First contact: 8 Rules for flawless media relations

media relationsManaging positive media relations can feel like heading out into uncharted waters and establishing the first contact often feels like the most daunting challenge of all.  Though the public relations industry is wrought with conflicting information, there are several proven strategies that can help you successfully navigate the world of pitches, media releases, journalists and editors.

Whether you’re just establishing your media plan or are revamping your PR strategy, following these eight simple rules will ensure that you avoid the most common blunders committed by businesses both big and small.

Rule 1: Think like a journalist
Journalists are inundated with pitches and press releases every single day and therefore become experts in quickly weeding out corporate doublespeak and pitches that aren’t truly newsworthy. Before emailing, calling, or visiting with a journalist, critically examine what it is you are offering to avoid pestering journalists every time your company changes its filing system.  Calling upon journalists only when you have a worthy pitch will help you establish credibility and healthy media relations that last well into the future.

Rule 2: Be skim friendly
Accept that your pitch is likely to receive a once-over glance that will last a matter of seconds and will determine whether or not you ever make it into print. Use short paragraphs and bulleted lists whenever possible. Serve up all the most compelling content in the body of your email and include a link to a single page website with supplemental materials. Don’t attach dozens of supporting media files, because journalists simply don’t have the time to read through them.

Rule 3: Don’t beg, just borrow
During periods when your business isn’t booming with new activity, don’t despair. There are always ways to move forward with proactive PR.  Simply keep in mind that you can borrow breaking news stories and make them your own; all you have to do is offer a colourful quote or interesting point of view on a topic that is already bound for the headlines. This is known as newsjacking, and can be a viable strategy to get your business’s name or expert interview in print.

Rule 4: Offer exclusive access
Most PR natives would have you believe that it’s best to cast your net far and wide when pitching a story to the media. Not so. Strategically target your efforts and focus on a single journalist or media outlet that you think would be ideal to cover your story. Offer them exclusive access to interviews and coverage, then hold tight to see if they take the bait. If the outlet or journalist doesn’t bite, then it’s time to cast a wider net.

Rule 5: Don’t media-train the life away
While coaching your business’s spokesperson is certainly advisable, too much media prep can produce a robotically commercial interaction. If your spokesperson is not naturally a charismatic speaker, it may be best that he or she offer only pre-recorded and print interviews, while a third party speaker handles the behind-the-camera spots. Authentic interviews will keep the media coming back for more, while robotic speakers run the risk of turning people off for good.

Rule 6: Step out from behind the curtain
Though most PR reps work their magic behind the scenes, don’t feel confined to the shadows.  Precarious moments in media relations will often benefit from your PR rep taking a more active, visible role.  In cases of misinformation or hotly debated opinions, rather than prepping a spokesperson for discourse, it may be best to take the reins and grab hold of the microphone – that is, at least until the storm settles.

Rule 7: Choose strategy over expensive events
Far too often PR conferences are used as the one-size-fits all media band aid.  Launching a new product?  Host a press briefing. Need more exposure? Host a press conference and the journalists will flock to hear what you have to say. Not so. Diligently executing a strategic media plan for your business is a far more effective than hosting a series of expensive events for the press.

Rule 8: Practice professional persistence
Once you’ve established the first contact, it’s appropriate to follow up once or twice with your media contacts. However, don’t innocently plead, “Did you get my email?”  Instead, follow up with the purpose of providing additional supporting materials (which may include a study, interview, quote etc.). The motive for your follow up should not be to pester the journalist into picking up your pitch; your motive should be to offer help and to build authentic media relations that are mutually beneficial.

Sydney Public Relations Agency, CP Communications provides specialist media, traditional and online PR strategies that get amazing results. We have three great eBooks available to download for free at bitly.com/ebookscpc.  For more great tips visit our website www.cpcommunications.com.au.

How to use an eBook to promote your business

A great way to promote your business is by writing your own eBook and distributing it to customers, clients or potential new business contacts.

An eBook is a digital book, which is available online and on electronic devices such as an iPad or Kindle.

eBooks are a great way to raise your business’ profile by showcasing your professional knowledge and expertise. By distributing the eBook you can attract new potential customers to your business, raise your brand awareness, promote your business’ expertise and engage with your customers.

Writing an eBook will give you instant credibility and allow you to position yourself as an expert in your field, giving you an edge over competitors and giving clients a compelling reason to do business with you.

You can even sell the ebook as a product of your business and increase your income.

Benefits of writing an eBook

  • They don’t have to be long, you can write as much or as little as you like
  • They are inexpensive to produce and distribute globally
  • Customers can easily access them online, instead of needing to go to a bookshop
  • Reach new potential customers and raise their brand awareness of your business
  • With more and more people using iPads, eReaders or SmartPhones to read books, creating content for these is a good strategy to get your information to your audiences
  • It’s a great way to start a relationship with customers and potential customers
  • You can ask for people’s contact details in order to download the ebook from your website. These details can then used for developing new business or to add to your marketing database

What to write about?

When considering the topic of your ebook think about your business’ area of expertise. If you are a marketing business for example, you could write a helpful eBook about online marketing. Your topic should relate to your business so when customers read the ebook they will come to you for more information or to work with you.

You also need to think about your target audience and write about something they would be interested in. The eBook should provide valuable information to your target audience, solve a problem they have or help them do something. If you don’t write for your target audience then they may not read your ebook.

Promoting the ebook

Here are some ways you can distribute your eBook:

  • Use it as a free gift to existing and potential customers to generate good will
  • Publish it on your blog
  • Promote it on social media and email it to customers who ask for it
  • Use it internally to train and inform new employees
  • Email it to people you have met while networking
  • Offer it as a product for people to buy from your business

Depending on your objectives you may decide to sell it or give it out for free.

eBooks are a valuable tool for your business because they are inexpensive and fairly easy to produce. They help you to attract potential clients, build your business’ brand and increase your profile as an expert.

Once you have your own eBook you will wonder what you ever did without it.

Have you thought about writing your own eBook?

Sydney Public Relations Agency, CP Communications provides specialist media, traditional and online PR strategies that get amazing results. We have three great eBooks available to download for free at bitly.com/ebookscpc.  For more great tips visit our website www.cpcommunications.com.au.

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Public Relations and blogging: A match made in heaven?

PR and bloggingIncreasingly, savvy companies are turning to blogs to complement their communications arsenal of press releases, newsletters and client communications.

While blogging is certainly becoming more mainstream, it’s often still not the first consideration for businesses wanting to increase their online authority, build relationships with potential customers and raise awareness of their products and services.

Blogging is a powerful tool for communicating your business’ stories. And in essence, that’s what Public Relations – PR – is all about.

Communicating the stories of your business in a compelling way engages new audiences, builds relationships with existing customers and positions you as a thought-leader in your field. This is a powerful way to assist the growth of your business in the long term.

Why blogging needs to be a part of your PR strategy

Blogging is a great way for your company to become a digital publisher. Never before has there been a time where any business can publish their own content  in a fast, efficient and cost-effective way.

Traditionally when a company had an announcement to make, they would use a press release via a newswire. Newswires still exist and have a place in your PR, but blogging is the newswire of the digital revolution.

Take control of your business’ narrative

How times have changed. With blogging as part of your PR strategy, you can take control of the narrative of your business and the culture and context where your business operates.

The ability to publish quickly and regularly is also a great  way to build thought leadership and convey the key messages you want the public to know about your company.

There are many ways you can use blogging as part of your overall PR strategy. Some ways include:

  • Announcing important company news to stakeholders, staff and customers.
  • Advising customers and clients of changes to products and services.
  • Establishing thought leadership through publishing original and cutting-edge content on a regular basis.
  • Turning readers into viewers by publishing  images and videos.
  • Writing about the culture surrounding your products and services..
  • Publishing deep, long-form content to showcase your expertise in your field

How to find PR content for your blog

The key here is to think like a reporter. You need to make sure you’re constantly on the lookout for newsworthy stories in your business as well as staying abreast of news items in the media that are related to your business. This way you can publish your own perspective and angle on emerging stories that are gathering traction.

So you can start to find interesting content in your business, consider some of the following:

  • New products and services: Let your readers know about your upcoming new products and services. Announcing this to your blog readers before the general public knows also helps your readers feel special.
  • Changes to your business culture: Are you experiencing any changes to the wider culture your business operates in? If so, comment on this to position yourself as a thought leader who is looking to the future.
  • Hot topics in the news related to your business: Jump on the back of hot topics in the news so you can ride the wave of popularity. When a topic is hot, lots of people are searching for information on that topic, so make sure your blog post is being found in those searches.
  • Changes to your industry: If you are seeing changes to your industry, or are privy to information about upcoming changes, show you’re on the cutting-edge of news by being one of the first to announce these changes.
  • Behind-the-scenes: People love seeing the behind-the-scenes of a business. Think about what people and processes you can share on your blog so your readers feel closer to you and your business.

Public relations and blogging are a match made in heaven. Blogging is a powerful communication tool that makes you a digital publisher who can craft the stories and narrative about your business and culture. Don’t miss out on what blogging can do for the PR of your business.

Do you use blogging as a PR tool? If so, what results have you had? Share your comments below.

Sydney Public Relations Agency, CP Communications provides specialist media, traditional and online PR strategies that get amazing results. Contact us today. For more great tips visit our website www.cpcommunications.com.au or download our free PR eBook http://bit.ly/ebookprcpc.

 

What the Oscars can teach us about creating content that goes viral

viral contentEllen DeGeneres has managed to break Twitter records after taking a ‘selfie’ with Hollywood’s hottest celebrities at the Oscars. The photo smashed the record for the most retweeted image of all time in less than an hour.

This is the ultimate goal of every marketer; to create an idea that ‘goes viral’ and becomes instantly recognisable online.

Going viral refers to when your content achieves extraordinary reach through being shared, liked, retweeted, republished and commented on; earning you a vast amount of views.

It is a powerful outcome for your content and your brand’s reputation.

Users don’t share just anything they find online. They need to see your content as valuable, feel that others will benefit from seeing it and be compelled to share it or engage with it.

You need to ensure that your content offers something of value to the user, whether it’s a great video, expert advice, valuable insight or a humorous image.

Here are some tips to help get your content to go viral.

Understand your target audience
The key to having a successful viral campaign lies in really understanding your target demographic. The success of Ellen DeGeneres’ tweet relied on tapping into her audience’s interest in the top celebrities being honoured at the Oscars this year.

Tap into your audience and find out what their interests are, what kind of content they usually share and the social media networks they access. Tailor your content to ensure that it is relevant to your target audience.

Create unique and interesting content
Your content needs to be unique, interesting and relate to your audience in order for it to create a buzz. The Oscars selfie was unique as it showed a fun and cheeky side to the high profile actors at the formal Oscars event.

Don’t be afraid to add personality to your content and make sure it is never dry or lifeless. Make your brand feel like a friend to your followers.

The top reasons users often share content is because it is:

  • Humorous
  • Exciting
  • Emotional
  • Nostalgic
  • Thought-provoking
  • Surprising
  • Dramatic
  • Cute

Ensure all the content you produce reflects your brand’s values and personality. Hold regular brainstorming sessions to try to capture a range of ideas that can be turned into exciting content.

Encourage engagement
It is important to demonstrate to your audience that you genuinely care about them and what they have to say. Focus on starting a conversation as opposed to advertising your products or services.

Actively engage with your audience by asking questions to generate comments, likes and replies. Answer back to your followers’ questions in a timely manner. By consistently engaging with users, you can help to build a meaningful, supportive community for your brand and extend the reach of your content.

Use visuals
If you look at posts which have gone viral, such as Ellen DeGeneres’ Oscars tweet, you will find that nine times out of ten an image has been used.

When users visit web pages or social media sites, their eyes are naturally drawn to the most colourful part of the page. Including images gives your content a better chance of being shared across different networks, as images grab attention and express ideas simply.

Include photos, infographics, logos or other graphics to your content to give it an edge.

Include sharing buttons
To make sharing easy for your audience, provide the right mix of sharing buttons to your content so that users can share it via their social media channels, website or blog. Put prominent share buttons where they are easy to see, reach and click.

Ensure that you include a call to action within your content so that readers will be encouraged to pass your content along to others.

Make it succinct
For social media posts it is important your message is succinct, catchy and to the point.

For longer-form content such as blog posts, it is also important to be brief and succinct. The way we read internet content is different to how we read print text; people tend to scan the page by skimming over large chunks of text and focusing on subheadings and summaries. Use subheadings, bullet points and spaces to make it easier for readers to scan the article and find your key messages easily.

Users will share your content when it inspires them, makes them laugh or adds value. By taking into account who your target audience are and what they want to see as well as thinking about how to add personality to your content, you can encourage users to share your content.

Sydney Public Relations Agency, CP Communications provides specialist media, traditional and online PR strategies that get amazing results. Contact us today. For more great tips visit our website www.cpcommunications.com.au or download our free PR eBook http://bit.ly/ebookprcpc.

 

photo credit: ebbandflowphotography

Tips to create captivating content for your business blog

Blog clock_newsletterOne of the most effective ways to build thought leadership and provide valuable content to your target audience is by blogging.

A business blog provides an opportunity for your business to attract the attention of your target audience and transform them into prospective customers or clients.

Blogs have a dedicated readership, which will mean that rather than reaching a large audience who may not be interested in your business, you will have a following of engaged and active readers within your target audience.

It is important to produce quality and interesting content in order to engage with your readers. Start by researching your target audience and gauge what their interests are. You can then tailor your content to reflect these interests.

Blogging can be time consuming and sometimes it is tempting to just list links to other online content for your readers to follow or to post curated content. Whilst this can be helpful for your readers, creating original content will set you apart as an expert in your field.

Here are some great techniques for coming up with interesting blog content.

  • Write a ‘how-to’ piece: Writing a ‘how- to’ post is an excellent way to give your readers content that has value. By teaching them something new, they are more likely to positively respond to your blog and return to read more posts.
  • Comment on industry news and trends: Has there been a new development in your industry? Are there new trends emerging in your field? Provide commentary on issues and trends to build your thought leadership.
  • Ask your audience a question: Asking a question directly engages your readers. When readers answer, ensure that you reply in order to generate a discussion.
  • Share your business’ story: Posting information and images from behind the scenes of your business is an excellent way to develop a relationship with your readers and share your business’ story without being overly promotional.
  • Share your success stories: Sharing success stories is an excellent way to build your business’ credibility. Ask your existing clients for testimonials to include in order to demonstrate the work you are doing.
  • Make the most of evergreen stories: Evergreen stories are events that occur every year such as Christmas, Australia Day or Easter. Use these events to your advantage and create a themed blog post.

Include a call to action at the bottom of every post as well as link to your website or social media channels.

Remember to include social media sharing buttons on your blog posts, so that readers can share your posts via their social media platforms.

Blogs are an excellent way to establish yourself as a thought leader in your industry. Ensure that you are producing relevant and interesting content regularly in order to keep your target market engaged.

Sydney Public Relations Agency, CP Communications provides specialist media, traditional and online PR strategies that get amazing results. Contact us today. For more tips see our website www.cpcommunications.com.au.

 

How to use PR to get ahead of your competitors

PR communicate in crowd (4)Are you looking for ways to get ahead of your competitors?

Perhaps you are frustrated that your competitors are regularly featured in the media and want to tackle them head on.

Public relations is a great tool for businesses to stand out from their competitors through telling their story, building their profile and reputation, and communicating with their target audience.

Here are some public relations tactics which you can use to give your business a competitive edge.

Monitor your competition
The first step to stay ahead of your competition is to understand who your competitors are, what they are offering and what type of media coverage they are achieving.

An effective method to keep up to date with your competition is to monitor their media and social media activities through Google Alerts or other media monitoring services.

Google Alerts are free notifications that are sent to you when Google finds new results matching your keyword search terms. Include your competitors in your Google Alert keywords to receive regular updates on their activities. (When you set up Google Alerts make sure you do them for yourself as well.)

There are also several paid media monitoring tools which will monitor all mentions across TV, radio, print and online including social media channels.

Write expert articles
Writing articles is an excellent way to establish yourself as an expert in your particular field and give you an edge against your competition.

Your articles must be relevant, engaging and valuable for your target audience. Articles can be pitched to media outlets, such as newspapers, magazines or blogs, and can result in media coverage for your business.

Provide commentary to the media
The media is always on the lookout for new story angles, expert opinions and advice. Providing commentary to the media is an excellent way to get your business’ name in the media, and demonstrate your own expertise and knowledge in your topic area. This could be as simple as offering a response to an article or pitching yourself to a publication for an interview.

Make the most of speaking opportunities
Speaking at a conference or event is an excellent way to position yourself as an expert with your target audience, build your profile and credibility, and generate brand awareness.

In today’s competitive business market, being positioned as an expert in your field can lead to new business opportunities and an increase in sales and new customers or clients.

Use case studies to your advantage
Case studies describe a project or client your business has worked with. Using case studies gives potential customers or clients an insight into how your business operates, and how they can benefit from what your business has to offer. People are more likely to choose a particular business over another when they can see previous results.

Engage on social media
Social media platforms such as Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook offer a direct way to engage with current and potential customers. Begin by researching which social media channels your target audience use and create a profile on these channels.

It is important to encourage dialogue with your followers, which can be achieved by posting interesting content, sharing newsworthy stories about your industry, asking questions and responding to queries.

The power of public relations ultimately lies in its ability to set a business apart. Through establishing credibility, enhancing reputation and building brand awareness, public relations can help your business get ahead of your competitors.

Sydney Public Relations Agency, CP Communications provides specialist media, traditional and online PR strategies that get amazing results. Contact us today. For more tips see our website http://www.cpcommunications.com.au/

 

How to become a thought leader

Man being interviewedWhile many business people aspire to become thought leaders in their industry, only a few truly understand what this means and how to get there.

Thought leaders are informed opinion leaders and go-to people in their field of expertise. Being positioned as a thought leader in your industry helps your business gain credibility and visibility, and builds your personal brand.

Becoming a thought leader builds trust in your business, and helps you build a strong reputation and relationship with existing and potential clients or customers.

Here are some tips for becoming a thought leader.

Be well informed in your niche area
The first step to becoming a thought leader is to define the niche topic you are passionate about and already have expertise in. The topic must be relevant to your industry, your business proposition, your experience and your target audience.

It is important to understand all aspects of your chosen topic. Stay across the latest trends by reading key publications, research and blogs.

Provide expert commentary in the media
The media is always on the lookout for a great story supported by expert opinions and advice. Providing commentary to the media in an interview is an excellent way of demonstrating your knowledge and expertise in your topic area.

Speak at events
A great way to demonstrate your expertise on your topic and gain exposure with your target audience is to speak at events and conferences. Consider where your expertise lies and select a speaking topic that fits with your niche and will engage your target audience.

Write a blog
Blogs are a great way to share your knowledge and position yourself as a thought leader in your field of expertise. You can either start your own business blog or become a guest blogger on other relevant industry blogs.

It is important to post regularly and engage with your readers by encouraging discussions and sharing experiences, ideas and any other relevant information.

Network on social media
Social media platforms such as Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook provide an avenue to demonstrate your expertise to a large, captive audience.

You can connect with people in your industry, post relevant, insightful and interesting commentary, or share articles that relate to your field. Building your social capital will go a long way to helping you become a thought leader.

Write expert content
One of the best ways to establish yourself as an expert in a particular field is to produce interesting and relevant content. Engage with your audience through expert articles, social media posts, eBooks, fact sheets, blog posts or guides. Your target audience appreciate quality content that provides value.

Thought leadership is about leading the conversation and challenging your target audience to think about the trends and issues in your industry. By developing and sharing your knowledge you can become a leading expert in your field.

Sydney Public Relations Agency, CP Communications provides specialist media, traditional and online PR strategies that get amazing results. Contact us today. For more tips see our website www.cpcommunications.com.au

 

How speaking opportunities can help your business

Microphone at conferenceSpeaking at a conference or event is an effective way to build your profile and credibility and position yourself as an expert in your industry.

In today’s competitive market being positioned as an expert in your field can lead to new business opportunities and an increase in sales and new customers.

The benefit of speaking opportunities
Speaking at conferences and events is a great way to get in front of your target audience to communicate your message and build brand awareness. It’s a good idea to speak at conferences or events your target audience is likely to attend as it may result in new customers or clients.

Speaking at an event gives you automatic credibility on your subject matter and helps to position you as an expert in your industry. When your customers or clients see you as an expert they are more likely to consider doing business with you.

When speaking at an event there are many promotional opportunities you can take advantage of to build your brand awareness. For example, you can include pamphlets or business cards in the gift bags or hand them out at the door. You also have the opportunity to publicise your involvement in the event by promoting it on your website, social media profiles and eNewsletter.

The more events you speak at the better your presentation skills will become. By speaking at many events you can increase your profile, which may lead to more speaking events in the future.

Tips to get the most out of speaking opportunities  

All About Public Relations has offered some excellent tips on how to get the most out of speaking opportunities.

Instead of waiting for a speaking opportunity to come to you be proactive and research upcoming events or conferences you can speak at. You can then pitch yourself to the event organisers and tell them why you would be a great speaker for their event.

When you do gain a speaking opportunity here are some tips to help you make the most of it:

  • Don’t use your presentation as an opportunity to do the hard sell. A good speaker adds value and shares insights, but doesn’t overtly sell their wares.
  • Target your presentation at the audiences’ level. Conduct some research into the level of knowledge the audience is likely to have. For example, if your audience has never used social media before, your presentation about social media will need to be at a very basic level and without using social media jargon.
  • It’s important to know what the audience is looking for in order to tailor your presentation to their needs. When researching the audience think about how your presentation can answer any questions they may have about your area of expertise.
  • Make your presentation engaging. The use of presentation slides or video equipment can assist in transferring the information to the audience in an interesting way.
  • Every opportunity to speak at an event is a chance to learn, grow and refine your presentation skills. Practice your presentation and seek honest feedback in order to improve.
  • Bring a colleague to the event in order to take advantage of networking opportunities.

Things to remember

  • You don’t need to be a professional public speaker to present at an event. However, you do need to have expert knowledge of your area of expertise, the ability to speak clearly and engage with the audience.
  • If you’re nervous before a presentation use relaxation techniques such as controlled breathing to help calm your nerves.
  • Remember to make eye contact with your audience and to speak clearly.
  • Make sure to prepare your presentation well in advance and allow yourself time to practice.
  • If you connect with your audience early in the presentation you have a better chance of successfully communicating your message. Think about using humour or hand gestures to aid with engagement.

Gaining speaking opportunities is a great way to increase your business’ exposure to its target audience and position yourself as an expert in your industry.

Sydney Public Relations Agency, CP Communications provides specialist media, traditional and online PR strategies that get amazing results. Contact us today. For more tips see our website www.cpcommunications.com.au.

How to use annual events in your PR strategy

shutterstock_55479049Today is the Melbourne Cup, the race that stops the nation every year.  With Christmas and New Year just around the corner, it’s a good reminder of the many great story ideas businesses can develop from these annual events. These stories are called evergreen stories.

Evergreen stories are kind of like ground hog day. They come around every year and from a media perspective, they remain interesting and newsworthy every year.

Your business can take advantage of annual events to gain media coverage, by developing a new angle on the same old story and pitching it to a relevant journalist. Most journalists will publish stories about upcoming annual events and are always looking for a fresh angle.

For example, evergreen stories around Melbourne Cup can include, gambling, social etiquette, winning, fashion and horses. You can develop fresh angles around these topics which relate to your business, for instance, don’t gamble on the wrong business and race to be the best in your industry.

Here is a list of other annual events you can use for evergreen stories:  

  • Annual events: The Melbourne Cup, End of Financial Year, Clean Up Australia Day.
  • Holidays: Easter, Christmas, New Years, ANZAC Day, Queen’s Birthday, Chinese New Year, Australia Day. 
  • Special days: Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Valentine’s Day, St Patrick’s Day, International Women’s Day.
  • Special Weeks: NSW Seniors Week, Australia’s Healthy Weight Week.

There are many annual events you can take advantage of here is a link to more.

A good tip is to create a calendar of annual events relevant to your business. You can then create content around these events for your PR strategy, social media profiles and blog. This is a great way to help you plan and organise your content.

Take advantage of annual events to gain media coverage for your business and start thinking about fresh angles for Christmas and New Year now.

Sydney Public Relations Agency, CP Communications provides specialist media, traditional and online PR strategies that get amazing results. Contact us today. For more tips see our website http://www.cpcommunications.com.au/.

What to do when a journalist calls

If a journalist called right now to ask for an interview would you know what to do?

When a journalist calls to interview you it’s a great opportunity to boost your profile in the media and build your business’ brand.

To make the most of this opportunity you need to make sure you are prepared for the interview. You can do this by asking the journalist a few specific questions to gain a better idea of what they are looking for.

Here are some tips on what you can do when a journalist calls for an interview.

Try to not do the interview straight away
The key is to prepare for an interview, so try not to do the interview then and there. If they are on deadline, obviously you will need to do the interview quickly. In this case, even two minutes will you give you time to prepare.

Ask for their deadline
You should always ask a journalist what their deadline is for the interview to ensure you are available. If their deadline is in a few weeks then you can give yourself more time to prepare and book the interview for another day. If their deadline is in a few hours then you need to make sure you are available as soon as possible.

Get their contact details
Ask for the journalist’s name, publication, email address and phone number because these details will help you arrange the interview. You can also add their details to your media database and pitch them other story ideas in the future.

What will the interview be about?
Ask the journalist what the main topic of the interview will be. This will help you prepare for the interview by writing down some key points to discuss. You can also conduct some extra research if they bring up an issue you are not too familiar with.

If a journalist wants to interview you on a topic which isn’t in your area of expertise then think carefully about doing the interview. For example if you run a construction business and the interview is on fashion trends in Paris you should probably decline unless you are a fashion expert (and don’t want to become a fashion expert).

How will the interview be conducted?
There are numerous ways an interview can be conducted including over the phone, in person, via video call, emailed questions, live radio or on camera. You need to know how a journalist will be interviewing you to ensure you are prepared. For example an interview on live radio is very different to an interview for a print journalist because everything you say on live radio will be broadcast straight away.

If you want to be more prepared for when a journalist calls then you should hire a PR agency.  A PR agency will handle the initial call from a journalist, organise the best time for your interview and help you prepare the best points to discuss.

Tell us about any media interviews you’ve done?

 

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