Interviews often start with a bang, but end with a whimper. That is, the questions are typically the most hard-hitting at the beginning or soon after an interview starts.
Very often, however, the reporter or host runs out of steam - and questions - and coasts to a conclusion. It's not uncommon for them to ask something like, "Well, is there anything else you'd like to add?"
This is a golden opportunity. The response should never be, "No, I think we covered everything."
Even if you did cover everything, you always want to take the opportunity to restate your key points and remind listeners and viewers of your central message. This is absolutely critical if it's a live interview and you have what amounts to free air time to promote your company, product and brand.
So, your response might go something like, "Well, I just want to thank your for the opportunity to talk about our expansion plans. And, I think it's important to again say how excited we are at (Company name) to be able to add jobs and help boost the local economy."
And, much more could be said, based on what you're trying to communicate through the interview. The point is to never pass up the wrap-up question at the end. Have your message so well thought out that restating it in various forms becomes second nature to you. We provide media training workshops. Find out more! Follow us on Twitter (@mack_comm).
Media training can be an effective tool to prepare executives, board members and spokespersons to handle a variety of media encounters. Unfortunately, some of the very people who could most benefit from such training don't think they need it.
What are the benefits and why should you consider it for you or your team?
The main benefit is confidence. You've stepped through the various scenarios of what you can expect. Going through group or one-on-one coaching gives you the preparation you need to face a reporter or a radio or TV host. Seeing yourself on camera helps you to see what works and what doesn't.
Are you a professional communicator, someone who communicates for a living?
Actually, as we pointed out at a recent Mack Communications training presentation, it's a trick question. We are all professional communicators because we all need to communicate to do our jobs.
Think about all of the people you have to communicate with on a daily basis: coworkers, supervisors, peers, customers, the public. It can be overwhelming, but it shouldn't be.
If you're preparing to face the media or engage in a one-on-one interview, you may be wondering what to expect. What are reporters like? What are they after? What are they thinking?
The answers vary, depending on experience and subject, but overall they're all after pretty much the same thing: a story. As such, the more you can help them tell their story, the more important you become to the reporter. As a result, the better your chances of getting your own story across.
Note: This is the final segment of a three-part series on crisis communications. Part One is here and Part Two is here.
The key once the crisis has occurred and you have handled the immediate response is follow-up. You simply have to stay on top of the residual stories that always occur once events have taken place.Monitor
Follow-up must include traditional and social media monitoring to stay abreast of both favorable and unfavorable reaction. This is not just to see if you passed, but whether there are additional fires to put out that may have gone unresolved.
Follow-up must also include monitoring your own response, numbers of customers or stakeholders affected, pace of recovery, new problems, etc. The immediate crisis may be over, but the long term solutions may take time.
Here's a checklist to determine if you or someone else at your firm should take our Mack Media Training
You don't understand the media
You've never spoken with a reporter and don't know what to expect
You have spoken to a reporter, but it didn't go well.
You need help crafting your message
You need to boost your presentation skills
We can help you with all of these concerns plus many, many more.
The beginning of the year is a good time to reassess your press kit to make sure all of the information is accurate. Here are a few of the more typical items that may need attention:
- FAQ page: Are the questions and answers you provide for your product or service the most appropriate? You may find a Q&A that's no longer a major concern or an issue you no longer need to address.
It's easy to get tied up in your Key Message Point or the complexity of a question when trying to respond to the Media. Unfortunately, you can often miss the opportunity to keep your company or organization's brand front and center.
When we conduct media training, either to groups or one-on-one, we encourage our clients to "brand the bite." It's really pretty simple.
Include your brand (company name, slogan, etc.) in your sound bite or response.
If one of your media relations New Year's resolution is to issue more press releases this year, you might be wondering just when is a good time to send out a press release? The usual response is something like, "When you have something to announce to the public."
True enough, but how do you know when that "something" is newsworthy? Frankly, it's tough. News judgment is going to differ from editor to editor. But, if you think that enough clients, customers and investors would benefit by knowing what you have to say, you're on the right path.
To give you a little more inspiration, here are 10 reasons to issue a press release. Ponder each of these in the context of your business or organization to see how they can apply to you:
We're honored to be featured in The Daily Herald Business Ledger
. The focus of the column is that our choice of words and how we say something can make a world of difference, especially in business or when it comes to dealing with the media.
For instance, we write, "We counsel our clients to be careful when choosing their words speaking to reporters. Avoid the jargon and acronyms of your industry. Don’t get bogged down in statistics. Above all, speak to the tone of the event."
Further along in the column
, we add, "We are defined by the words we use. Integrity applies to our conversations and emails just as much as it does to our corporate ethics statements."
We strongly suggest using the column
to help set the tone for the new year. Read it here
. And please feel free to let us know
what you think.