Frankly Speaking PR Tips
to Innovative Communications Solutions
Published Monthly by Frank Public Relations Worldwide for Business Executives and Communications Professionals Eager to Enhance Business Performance and Reputation
Defining PR: "When the circus comes to town and you paint a sign about it, that's advertising. Put the sign on the back of an elephant, and march it through town, that's promotion. If the elephant walks through the mayor's flower bed, that's publicity. And, if you can get the mayor to comment about it, that's public relations. Finally, if there is an exchange of money for the right to see the circus, then that's sales." I have quoted PR guru Lee Solters, one of the most respected PR men in our country.
Surviving the Media Interview!
Lights! Camera! Action!
Congratulations. You are about to take the first step in becoming a dependable spokesperson for your company. You're fully prepared and you have a comprehensive understanding of the interview process.
Well, if you are unsure, read on.
Becoming a dependable spokesperson for your company requires preparation and an understanding of the interview process. In this newsletter, we will cover "Message Development." Look for future "Surviving the Media" installments as 2007 unfolds.
Developing the Message
Just because you have been asked to respond to a timely news topic, or your PR representative has secured an outstanding media interview opportunity, does not guarantee that your company's message will be successfully portrayed and resonated throughout your target markets. Developing your message is the first and often overlooked step in the interview preparation process. The concept is simple define your message within the framework of your organization's mission, and then stick to it. Honestly, it is not as easy as it sounds. The actual implementation can be daunting and complex. When your "star" rises or sets on the outcome of the interview, this can be a very unnerving experience.
Preparation and Practice Makes the Message "Sticky"
The key to remember is that it is your responsibility to prepare for the interview. This means that you will need to take the time to define, craft, and then practice your message before the interview. It's an old adage, but time- tested, "Practice Makes Perfect," or translated for the interview process, "Practice Makes the Message Sticky."
The Ground Rules for Message Preparation
First, know your message points. Before any interview, identify three main messages you want to deliver to the reporter. Remember that reporters are the eyes and ears of the public your target market - -so be sure you provide messages that you want your target market to "hear." Develop a strategic theme as the framework for successful message flow. A good place to start is to review your organization's mission statement and your products/services.
Second, after identifying the key messages develop, information that supports your points. The most common techniques for doing this are through the use of undisputed statements of fact, statistics, analogy or comparisons, personal/professional experience, and quoting or citing experts and other thought-leaders.
Third, know your audience. If you do not know who reads, listens, or watches the media outlet you are dealing with, find out ASAP, and then tailor your messages accordingly. Do avoid jargon and technical language. Offer the reporter a follow-up email with background on terminology you use that may be unfamiliar to ensure that you are accurately quoted.
Fourth, prepare a Q & A, particularly for questions you do not want to be asked. You do not want to be caught off guard. Anticipating the questions a reporter may ask, and then having a handy reference guide of approved responses, will ensure that this does not happen. It is a surefire way to provide responses for your organization's hot-button issues without falling into "media quicksand!"
Fifth, choose your words wisely, carefully, and with regard to the "big picture." You will deliver the same messages in many interviews, so find language for your key messages that is sharp, effective, and attention getting. Memorize those phrases (sound bites) and use them in every interview you can. Always try to write your key messages on an index card before any interview and refer to it during the interview to ensure that you make your key messages known.
Sixth, know what to expect. Try to anticipate some of the messages that a reporter may receive about your organization or mission from other sources, and then be prepared to address them in your own messages.
Seventh, arm yourself with facts. Be sure to have data, statistics, comparative information, and sources all readily available.
This brief guide is a great starting point. There is so much to learn and understand about the interview process. In future installments, we will talk about more specific ways to covert the interview process into a winning media outcome and further establish you as the reigning expert, thought-leader, and go to spokesperson in your area of specialty.
Last words. Remember this: an interview is never a conversation with a friend, anything you say can and will be used, do not say anything you do not want to see or hear in today's headlines, and to be safe there is never anything said that is off the record!
Watch for next month's installment: Controlling the Interview. If you are waiting for a great opportunity to be contacted by the media for quotes and comments, take a proactive measure today. Your phone simply will not ring on its own. Call Frank PR Worldwide to find out how you can become a recognized thought-leader. Contact us at 818.735.3591, or firstname.lastname@example.org. www.frankpr.com
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About Frank Public Relations Worldwide
Frank Public Relations Worldwide is an innovative, results-oriented marketing communications company focused on the dynamic alignment of business development, strategic marketing and public and employee relations. Frank Public Relations Worldwide is backed by three decades of creating winning PR campaigns for a global client base. Founded in 1999 by award winning public relations expert Peggy C. Frank, MBA. Frank Public Relations Worldwide is renowned for communication and engagement skills as well as a proven ability to train and mentor at all levels of an organization to both deliver consistent messaging and to enhance performance and profitability.
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Published Expertly by Frank Public Relations Worldwide
Frankly Speaking™ newsletter and Frankly Speaking™ Tip Sheets are produced by Frank Public Relations Worldwide, www.frankpr.com. Frankly Speaking provides innovative communications solutions for business executives and communications professionals eager to enhance business performance, reputation, and revenue.
Frankly Speaking is backed by three decades of providing strategic, results oriented hands-on internal communications and external public relations to some of America's most well known companies, published by Frank Public Relations Worldwide founder, Peggy C. Frank, MBA.
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