Communicators often understand journalists more than they care to admit, and many are even recovering journalists themselves. Nonetheless, when it comes to being interview-ready, PR pros sometimes shy away from being confident spokespeople. Moreover, when it comes to prepping their clients for that big primetime on-camera interview, many communicators must outsource their media training to an expert. We caught up with one of the best.
PR pros are always ready with a statement for the press. Well…maybe not always. What happens when a situation occurs that blindsides you, like when someone uses gasoline to dry a wet ball field? We asked a group of communicators. Their top response: Never say ‘No Comment.’ Use the opportunity to offer your version of the story or promise to get back to the reporter when you have substantive information.
Preparing the CEO or other C-suite executives for press interviews isn’t the easiest of tasks. They’re busy, don’t always see the value, and often have legal counsel telling them not to talk. So how do you crack the code? Patience, videotape and building a strategic relationship are key, said panelists at the the PR News Media Training Workshop on Feb. 27, part of the inaugural Crisis Management Summit in Miami.
PR professionals need to prep company spokespeople for media interviews, making sure they offer the best appearance, are comfortable on camera and stay on message. To be sure it’s not as simple as how to dress, though that certainly is one of the components of preparation. Here’s a look at some of the best practices for readying your company spokesperson for a media appearance.
Media training normally centers on hitting all the talking points and avoiding topic land mines. What’s missing is an understanding of what goes on after that, when the story lands in the newsroom. This knowledge can help once an interview is over and the expectation for coverage begins. Here are a few tips to improve the experience.
Veteran PR pro and former journalist Arthur Solomon offers the second of his two-part series about the valuable lessons communicators can learn from federal government communications. Pulled from 2018’s headlines, the examples he uses offer lessons in ethics, crisis and other PR activities.
Improvisation often is associated with comedy. Yet several PR firms find it useful to use improv tactics as part of their media training effort. Since media interviews share many characteristics with improv performances, it makes sense. Improv exercises help build confidence, encourage quick thinking and improve listening skills, making it ideal for media training.
Offering up someone from your C-suite for broadcast interviews is a great way to earn media coverage, but how can you be sure that executive is ready? Given that broadcast no longer only refers to television and radio, but also incorporates Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, podcasts and on-demand video platforms, PR pros have their work cut out for them as they prep spokespeople for broadcast interviews. Here are some tips for masterful preparation.
Sundar Pichai smiled and looked genuinely human, in contrast to Mark Zuckerberg’s awkward, stilted testimony in September. Moreover, he was artful in response to Congress’ many pointed questions, deploying tactics that helped his brand emerge from the chaos looking measured and thoughtful.
“Lena Dunham Comes to Terms With Herself” has its fair share of lessons for communicators, especially those in media working to build out their personal brand. The piece artfully uses scene, narrative and exposition to demonstrate the blind spots that Dunham, and those caught up in the digital generation’s ‘cult of personality’, can easily miss. Here are a couple.