To get the best out of interacting with the media it is important for spokespeople to know the difference between their agendas and the agendas of the media interviewer and how to bridge the gap between the two.

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Companies go to great lengths to get media coverage, but often don’t consider the risks associated with the exposure.

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 By Jennigay Coetzer Spokespeople might like to note that the saying “To assume makes an ass out of you and me” is particularly applicable to media interviews.   Human beings in general are notorious at making assumptions. We assume those we are communicating with are on the same wavelength as we are and are receiving […]

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By Jennigay Coetzer 20 tips to remember when interacting with the media.        Interact in conversational terms with journalists and other media interviewers as if you were talking to a customer. After all, the target readers, listeners or viewers you are trying to reach through the media should be your customers and potential […]

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By Jennigay Coetzer Media Policy Guidelines Interacting with the media is always a case of risk versus reward. Every company, non profit organisation, and government entity should therefore have a dynamic Media Communication Policy that is aligned with its strategic objectives, sets out who should say what to the media and is continually updated.   […]

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If anyone says they were quoted out of context in the media, there is an 90% chance that it was their fault, due to lack of clarity, assumption, running on from one thought to another, and other factors that boil down to miscommunication during the media interview. Media training helps spokespeople to interact with journalists and other media interviewers more effectively.

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By Jennigay Coetzer Interacting with the media should create a pull through for business and if it doesn’t then investing in public relations is a waste of money.     But exposing spokespeople to media interviews without proper training can damage a company’s reputation and credibility. The right form of media training will equip spokespeople […]

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Being a media spokesperson is often seen as a grudge role that is out on a limb, far removed from priorities like dealing with customers. But if approached in the right way media interaction can complement rather than detract from customer interaction, and vice versa.

For example, by broadening their understanding of the markets in which they operate to give good value in a media interview spokespeople will be able to feed this knowledge back into their customer base. Similarly, they can gather rich market intelligence while interacting with customers that will elevate them to the ranks of sort-after spokespeople.

During the media training workshops I run, I always stress how important it is for  spokespeople to support their viewpoints with key market statistics when discussing trends in media interviews. Journalists like me love statistics, because they quantify and give the audience a reference point, or measure that will enable them to judge for themselves whether a trend is significant to them or not.

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When being interviewed by the media, spokespeople should have some key statistics up their sleeve to support their viewpoints. Journalists love statistics, because they give them and their target audiences a reference point or measure, for example by which to judge the importance and credibility of what the spokesperson is saying.

When I am running media training workshops with three to seven spokespeople, I always ask them what statistic comes to mind when I say the word “most,” and I sometimes get a different answer from each of them, ranging anywhere from 51% to 99%. Interestingly, many people think “majority” and “most” are interchangeable – it’s all about perception.

If a spokesperson makes a vague comment like “Most companies are moving in this direction……” the audience will interpret it in their own way. Meanwhile, the spokesperson had a definite statistic in his mind as to what he meant by “most,” but he omitted to share it, and clarity was lost.

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It is important for media spokespeople to understand the difference between their agendas and those of the journalists that are interviewing them.

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Spokespeople need to have rich knowledge of the topic being discussed to give value in a media interview.

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Good listening skills are vitally important when being interviewed by the media.

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More media interview tips

Published on September 20, 2009 by in Media training

When being interviewed by the media on a topic or market trend, be authoritative, don’t go into sales mode, go with the flow and don’t get personal

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The better spokespeople are briefed before being interviewed by a journalist or other media interviewer the better equipped they will be to prepare for the interview.

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Whether being interviewed by a journalist from a print publication or on radio or TV, imagine you are speaking directly to the audience.

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Companies appoint spokespeople to interact with the media to get their marketing messages across, but journalists have a different agenda.

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Sort-after media spokespeople keep up to date with what is going on locally and globally in the markets in which they operate and explore the trends and topics on which they wish to be interviewed in the media.

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