We began one of our recent media training seminars by asking the attendees to imagine that just outside the door were a reporter and camera crew from one of the local TV stations ready to interview them. How would they feel?
Most agreed the butterflies were already fluttering. One person asked if there was an exit in the back of the room.
Many of us have such a reaction when it comes to facing the media. A reporter with a note pad, microphone and camera is intimidating. Facing a press conference with multiple cameras and microphones can at first seem like a nightmare.
So, how to remain confident in front of the media?
One of the best ways to turn off a reporter to your story is with what at least appears to be a self-serving press release. If you're prone to brag, you might think again about how your release or statement looks through the eyes of someone who has to write a legitimate news story.
There are three keys to keep in mind.
Great media relations is really hard work. It's where the term "earned media" gets its name. And while technology is making it easier and easier to get your press release into the hands of reporters and editors, it's also much tougher to get them to pay attention.
Don't gloss over that last point. It's really tough to get the media to pay attention.
So, how can you improve your odds?