Here are five rules you should ALWAYS adhere to when working with a reporter.
1. Determine what the story is. When reporter calls ask what is the essence of your story? Why do you wish to speak with me? Who else will you be talking to for this story? Get as much information as you can. It may help you formulate the answers to the reporter's questions.
2. Request the questions in advance. Large newspapers and network TV won't provide them, but smaller news organizations often will share the questions with you prior to the interview.
3. Wait before interviewing. Do not answer questions when the reporter first calls. Tell her you can do it later. This gives you time to prepare some key messages you want to be sure you use during the interview. And STICK to those key messages, especially when you get a questions you cannot or do not want to answer.
4. Limit the interview time. If you agree to an interview limit it to a 15 or 20 minute window. Reporters will often monopolize your time and fish for information unrelated to the topic you agreed to discuss.
5. Nothing is "Off the Record". Make it standard practice that you will never go "off the record". This is a murky area with many reporters, each with a different view of what it means. So here's the rule. Nothing is off the record in the presence of a reporter. Finally, you may want to consider utilizing the services of a good public relations firm. They not only act as a buffer between you and the reporter, but those firms with good relationships with members of the media can often help insure a more positive outcome or story.
At Marx Layne, we have conducted media training for Fortune 500 companies throughout the United States. It's a big part of what we do. Check back for more media training tips in the weeks ahead.
Face The Media With ConfidenceIn today's fast paced 24-hour news cycle, your organization needs to be ready for the unexpected. Today's news media is immediate. In minutes a story is LIVE on TV, posted on a blog and accessible worldwide on the Internet. How your spokesperson communicates with the media can make the difference between success or failure, profit or loss, credibility or loss of reputation.
At Marx Layne, creating effective communications is what we do. For the past 20 years, key management at businesses and non-profit organizations have retained our agency for media training sessions to provide interview skills that generate intended results.
Our media training professionals are former print and broadcast journalists and have a proven track record of guiding senior managers through the techniques and disciplines needed for success in any interview situation.
Our media training team will teach you how to advance your agenda and better control the outcome of an interview. Our experience has shown that a well-conducted interview, with well-crafted messages can produce positive results, enhance credibility and build brand equity. On the other hand, a poor performance during crucial media scrutiny can result in the opposite effect.
Personalized Media Training Sessions
The Marx Layne media training sessions help you define and polish your key messages.
We then help perfect the delivery so that your message is communicated clearly and concisely. Our individualized message development programs arm clients with well-crafted messages that focus on strategic objectives.
We offer one-on-one executive coaching, training for large or small groups, and reviews of all your public relations and marketing materials.
Crisis CommunicationsDo you know who your spokesperson would be if the worst happened to your company? Do you know what that person would say to the media?
The key to successful communication during a crisis is advance planning: What can go wrong? How would you handle it? What's the most effective way to work with the media? Is your team ready for a worst-case scenario? If you plan crisis communications response strategies -- including press conferences, press statements and interviews -- for all the "what if's", you will be ready for anything. And even if the unexpected happens, you will have a framework for responding in a credible way.
Since 1987, Marx Layne & Company has provided results-focused public relations counsel to a broad spectrum of clients. Our proven ability to design and launch successful campaigns, develop creative communications solutions and exceed client expectations has earned us a reputation as a valued partner and industry leader.
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Marx Layne & Company designs and produces fresh, bold and intrusive branding and graphic design campaigns; Innovative print and online concepts that cut through the clutter—from corporate identity programs, brochures and marketing collateral, to multi-media and Web sites.
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