The dos and don’ts of dealing with the media
A company’s reputation can hinge on their ability to successfully engage with the media. If an interview with the media goes awry, a company’s reputation can be tarnished beyond repair, costing customer loyalty, revenue, employee attraction and retention. Utilised in the right way though, the media can be an expansive platform for businesses to boost brand awareness, engage with current and prospective customers and announce important company and industry news.
If your company expects to communicate with the media in the future, it’s important to remember these vital dos and don’ts.
Get to know the media landscape. It’s important to understand how journalists think in order to engage with them successfully.
Know what you want to say. If you’re participating in an interview, chances are you have something to say. Speaking to the media should be all about delivering your business’s key messages, whether it be in relation to a new product launch, an upcoming event or rectifying a damaging incident.
Practise in front of the mirror. As they say, practise makes perfect. The same goes for dealing with the media. A spokesperson for your business should appear confident, be able to answer difficult questions under pressure and understand the strategies that help to express key messages successfully.
Participate in training. If the spokesperson for your business hasn’t yet participated in media training, it should be of top priority. Media training can help your business engage with the media more effectively and as a result safeguard and strengthen your business’s reputation. Media training professionals can help businesses and spokespeople identify key messages, form strategies to answer questions while communicating key messages, become confident in an interview setting and formulate coping mechanisms for nerves.
Avoid the question. It is vital to successfully address your interviewer’s question before launching into your key messages. You should appear engaged, address the question, and respond accordingly.
Fidget, slouch, ‘um’ and ‘uh’. Body language is a large indicator of confidence, or lack thereof, which is why it’s important to sit up or stand up straight, speak clearly, with confidence, and restrain from using filler words like ‘um’ and ‘uh’.
Show up unprepared. One common mistake made by media spokespeople is remaining ignorant about the media landscape and the role of journalists. In addition to the importance of understanding the media, having a thorough understanding of who your interviewer is and what their role is in the media can make or break an interview.
Green Door Co offers tailored media training workshops for businesses and their media spokespeople. If you would like to strengthen your interview skills, learn more about the media and grasp how to express your key messages to the media effectively, get in touch with us today.
If investing in media training is out of reach, don’t be deterred!
Green Door Co has launched PR 4 SMEs – a comprehensive online course which will provide you with the knowledge and tools to launch your own successful PR program. The course is designed for startups, entrepreneurs, SMEs and marketing teams who want to upskill in PR. To find out more or to enrol click here.