As a business owner or manager, you will most likely have to speak to the press or media at some point in your career. Here are some tips to help you deliver a compelling message when engaging with the press:
Create a Headline
Every time you give an interview, the journalist / reporter should walk away with a clear sense of what the headline will be – and you should be the person who creates that headline in their mind. Prior to each interview, write down your perfect headline. It should be short (no longer than a sentence) and completely compelling. During the interview, state your headline several times, and place as many of your other answers as possible within the context of that headline.
Have a Conversation with the Journalist
Reporters are simply the conduit between you and the audience. Don’t try to impress a journalist with the depth of your technical knowledge. Instead, visualise the potential customer who is listening to the news on the radio or reading the morning newspaper. That personal connection will help ensure that you’re having a conversation with the audience instead of speaking at them.
Every profession has its own set of acronyms, specialised terms, and jargon that is not understood by the general public. Successful spokespeople know they have to express complicated thoughts simply to ensure their message resonates. Use metaphors, analogies and anecdotes to help make your point. If you’re stuck, try explaining your topic in simple terms that say, a 10 year old person, could understand.
Focus on the Positive
Speak in complete sentences and don’t give one word answers. If you are asked a negative question, respond with a positive answer – every cloud has a silver lining and there is generally something positive to focus on with your answer. Reflect your business in a positive light as much as possible – everyone wants to be part of success. Speak of your firm’s successes and create a positive “vibe” around your brand.