Financial Planners, Make Sure Reporters Comprehend Your Topic

Don't assume that a reporter understands financial planning. If anything, assume the opposite until proven wrong. See if you can't develop a couple of questions for the reporter that delicately explore their subject-matter knowledge. Freddy Newshound may cover personal finance, but he's no expert. He may have started on the beat yesterday and not know a T-Bill from a municipal bond.

Fill in any necessary gaps so that the reporter can grasp the significance and context of your story. Making assumptions about a reporter's knowledge base is risky business.

You can also enhance the reporter's understanding of your topic by avoiding industry jargon. You'd be amazed at how much of it creeps unconsciously into our daily language. Save it for professional peers ? except for an elite few trade press reporters, the media will be confused by it.

Near the end of your interview, recap and gently probe to ensure the interviewer has understood your main points. Many of them are adept at making it sound as if they know what's going on. Sometimes they don't. Judge too, by the questions they ask, whether they are absorbing your information properly. Trust your instincts ? if you fear the reporter may be misunderstanding, act firmly and proactively to set the interview straight. It's better to do this now than when it's already on the air or in print.

Ned Steele works with people in professional services who want to build their practice and accelerate their growth. The president of Ned Steele's MediaImpact, he is the author of 102 Publicity Tips To Grow a Business or Practice. To learn more visit http://www.MediaImpact.biz or call 212-243-8383.

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