Tip Sheet: Media Training Execs for Social Media Coverage

By Andrew Gilman
The rise of social media has opened media training strategies up to many new possibilities. Not since the advent of video news releases (VNRs) has the industry had an opportunity to communicate as deeply and broadly with a variety of stakeholders and audiences. The bottom line for communicators, then, is simple: Social media requires development of a carefully thought-out script, well-crafted sound bites and a variety of proof points. The payoff is that the readers, viewers and listeners will spend more time on specific Web sites and blogs, just as they will set aside more time for watching longer video segments and vlogs.
When we prepare clients for a regular print or broadcast interview, we're often trying to handicap the interview process. We can forecast the results of a typical interview. For starters, the reporter will ask between 10 and 30 questions; depending on the length of the piece, a good outcome is one or two quotes in the resulting article or electronic story. Some of the information in non-quoted paragraphs will be either information you have provided or confirmed.
Usually, less than 10% of the words in the interview--more realistically, less than 5%--reaches the printed page or the airwaves. And, if all else goes according to plan, said words are given within the proper context, thus advancing your cause, issue or product.
Social media platforms have the chance of capturing more of your information. We used to think that cable stations increased the opportunity for more client information to reach an audience.


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