Recently an excellent article about corporate media relations appeared
in theThe Globe and Mail. The article featured media trainer
Jim Gray, a senior consultant with Media Profile, a public relations
firm which helps organizations get the most from contact with the
media. Jim formerly worked for theThe Halifax Herald Chronicle,
The Toronto Starand The CBC.
I asked Jim what he'd done to achieve such positive coverage. Did
Media Profile have tips to share with our readers? The did, and
here they are:
Prepare Your Messages. Determine what your three
or four key messages will be before the interview and deliver them,
even if the 'right' questions aren't asked.
Know Your Audience. You're speaking to the public
and your employees through the journalist.
Stay Focused. Answer the questions asked of you, but use each answer
as a way to market one of your key messages.
Correct Bias. If a question contains false or
biased information, calmly correct the journalist before answering.
Stick To The Facts. Don't speculate. If you don't
know the answer to a question, say so. Then quickly get back to
the reporter with the needed information.
Empathize. Respond to emotionally loaded questions
with sensitivity. Show concern for the misfortune of others.
Be Careful. There's no such thing as "off
the record." If you don't want something to be printed or aired,
don't say it. Be on guard at all times.
Think Ahead. Consider the questions you'll likely
be asked. Rehearse your responses. Practice your key messages.
Show Confidence. You're the expert. You should
look, act and sound it. But don't overdo it. Don't be arrogant.
Be Professional. Treat every reporter with courtesy
Be Responsive. Be open and honest. Return all
media calls promptly. Keep in mind that an interview with a journalist
is an important sales opportunity. Take advantage of it.
Jim Gray can be reached at Media Profile: (416)
for successful interviews
Your Audience During TV Interviews
the Mistakes Spokespeople Make: Ten Sure-Fire Ways to Blow an Interview
Bad Things Happen to Good Spokespeople: Handling Tough Interviews
the Media Face-to-Face