If your company has been affected by Hurricane Sandy, create a communications plan to address the concerns of each target audience–employees, clients and customers, investors, shareholders. Address how the company is taking measures to restore strength and make up for lost income and productivity or property damage.
People want to experience a company’s awareness and receive assurance in times like these.
For more detailed information on creating a crisis communications plan, read our previous blog post on this topic.
With the increase in opportunities for people to be interviewed by a variety of outlets, more people are becoming aware of the need for media training. As more people begin to make their own videos they may also see that it’s not always as easy as it looks to deliver content in a smooth, engaging way. Add to this the pressure of being asked questions by an inquisitive reporter and you could have a nerve-racking situation. BUT, that doesn’t have to be the case.
Like anything else you want to master, learning to handle interviews well just takes practice and guidance. Being a great speaker from the stage or being comfortable making your own promotional videos is not the same as being ready for a media interview.
Here’s my analogy. Rocking out on the dance floor is to the dancing the tango beautifully, what creating your own videos well is to being great in a media interview. To explain: you may be someone who’s comfortable and even looks good freestyling on the dance floor (like creating your own videos). But, would you be able to do the tango without lessons and practice? The tango is precise and intricate and it takes practice to make it smooth and crisp (like being able to answer questions concisely, without hesitancy and with great energy).
Use these tips to learn how to become an expert people trust.
1. Educate yourself.
Even if you hold an advanced degree in your field, there is always more to learn in your own field and in other arenas that will help you become more creative and resourceful. This will automatically spill into your communications.
Many years ago, when I was working as a publicist, I had a client who INSISTED that she didn’t need media training because she had been interviewed by the press and had created some of her own promotional videos. When I booked her on an NBC segment, she was unaware that a second camera was on her while the interviewer spoke. What was caught on camera? It was my client looking down at the ground, appearing disengaged. NOT GOOD! Easily avoidable media interview mistakes like this are the reason I now insist on media training my clients, or at least doing a mock interview or two with them, to make sure they’re truly camera ready and media ready.
If you plan or hope to be interviewed by media outlets, from the smallest online radio shows to the largest national TV shows, I encourage you to invest in media training from an experienced pro, so that you become aware of media interview mistakes that can be avoided. In the meantime, this article will help you avoid some of the most common mistakes people make in media interviews.
These are five media interview mistakes to avoid:
Media Interview Mistake # 1: Assuming you’re “a natural” because you’re a good public speaker or you’re good at making your own promotional videos. When you control the situation, it’s much easier to shine. When you have the pressure of answering questions quickly with cameras on you or a live audience listening in, it can be much more challenging and can fluster even the most confident people.
Media training is about much more than your delivery on camera. Good media trainers educate you on how to work well with all types of people who work in the media — TV producers, radio producers, print editors and writers. They each have specific needs, but there are some things that many members of the media who I have interviewed agreed upon. This is the list of media relations tips that I created, based on what I have learned while working with the media over the last 20+ years.
Top 10 Media Relations Tips from a Media Trainer
1. Be polite and respectful.
Editors, journalists and producers are paid to find stories that will interest their respective audiences. In essence, they are the experts on their particular media outlets. If they tell you that your story is not right for their audience, believe them. This does not mean, however, that you can’t offer them another story unless they have told you that YOU are not right for their respective media outlets. Good manners go a long way, too.