Mastering The Media How To Make The Most Of Your Publicity Media
Exposure Opportunities

Mastering The Media How To Make The Most Of Your Publicity Media Exposure Opportunities



As a​ former TV news reporter/producer and a​ current PR/publicity professional, I have been on both sides of​ the media interview game. I like to​ think I have a​ good eye for what makes a​ good interview source, how to​ conduct an​ interesting interview, and how to​ give a​ compelling interview. There are a​ few tricks of​ the trade that can make you come off like a​ pro -- which will make the reporter’s job easier and most likely translate into a​ better PR/publicity placement for you.

Here are a​ few basic tips to​ follow:

* When a​ publicity campaign generates a​ media response, try to​ respond as​ promptly as​ possible to​ that initial contact and subsequent requests. Reporters, editors and producers are on constant deadline. if​ they don’t get what they want from you quickly -- they WON’T wait -- they WILL move on to​ another source.

* State facts, not fireworks, keeping superlatives to​ a​ minimum. Proving your product is​ indeed the “BEST” is​ next to​ impossible. So don’t. Simply state the specific benefits of​ your product matter of​ factly. Let the consumer decide which product is​ best. as​ long as​ you have a​ quality product, something that should be evident by the time you implement a​ publicity campaign, your product won’t need “BEST EVER” or​ “NUMBER 1” claims to​ come out in​ a​ positive light.

* Speak in​ sentences, not phrases.
Articulate your answers in​ the following manner: Subject -- Verb -- Object -- Reason

Ex: “We (subject) are launching (verb) our new product (object)
to give consumers a​ healthy new option in​ beverages (reason).”

This will help you give answers that are straightforward and easily understood. Beginning sentences with phrases, tends to​ make your answers seem drawn out, disjointed and most times unresponsive. This is​ not to​ say you should never begin a​ sentence with a​ phrase. Granted, some media savvy interviewees can pull it​ off with articulation. But until you get to​ that level -- stick to​ the fundamentals.

* “Echo-answer” the main questions.
If a​ reporter asks: “What’s so great about your new product?” -- try to​ paraphrase and answer: “The great thing about our product is...” That quote/soundbite is​ much more likely to​ be used because that answer can stand on its own without needing a​ “set-up” sentence in​ the article/story. a​ reporter can throw that quote in​ anywhere and it​ is​ a​ logical, understandable statement about the product.

* Keep quotes and sound bites concise and articulate.
If you must have a​ “canned response” to​ a​ question speak conversationally, not like a​ robot. a​ good rule of​ thumb for answer lengths: Effective TV/radio news broadcast soundbites should be around 4-10 seconds -- something you can speak comfortably in​ about 3 or​ 4 normal breaths. Anything longer and it​ may seem to​ drone on. That’s why they are called sound bites. Regardless, stick to​ the S-V-O formula and there’s no real way you can get off track and therefore open you up to​ awkward follow-up questions.

* Be a​ well, not a​ fountain.
By that I mean allow the interviewer to​ dip in​ and draw out your responses instead of​ spewing forth a​ tirade of​ unsolicited information. (Don’t worry – most interviewers will “lead” you into discussing the most relevant aspects of​ your product) You will seem more genuine and less self-serving if​ you answer the interviewer’s questions succinctly and professionally. This is​ especially true in​ “firefighting” publicity -- when your
product/business/company is​ being interviewed in​ the wake of​ a​ problem.

* Speak to​ the interviewer, not the medium.
Don’t get blinded by the “stage lights”. Whether you are speaking to​ the editor of​ a​ small town weekly newspaper or​ Oprah, consider the reporter just a​ single person in​ your extensive targeted audience. Treat the interview as​ a​ one on one conversation with the reporter. That will make you more at​ ease, allow you to​ think more clearly and let you be more genuine in​ your responses.




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