When the reporter opens her notebook or the klieg lights go up, it’s your job to deliver your organization’s message powerfully and succinctly. Follow these performance rules if you want to achieve success as a source reporters turn to time and again:
- Stick to your message throughout your interview. Return to it in response to every single question.
- Tell your story in an engaging fashion. A good story stands a better chance of appearing in print or on the air than a dry recitation of facts.
- Utilize your Message, your Audio tools, and your Video tools effectively. This mix of verbal and nonverbal devices leads to communications success.
- Serve up answers that are concise and to the point, neither too short nor too long.
- Maintain your professionalism. This is a must no matter how confrontational the reporter of how ruffled you become.
- Never guess at an answer. If you don’t know, offer to supply the information later or refer the reporter to the proper source.
- Avoid talking in jargon. Plain English is a virtue, even with the wonkiest trade reporter.
- Remain honest at all times. If you lie, you lose your credibility; your days as a news source are done.
- Use vivid language to ensure you speak in quotable quotes. Colorful stories, action verbs, and clear images rule the day.
- Bridge to your message in response to each challenging question. Think of your message as your “safe harbor” when the questioning gets tough.
Granted, this list is by no means exhaustive. What additional advice have you found useful during your media forays?