated in the research lab can be found today in our factories, ports, hospitals and laboratories. All together, the products that they process, treat or inspect have an annual value of more than $500 billion.

19 Exercise – Key Messages Scenario: Your local news station has invited you to discuss your research on their morning talk show. Identify one key message, write it down (60-90 words) 10 minutes When developing your key message, consider: Whats the one idea you want to convey? How do you want to portray yourself, your experiment or your institute? If the message were repeated, what would you want to hear? Could anyone interpret this negatively? Think of the big picture. WHY?

20 BREAK

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22 Sound bites Reporters use direct quotes only when they are specific, vivid, descriptive or a way to show personality 1-2 (short) sentences Easily remembered 10 seconds to say

23 Sound bite examples The important thing is not to stop questioning. – Albert Einstein We are all agreed that your theory is crazy. The question that divides us is whether it is crazy enough to have a chance of being correct. – Niels Bohr The bird escaped unharmed but lost its bread – CERN

24 Analogy Critical for particle physics Think them through!

25 Analogy example: antimatter Dig a hole, and make a hill with the earth you've excavated. Hole and hill have equal but opposite characteristics the volume of the earth in the hill, and that of the hole where the earth was removed. For particles, properties like electrical charge are opposite to their antiparticlesone positive, one negative. Also, antimatter will annihilate its matter counterpart in a burst of energy, just like the hill will fill the hole, leaving neither.

26 The interview Research journalist and outlet Ask your own questions Prepare key messages, analogies, sound bites, facts, statistics Anticipate questions, especially hard ones Do the interview Follow up

27 Questions to ask What ground are we covering? What kind of clip/message do you want? How will it be used? With what other material? Will you interview others? Who? Where and how will it take place? Live or pre-recorded? How long?

28 Answering their questions Stick to your key messages Be enthusiastic! Dont invent Dont argue Let them interrupt Pay attention to repeated questions Its their job to fill the space, not yours

29 Tough questions Think of them in advance and prepare Answer the question you want to answer Always come back with a positive message

30 TV tips Arrive early Check your appearance! Dress quietly. No bold patterns, red, dangly earrings. Wear summer-weight clothing (lights are hot) Avoid tinted lenses If someone offers to change your clothes or makeup, trust them. Sit forward, never lean back. Dont cross or splay legs Look at interviewer and use normal body language Hold interviewers gaze the whole time. (Uncomfortable, but necessary!) Slow down and sit/stand still

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32 Phone interview tips If youre cold-called –Say youre busy and need to call back –Determine their deadline –Do as much research as you can During interview, imagine your supervisor standing behind you

33 Questions to prepare for What are you doing? Why are you doing this? Why should we care? What are you looking for? What if you don't find it? How dangerous is this? When will you get results? What will be the spin-offs from this? Couldn't the money be better spent on a cure for cancer?

34 Always remember Reporters are human tape recorders. Never say anything you dont want to see on air or in print Expect editing

35 Its over Give them your card/paper (your name, position, institution, key points) Ask for a copy of the final product Ask for feedback Thanks!

36 Practice! Interviewing is a skill like any other Work on your key messages Note good analogies, sound bites Listen/read about things you dont know anything about. What interests you? What do you remember? Ask your (non-physicist) friends/family to interview you

37 Contact me Elizabeth Clements lizzie@fnal.gov 630-840-2326 This presentation and other resources: www.uslhc.us/mediatraining www.uslhc.us/mediatraining http://www.uslhc.us/lecture_series/ Login: higgs Password: boson

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