Media Training 201: The Reporters Have Done Their Homework. Have You Done Yours?

Just about anyone who has been in the public eye has a story of the media interview that went south. "I talked to that reporter for an hour and all they used was a ten-second sound bite!" or, "He said he wanted to ask me about X when that was just a way to get in the door so he could talk about Y." Chances are, the reporter came armed with questions and if he really did his homework, knew what answers to expect. You should be just as prepared. Media training can't make the tough questions go away, but it can give you the tools to control the interview. Here are some tips:

? Anticipate the toughest questions and prepare/rehearse your answers in advance. Know going in what YOUR goal is for the interview. Are you releasing new information or reacting to an event or story that's already out there?

? Be able to cover key points in a conversational manner. Don't memorize. It will sound like it.

? Collect information from the reporter before the interview?

What is the deadline?

What is the story about? What is the hook/interest angle?

How do I fit into the story? What do you want? Quote? Statement? Interview?

Who else have you spoken with? What did they say? (This will also give an indication of where the story is heading. Are the other interviewees credible?)

What documents do you have have/need? (Does the reporter have a document you haven't seen? Have them fax or e-mail a copy before the interview.)

When will the story run? How long will it be? (There's a big difference between a minute-thirty TV news story, and a long, background article in the morning paper.)

? Have a mini-tape recorder handy. Tell the reporter that you'll be taping the interview, so you have a copy of what is said. This lets her know you're not a rookie.

? Beware of the reporter on a "fishing expedition". Wide-ranging, vague questions can be tricky and potentially dangerous. Reporters are fond of "What if" scenarios or "Could it happen here?" Clarify what she's going for. "I think what you're asking is?" It's O.K. to admit you don't understand the question or can't predict the future. If you find the interview veering off-course, bring it back on track. "You said we'd be talking about X and I'll be happy to answer your questions about that."

? Don't say "off the record" or believe something will be "off the record." There's no such thing as "off the record."

? Use simple terminology. If the subject is complicated, and the reporter is not up to speed, provide a simple verbal primer on the topic before the interview begins or give the reporter a handout of key information.

? Practice. Attend media training. See yourself on camera so you know what the audience will see.

The simple strategy of "tell 'em what you're gonna to tell 'em, tell 'em, and then tell 'em what you told 'em" is tried and true when it comes to the media interview. That leads to another tip. Know when to stop talking. Many a damaging sound bite has been uttered when the interviewee's guard was down, after he/she thought the interview was over.

©2005. All Rights Reserved

Through their workshops, seminars and consulting projects, Nancy Stern MA and Jody Hammond, MA, help people keep connected through conscious communication and savvy media skills. They can be reached for communication skills and media training at 800-280-2666 or on the web at http://www.onthespotmediatraining.com

In The News:

Five Important PR Lessons Agency Pros Have Learned From Their Mentors  ForbesGood advice can save people a lot of heartache and unnecessary work. Here are some things to consider.
The school curriculum is failing PR and we need to fix it  PRWeekWhile I was studying at university, my course had around 30 students. That's all. This number decreased by the time graduation rolled around, too. It doesn't take ...
PR Council's Ninth Annual Diversity Distinction Awards Honors Communications Organizations, Professionals and Programs Aimed at Improving Diversity and Inclusion  Yahoo FinanceThe PR Council (PRC) announced the winners of the ninth annual Diversity Distinction in PR Awards tonight at its annual Member dinner. The awards ...
HSBC Plans PR Blitz to Win Over Beijing  BloombergHSBC Holdings Plc has launched a public-relations offensive aimed at leaders in Beijing, reflecting worries that its position as the biggest foreign bank in China ...
Hong Kong tries and fails to hire PR firms to rebuild image  BBC NewsHong Kong's government contacted eight public relations firms to try and rebuild the embattled city's image, but all of them declined the contract. The city has ...
PR Genius Tony Wyllie Takes His Talents Away From Dan Snyder  DeadspinSports radio station WJFK in D.C. reported today that Tony Wyllie has quit as Dan Snyder's communications director to take a job with the Special Olympics.
The PR Knowledge Book by Sangeeta Waldron  IndiaCSRIn June this year, when addressing the joint sitting of Parliament, the President of India, Ram Nath Kovind said, “India had joined the league of countries with the ...
My house burned down and my agency is stronger  PRWeekPersonal hardships and vulnerability can create better leaders and a better work environment, says Tom Lindell managing director of Minneapolis-based ...
How PR and the world has changed in the PRCA's first 50 years  PRWeekTo celebrate the 50th anniversary of the founding of the world's biggest PR professional body, with more than 30,000 members, we explore the past, present and ...
ANDER & Co Honored At PRNews' 2019 Platinum PR Awards  PRNewswireMIAMI, Sept. 19, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- ANDER & Co – the Miami-based, full- *service* public relations and digital strategy firm with global reach – announced ...
Exclusive: PR agency bosses pledge to support global climate strike  PRWeekThe bosses of leading UK PR agencies have signed an open letter pledging to support staff who wish to join climate strikes tomorrow, PRWeek can reveal.
How to get your ads working, and whether PR is worth it  TechCrunchJulian Shapiro Contributor Share on Twitter Julian Shapiro is the founder of BellCurve.com, a growth marketing agency that trains you to become a marketing ...
Greggs, Virgin and McDonald's: complete winners list of The Drum's inaugural PR Awards  The DrumIt was a big night for brands like Greggs, Virgin and McDonald's at The Drum's inaugural PR Awards, which took place at The Marriot Grosvenor Square Hotel, ...
BBH hires The Academy's Chris Bamford as first PR creative director  PRWeekBartle Bogle Hegarty London has hired Chris Bamford as its first creative director in PR. Bamford started this month and is part of the creative department, ...
Apple PR Boss Exits  ChannelNewsApple's news driver, Steve Dowling, is in the news himself, following his announcement that he will leave the iPhone maker after 16 years as head of public ...
Israel’s self-destructive PR must change in its next government  The Jerusalem PostWouldn't be great if Isrotel worked with StandWithUs like El Al, to empower their employees, helping them to realize they are the face of Israel.
€1m PR spending on new children's hospital is branded 'unacceptable'  Independent.ieThe spending of more than €1m on public relations for the controversial new national children's hospital has been branded "unacceptable".
Apple's PR Chief Steve Dowling Departing, Phil Schiller to Take Over on Interim Basis  MacRumorsApple's vice president of communications, Steve Dowling, is leaving the company after 16 years, reports Recode. Dowling in 2014 took over...
The Feather in Felicity Huffman Crisis P.R. Campaign Cap  Vanity FairCommunity *service* began almost immediately for the first parent in the college admissions scandal sentenced.
Northeastern communications team wins three awards from PR News, besting PepsiCo, National Geographic, and Johnson & Johnson  [email protected]Northeastern University's communications team on Tuesday won three national awards at PR News's Platinum PR Awards in New York, topping a group of ...
TM's Izlyn Ramli on PR: 'It can be a thankless job, so we must be driven by a higher purpose'  Marketing InteractiveIn an era of rapid expansion in digital media and technologies, PR goes beyond just sending out press releases or planning events. Increasingly, PR ...
Batch And Blast PR: Why Reporters Ignore Public Relations Emails 09/19/2019  MediaPost CommunicationsHere's an oddball study from PR Newswire that attempts to answer one of the great questions of our time: Why do journalists ignore emails from public relations ...
Purdue Pharma Hired PR Firm That Rebranded BP After Deepwater Horizon Spill  The InterceptPurdue Pharma, the pharmaceutical firm that manufactures OxyContin and allegedly helped fuel widespread addiction to painkillers, has turned to some of the ...
PR minister visits modern control system  Business RecorderLAHORE: Federal Minister Pakistan Railways Sheikh Rashid Ahmad visited railway control office set up on modern lines at the Pakistan Railway headquarters ...
There seems to be a PR campaign against France's Steam reselling ruling  Windows CentralOn September 17, a French court said that Valve needed to let its consumers resell their digital games in the country. This concept was initially proposed by ...
BBH hires Chris Bamford as first creative director in PR  CampaignLiveBartle Bogle Hegarty London has hired Chris Bamford as its first creative director in PR. Bamford started this month and is part of the creative department, ...
Redskins' PR boss Tony Wyllie exits after nine years, lots of controversies  Awful AnnouncingFrom "definitely a fake account" to interrupting on-field interviews to Arab Spring analogies, Tony Wyllie had quite the run handling PR for the Redskins.
PAN Communications Named ‘Medium PR Firm of the Year’ at PR News’ Platinum PR Awards  Yahoo FinancePAN Communications, an integrated marketing and PR agency for B2B tech and healthcare brands, was recognized as “Medium PR Firm of the Year” at PR ...
Were global PR firms justified in rejecting work with the Hong Kong government?  Mumbrella AsiaEight global public relations firms approached by the Hong Kong government turned down the chance to work on a campaign to burnish the city's credentials.
Advice For Communications Professionals: Consider Tech PR  ForbesThere's a need for those who can make technology that's interesting sound interesting.
Seven Skills Every Modern-Day PR Team Needs  ForbesThe lines between PR and marketing have never been more blurred, and now is the time to prepare your teams for success.
Eight PR firms decline to work with Hong Kong government  SupChinaHas the Hong Kong government damaged its image beyond repair? Public relations firms — professional image-repairers — seem to think so. Eight PR firms ...
Gaming company Bethesda chooses new PR agency  PRWeekGaming company Bethesda chooses new PR agency. From PR Week.
E.ON tackles air-quality crisis with 16ft lungs  PRWeekOn a mission to highlight the perils of air pollution in the Big Smoke, E.ON has erected a 16ft activation on London's South Bank. Created by Engine PR agency ...
Avenir names Rick Murray managing partner of Shift  PRWeekBOSTON: Avenir Global has appointed Rick Murray as managing partner of Boston-based Shift Communications. Murray, who is continuing to report to Avenir ...
Galway TD slams one million euro spend on Children’s Hospital PR  Connacht Tribune GroupGalway Bay fm newsroom: A Galway TD says a one million euro spend on public relations for the National Children's Hospital is 'unacceptable.' AD.
How to apply for Australia Permanent Residency (PR) Visa in 2019  India TodayAustralia is one of the best countries to apply for Permanent Residency (PR) Visa as it allows one to work and settle in the country for a period of 5 years.
Facebook outed a Ukrainian PR agency which spent $1.6 million on ads for fake accounts and pages  INSIDERFacebook announced Monday that it has taken down hundreds of fake accounts, groups, and pages originating from Ukraine and Iraq.
The PR Process That Drives Hundreds of Links Time After Time  Search Engine JournalLinks remain one of the strongest currencies in SEO, despite many years of people claiming otherwise. But getting ones that carry value is becoming ...
HSE spent €1m on children's hospital PR  BreakingNews.ieThe HSE has been accused of an "unacceptable" misuse of public money after it emerged it has spent more than €1m on children's hospital PR in the past five ...
Position, Research and Tell Stories: PR Tips for Startups  PR News - For Smart CommunicatorsFor the PR professional, it is essential to research the company's market sector when beginning a relationship with a startup.
HSE’s €1m spend on national children’s hospital PR ‘unacceptable’  The Irish TimesHSE spent over €11m on consultancy fees for national children's hospital group.
Infographic: 12 crucial video marketing statistics - PR Daily  PR DailyJust how important is video for your messaging? That's the question every communicator must answer as they ponder investing in video production equipment ...
Influencer fraud's $1.3B price tag—and how marketers can respond - PR Daily  PR DailyBy Ted Kitterman · @tedkitkat. Sept. 16, 2019. SHARE. AddThis Sharing Buttons. Share to LinkedIn LinkedInShare to Twitter TwitterShare to Facebook ...
Gallup says the PR industry has a bad reputation. Here's what can be done about it  PRWeekPR didn't finish dead last in a Gallup poll released this week about industries with the best and worst reputations, but it came perilously close, with the ...
Hardie Grant Media-owned Tide PR appoints Stacey McArdle as director  mUmBRELLA*Hardie Grant Media-owned agency, Tide PR, has appointed of Stacey McArdle as director. McArdle previously spent nearly five years with the ID Collective, ...
LinkedIn promotes communications lead Melissa Selcher to CMO  PRWeekSUNNYVALE, CA: LinkedIn is promoting communications leader Melissa Selcher to CMO, replacing Shannon Brayton, who is planning to retire. The promotion ...
Align PR Adds Five Key Staffers, Including Senior Publicist Brit Reece  Hollywood ReporterNicole Perez-Krueger launched the company over the summer and continues to expand operations across both coasts.
How can I apply for Canada PR?  India TodayCanada PR: Here's how you can apply for PR in Canada from India.
The Sir David Martin Foundation appoints Adhesive to its PR account  mUmBRELLA*Adhesive has been appointed by the Sir David Martin Foundation to its PR account. Adhesive will be responsible for publicising its annual fundraising event, ...
Tide.pr Signs Stacey McArdle As Director  B&TTide.pr, the Hardie Grant Media-owned PR & communications agency has announced the appointment of Stacey McArdle (right in photo) as director. McArdle ...
3 Winnebago County Board members explore hiring PR help to improve board's image  Rockford Register StarROCKFORD — Three Winnebago County Board members met with a public relations expert last month to discuss how her agency could help the board combat ...
The How-To: Owning Your PR Even On A Tight Budget  EntrepreneurA record number of 366 startup deals took place in 2018 across MENA, amounting to a total investment of US$893 million. According to Magnitt's The Start-up ...
Domino's Pizza announces retained consumer PR agency  PRWeekDomino's Pizza announces retained consumer PR agency. From PR Week.
Media Mantra bags the PR mandate of MyOperator  afaqsCall management system provider MyOperator announces the appointment of Media Mantra as its PR and communication partner. The appointment will further ...
Alt/Shift wins the PR account for the Queen Victoria Building  mUmBRELLA*Alt/Shift has been appointed by the Queen Victoria Building (QVB) as its public relations agency. Alt/Shift's brief is to reinforce the QVB's position as a leading ...
Are Aldi's lower profits really such a bad thing, PR-wise, in these uncertain times?  The GrocerAldi isn't bothered by short-term shareholder concerns. It's investing in the future.
CharityComms publishes wellbeing guide for PR staff  Third SectorWritten by the digital communications specialist Kirsty Marrins, it offers tips for maintaining good mental health in an 'always-on' culture.
Burger King has major meltdown (of its plastic toys)  PRWeekThe fast food behemoth is ditching all plastic toys from junior meals from today and commemorating the move by melting a giant toy – an oversized jeep-driving ...
Hong Kong government tried to hire eight global PR firms to help image - but they all turned it down  iNewsProtestors have been demonstrating on the streets of Hong Kong for weeks, originally over the government's planned extradition bill.
Independent HK hotel brand pleads for government assistance in 'trying time'  PRWeekOvolo Group's founder & CEO Girish Jhunjhnuwala has called on the Hong Kong government to assist the local hospitality industry given the current economic ...
How Katie Sturino Went from Working in PR to Becoming an Influencer-Entrepreneur  FashionistaIn our long-running series, "How I'm Making It," we talk to people making a living in the fashion industry about how they broke in and found success.
Green Badger Selects Ripley PR as Public Relations Agency of Record  PRNewswireSAVANNAH, Ga., Sept. 12, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Green Badger, the leading software solution for LEED certification for the construction industry, has named the ...
CIPR names new 2020 president elect  PRWeekCIPR names new 2020 president elect. From PR Week.
Should Your Business Outsource Its Marketing and PR?  Business News DailyDoes your small business need help with marketing and PR? Learn about the pros and cons of outsourcing your marketing and PR needs.
Watch: Global Climate Strike launches with multi-platform campaign  PRWeekWatch: Global Climate Strike launches with multi-platform campaign. From PR Week.
Edelman names new EMEA COO  PRWeekEdelman has promoted the GM of its Amsterdam firm, Arent Jan Hesselink, to chief operating officer of EMEA under the leadership of new EMEA CEO and ...
PR crises that have defined 2019 - PR Daily  PR DailyThere are four months left in 2019, but it already feels like we've witnessed a year's worth of scandal and crisis. Last year, it was Facebook's data misuse and ...
Amazon hires Fever co-founder for EMEA consumer comms role  PRWeekAmazon hires Fever co-founder for EMEA consumer comms role. From PR Week.
Three ways to fuel your PR business on a small budget Publicity News  Media UpdateThere are many ways a business can benefit from public relations strategies in modern society. media update`s Nakedi Phala looks at ways that PR can help ...
Traditional PR Doesn't Work Anymore. Here's What Does.  The Business of FashionNEW YORK, United States — PR just isn't what it used to be. Consider the experience of Tibi designer Amy Smilovic, who started her New York-based label in ...
SGA votes in new PR Vice President to welcome in the new semester  The Whit OnlineAs Rowan Students get back into the swing of college life, so does the Student Government Association (SGA). Plenty of senators and other guests piled into the ...
The Mystery PR Man — or Three — Behind Taliban Propaganda  OZYIs he real or fake? One man or many? Nobody knows for sure about Zabihullah Mujahid.
Pype picks Ripley to handle its US public relations  Maryville Daily TimesPype, a leading construction software platform that uses machine-learning to provide data insights from plans, specs and automates workflows from ...
Senior PR Account Manager  Pedestrian TVExample is a Sydney-based agency that is setting the new gold standard for PR, marketing, *content*, branding and design. The go-to brand experience studio for ...
Hospitality PR firms merge to form new agency  PRWeekHospitality PR firms merge to form new agency. From PR Week.
Why and how PR pros should embrace artificial intelligence - PR Daily  PR DailyArtificial intelligence (AI) is finding its way into customer *service*, online search and even the crafting of articles. All this gives rise to a new phenomenon for ...
Running Those PR’s  Scottsbluff Star HeraldJayme Clark. Bobcats Cross Country Coach. Kimball Invite 2019. The Bobcat runners were back in action last Friday, September 13th, at the Kimball Invite.
Catch hired to build awareness of Lego brand  PRWeekMiddle East retail franchise Majid Al Futtaim has hired lifestyle comms consultancy Catch Communications to help drive awareness for retail brands Lego and ...
Drive Shack hires Red Havas as it transforms business  PRWeekNEW YORK: Golf brand Drive Shack has hired Red Havas for consumer PR supporting the opening of three locations. The agency will provide media and ...
Andhra Pradesh govt cancels 3,543 PR road works worth RS 1,031 crore  The New Indian ExpressThe YSRC government had decided to cancel those engineering works sanctioned before April 1, 2019, but not grounded.
PR Icon Kelly Cutrone bans Jezebel writer for life  Page SixPR icon Kelly Cutrone has banned a Jezebel writer from her fashion shows after the blogger claimed that Cutrone kicked her out of a seat at a Fashion Week ...
Most popular undergraduate PR courses revealed  PRWeekMedia studies and journalism are the most popular courses for young people looking to learn about PR, according to annual data published by UCAS, the ...
2020 Salaries for Marketing, Advertising, and PR Positions | Study  MarketingProfs.comThe median starting salaries for a marketing, advertising, and public relations jobs in the United States vary widely by position. Check out this salary guide for ...
Gadsden State PR department earns honors  Gadsden TimesThe Public Relations and Marketing Department at Gadsden State Community College earned six awards for exemplary work at the Alabama Community ...
PR blessing in hiding in Kashmir  Telegraph IndiaAn “awareness” blitz in the Valley to assure residents that they would not be compelled to part with their land.
Brough's Accusers Issue Joint Statement; PR Group Represents TCA, Bartlett and Nonprofit  San Clemente TimesBy Lillian Boyd The founder and CEO of Crime Survivors has called for the resignation of 73rd District Assemblymember Bill Brough in a joint statement with.
CampaignLab launches in New Zealand  PRWeekSydney-based PR and brand engagement agency CampaignLab has made the leap across the pond, launching a new business in Auckland, New Zealand.
Lam says PR firms declined to help restore Hong Kong's image  Morning CallHong Kong leader Carrie Lam says the government asked international public relations firms to help restore the city's reputation, battered by months of.
How Tim Bell was overtaken by modern PR  Financial TimesThe mouth of hell gapes in warning, yet Doctor Faustus cannot repent and avert damnation, in the play by Christopher Marlowe. My Faustian moment came after ...
Former Edelman Digital US head Jessica Clifton launches Low Earth Orbit  PRWeekLOS ANGELES: Edelman alum Jessica Clifton has founded marketing consultancy Low Earth Orbit. Clifton, who is serving as CEO of the firm, has hired another ...
Striking pilots largely winning PR battle against British Airways, say comms pros  PRWeekWith British Airways facing a huge comms challenge over strikes called by pilots union BALPA, PR industry figures largely agree that the airline is coming out ...
Meghan Markle told new PR company she wanted to 'break the internet' in secret talks  ExpressThe Duchess of Sussex is said to have made the bold statement during a meeting with Hollywood PR company Sunshine Sachs, who worked on the release of ...
How Implementing a PR Program in Your Business Will Change it Forever  Grit DailyFor many small business owners, the most important thing to keep business running is leads in the door. Due to cash flow, small businesses need to be ...
Raheem Sterling ditches his PR agency after its England captaincy news leak  The TelegraphRaheem Sterling has split from the public relations agency that leaked news about him getting the England captaincy.
Airbus appoints MENA agency for integrated comms brief  PRWeekAirbus appoints MENA agency for integrated comms brief. From PR Week.
Why the heart of a PR agency should be driven by content: Asif Upadhye, SPRD  Exchange4MediaUpadhye, Director of SPRD, explains how the story of a brand can be best conveyed when words frame the right narrative.
Liven Announces Strategic Partnership with Bitcoin.com  Bitcoin NewsLiven, the lifestyle rewards app that lets users spend and earn cryptocurrency rewards in over 1000 restaurants across Australia, is introducing Bitcoin Cash into ...
Tim Bell, PR and advertising executive, 1941-2019  Financial TimesTim Bell, who has died aged 77, was a swashbuckling spin-doctor who became a confidante of Margaret Thatcher and helped to create Britain's public relations ...
Polishing Turds: Lord Bell’s Public Relations Revolution  International Policy Digest“Morality is a job for priests. Not P.R. men.” – Tim Bell, New York Times, Feb 4, 2018. Lord Bell is dead, but his public relations tinkering, with all its gloss gilding ...

How to Take Advantage of Public Relations

Decide once and for all to do something about those... Read More

Franchise Work Vehicles Should Have a Flag on Them

If you own a franchise and have company vehicles, be... Read More

PR - More Than News Releases

Public relations and news releases are synonymous in the minds... Read More

Making Great Announcements

When do you use the newspaper for publishing announcements for... Read More

Public Relations Mixup?

When you pay good money for public relations services, you... Read More

Managers Need Basic PR

True, because department, division or subsidiary managers for a business,... Read More

PR: Short Form for Managers

Experience tells me that too many business, non-profit and association... Read More

When Managers Play the PR Card

The payoff for business, non-profit or association managers can be... Read More

PR Essential to Your Success

Whether you are a business, non-profit or association manager, your... Read More

Youve Done PR the Hard Way Long Enough

As a business, non-profit or association manager, let the tacticians... Read More

Managers Who Tap Into PRs Value

Business, non-profit and association managers get a ton of satisfaction... Read More

Marketing-Minded Financial Planners: Get Free Publicity by Choosing the Right Outlets

Sure, any publicity is good. But don't invest time and... Read More

Business Community Relations 101 - Getting the Most Out of Your Chamber of Commerce Membership

Since the major part of a small business typically comes... Read More

Public Relations: The Fundamental Premise

It seems difficult to believe at the dawn of the... Read More

How Managers Hit PR Paydirt

As a business, non-profit or association manager, you'll know it's... Read More

Public Relations 8 Fix Factors

I say to business, non-profit and association managers, a key... Read More

Does Your Small Business Have a Grooming Policy?

They say that image is everything and some of us... Read More

Publicity: Marketing-Minded Financial Planners, Take a Reporter to Lunch

Sometimes a phone call isn't intimate or long enough to... Read More

The PR And Marketing Expert Has A Smattering Of Knowledge Regarding Nearly Everything And Is Certain

PR, that is public-relations, leads the way to effective advertising;... Read More

Achieve Media Attention for Your Business

Do you want to be quoted by the national press... Read More

How To Get Radio-Active PR For Your Non-Profit Cause: Part Three of Three

HOW TO BE RELAXED AND EFFECTIVE ON-AIRHow does one stay... Read More

Why News Releases Fail

Sorry about my otaku with this issue (otaku = more... Read More

Best Approach For Free Advertisement

Product/service publicity is the superhighway to business success everyone dreams.... Read More

The Truth About Public Relations

The truth is, you CAN attract the support of those... Read More

Creating Your Online News Room: How To Build a Site The Media Will Love

From time to time, people ask me how public relations... Read More