Executives and communicators are engaged on daily basis with the media in its different forms. As usual, not all people are gifted with the ability to master media appearances. Some may even grow a sort of phobia that will haunt them throughout the process and, in many cases, hinder their ability to deliver their message properly.
Being around for a while, rubbing shoulders with journalists and executives, I compiled a list of 10 things to have in mind before your next media appearance:
- Be honest: when you are under the probe, not telling the truth will do you no good.
- Prepare, prepare, prepare: One cannot stress enough the importance of knowing your subject inside out.
- It is all about WE not Them: Don’t give your competitors airtime, remember this is an opportunity to present your organisation’s point of view.
- Show Empathy: Indifferent behavior will get you nowhere.
- What you Know only: Nobody is asking you to know everything at all times so do yourself a favor and don’t talk about what you don’t know.
- Get your quote ready: if you don’t provide the journalist with emotional statements that are worth being quoted, then you may not like what appears on the news.
- Know your messages: you are there for a mission and this mission is to get your messages across. Don’t make things complicated, maximum 3 messages.
- Don’t get defensive: you don’t need to put yourself in the corner.
- Make no enemies: there is nothing that journalists hate more than asking them to check a final draft before publishing.
- There is nothing called “off the record”: Everything is ON the record, so act accordingly.