Avoiding Pitfalls When Dealing With The Media
While dealing with the media, you need to be very sure about what you say and how you say it. Media personnel have got an uncanny knack of drawing inferences from what you say, and this can be a huge problem if you say the wrong things, or say the right things in the wrong manner. In order to avoid such pitfalls, you can sign up for a media training course.
Think from a media point of view
What do media personnel want? They want a story that their readers will want to read. So, when you address the media, give them information that is newsworthy, be it something about a product launch, store launch, declaring profits for a quarter or any other event. Also, arrive on time and do not waste time.
You need thorough preparation before reacting to media queries. Anticipate questions that address your product specifically. Be prepared with facts, figures and statistics so that you can refer to them if asked. Preparation ensures that your answers are clear, accurate, short and quick, which in turn reflects your efficiency and makes a positive impression on the journalists.
You need to build a positive connection with the media if you want them to write positively about you. So, you need to be cordial from the word ‘go’. It is very likely that some journalists might ask questions that you don’t want to answer.
For such questions, think up a polite answer to convey that you do not want to talk about the subject. For example, avoid saying ‘no comments’ because it irks media. A better alternative is, “Commenting on the issue at this juncture is very premature”.
Some intelligent wit could be well received by the media. However, avoid crass humour and irrelevant wit. You could end up ruining the brand image of your company.
One of the best examples of goofed up humour is a statement from Othal Brand, a famous American business owner and a member of pesticide review board of Texas. This is what he said about pesticide usage, “Sure, it’s going to kill a lot of people, but they may be dying of something else anyway.” Although said in good humour, the statement portrays him as an insensitive person who could push his business at the cost of customer safety.
While talking to media, never lie, because they cross check facts before publishing. Also, never deviate from the main subject. Whatever you say, keep the target readers in mind and make only relevant statements. Come across as a strong and positive person. Smile when you address reporters and make them feel welcome.
Media training courses teach you ways to get the media on your side and publish your message in the way you want them to. Sign up for a course and become an expert in dealing with the media.