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Jan. 2009 - Meeting the Media: Things to Do (part 1)

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John Kline, PhD, inspirational and motivational keynote and after-dinner speaker and corporate trainer.

January 2009

Meeting the Media: Things to Do (part 1)

This is the third column in the series on Meeting the Media.  This column and the next one present specific things you can do to increase the chance of a good interview—one that communicates your message in a positive way.

Know your audience.  Remember, you are often being interviewed because you are an expert on the subject.  Make your answers understandable to those who are not as informed.  Talk so your Aunt Agnes in Grundy County, Iowa or your old high school chum in Slapout, Alabama can understand.

Make short, simple and specific statements.  This technique helps you get to the “heart of the matter” quickly and it satisfies the reporter’s desire for “sound bites” needed for both print and voice media.

Respond to a question; then stop.  First, reporters know what information they want for their stories; respect their time—it’s valuable. Second, your enthusiasm and knowledge of the subject may lead to unneeded and boring detail.  Third, some areas are better left unexplored—remember: you don’t need to tell everything you know.  Note, however, a future column will discuss ways to bridge to further information you wish to present.

Discuss only matters of which you have direct knowledge.  First, to do otherwise may mislead; second, incorrect or incomplete answers may cast doubt on other things you say; third, many people are turned off by “know it alls.”

Take a second or two to think about your answers.  Rapid responses may appear rehearsed; furthermore, they may not represent your best answer.

Next month we’ll tell more things to do when meeting the media.
John Kline
Montgomery, Alabama

December 2006 - Motivating Others: Communicate Clearly
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