Handling the media

In the spotlight: top tips on being media savvy for business growth

Today’s business environment is hugely competitive, compelling companies to promote their services, image, brand and reputation in an effort to differentiate themselves from their competitors.

The media offers one of the most effective means of achieving this, and the return on investment can be compelling.  It’s usually cheaper than advertising, much more credible and more effective at boosting Google rankings. 

Here are 10 quick tips to get media savvy fast.

  1. Always respond to a media enquiry.  You are being given an opportunity to influence what appears in the news and, more importantly, how you, your company and industry are perceived.
  2. Be aware of deadlines – journalists work to very tight schedules – if you want to get on the air or see your name online, be prepared to move fast and cancel a few appointments.
  3. Be prepared before interviews. Find out – or work out – what the journalist is likely to ask you and prepare and practice key messages.
  4. When being interviewed, be confident and remember that you are an expert in your field. Inject a little bit of oomph and allow enthusiasm to shine through.
  5. But don’t make it up. No-one expects you to know everything about everything within your organisation or industry.  Don’t be embarrassed if you don’t know the answer to a question; just say so and offer to find either the information they need or an appropriate person to talk to them as soon as possible.
  6. NEVER say “no comment” – you might just as well admit you are guilty.
  7. Don’t feel compelled to fill a pause or a silence with unnecessary information – silence can be used by an interviewer to get a person to make revelations they wouldn’t otherwise divulge.
  8. Don’t just answer yes or no – give full answers but, if it’s for radio or TV, no more than 30 seconds long.  Any longer and you will be edited from a recorded interview or interrupted during a live one.  
  9. If you want to promote your company and its products and services, be subtle, or you’ll sound like a snake-oil salesman. Don’t disparage the competition.
  10. Don’t drop your guard when the interview is over. It’s never over until the reporter leaves the building or hangs up the phone. And remember that journalists never stop working and speaking “off the record” no longer exists.

Recommended Posts