How to shape your message
Having the opportunity to appear in a print story or, better yet, on camera for a TV report, is one thing. Making the most of the opportunity is quite another.
It takes time to craft the perfect sound bite.
Let's suppose you get a call from a reporter or you've successfully pitched a reporter on interviewing you. What happens next?
Before you can begin to think about your response, you need to glean from the reporter what she wants to discuss and the general nature of the questions. It's unlikely a reporter is willing to actually show the questions in advance.
Armed with the knowledge of where the interview is headed, you can now craft your message. Here's your goal: You want to actually serve the reporter the quote or sound bite you'd like to see him use in the story. How?
You can play with the key words you want to emphasize
By going over your answers to the likely questions, you can begin to zero in on the important points you want to make. As you do so, you can play with the key words you want to emphasize and the tone of your response.
If the interview is about you or your organization, you can refer to your mission statement and values. If the interview is about your industry or profession, you'll have a more generic response.
The important point is that the reporter is asking YOU, not someone else. So, give your perspective. Provide your expertise. Make it unique to you.
With just a little forethought, you can stay focused on your message and take advantage of a great media opportunity.
Mack Communications | Twitter: @Mack_Comm
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