Do Deliver key messages to specific audiences Show enthusiasm for your ideas or company Practice DON’T Brag or boast Use industry jargon Assume anything is “off the record.”
A Reporter’s Objective Unique, timely and compelling stories for their audiences. Finish ahead of deadlines
Experts who have information, facts, figures, statistics. Thought leaders with insights or other noteworthy information People who have an interesting story to tell– YOU--
Paraphraser/Speculator Question: “So. What you’re saying is….” Response: “Allow me to clarify,” “I can only speak to…” “My experience has been…” Interrupter:”Let me interject.” Response: ” In a moment. That’s a good point but I need to finish …” (then bridge)
Dart Thrower: Random questions, often negative. Response: Answer, Transition,Message (ATM) Don’t become defensive Machine Gunner: Multiple questions at once. Response: Dealer’s Choice— Answer some or all, in order of your preference The Silencer: Uncomfortable silence, seeking you to fill the void. Response: “Does that answer your question?” What else would you like to know?”
A nswer T ransition M essage Examples “A Key to remember…” “Even more importantly…” “There is more to the story, specifically…”
Another thing worth mentioning But the question I get asked most often is… If you are asking me (and then re-phrase the question) The best way to answer that is to give you some background. There is another aspect to that question we should also consider. That question raises an important point, but more (important/timely/crucial) is…
Likely to be edited; repeat and restate sound bites Use subtle, natural hand gestures to show some energy If seated, lean slightly forward, feet on floor, no jiggling, swirling or swaying If standing: be relaxed but straight posture, no swaying with knees bent slightly bent Look into the interviewer’s eyes, or into the camera lens if reporter is remote Look into the interviewer’s eyes, or into the camera lens if reporter is remote Interviewer may lead you. Be prepared to repeat key messages. Interviewer may lead you. Be prepared to repeat key messages.
Prepare strong, simple sound bites. Repeat often. Prepare strong, simple sound bites. Repeat often. Use voice inflection to emphasize key points Use voice inflection to emphasize key points Use notes if it is a phone interview Use notes if it is a phone interview Keep hands, feet and papers quiet Keep hands, feet and papers quiet Localize the message Localize the message For call-in shows, be respectful of questioners For call-in shows, be respectful of questioners
Be prepared to take more time to go into greater depth with more knowledgeable reporter Tell story in a “quotable” fashion Use notes if interview is by phone Offer a photo or image to accompany story Tailor message to audience or publication Think visually – even though it is print Do not get lulled into a false comfort zone
Control Know the reporter, outlet, audience and ground rules. Anticipate questions Plan answers Steer or Bridge to YOUR messages Commercials Use clear, simple language (no jargon) Get tag line in early and often Offer specific, memorable facts and anecdotes Tailor approach but stick to main points
Cosmetics (Men) Conservative solid blue or gray suits, avoid busy patterns No White Shirts Take make-up if they offer it Cosmetics (Women) Avoid busy patterns, dangling earrings, flashy jewelry, Skirt length covering the knee Subtle makeup
Commandments Thou SHALL NOT Lie, speculate, guess, bluff or improvise. Say “no comment” or speak “off the record” Thou SHALL Anticipate likely questions and have key messages ready to deliver. Have a PR policy in place and a designated spokesperson available to respond quickly to press requests. Rehearse or practice your key messages with a friendly audience.
First Impressions Count Take your time Play it straight. Keep it simple. Be Yourself. If you stumble, start again If you think you have one more thing to say, don’t say it.