Know Your Message before Talking to the Media

Your PR team works hard to earn media opportunities for your brand. When those precious opportunities do present themselves, it’s imperative that you’re ready to capitalize on them. You have to be ready to talk to the media and to get your message across as clearly and effectively as possible. When you talk to a reporter, every word counts, and every word that comes out of your mouth is the difference between success and a PR blunder. That’s why it’s so important that you take the time to truly define and commit your message to memory before ever talking to the media.

business meeting conference journalism microphonesThe old adage, “If you fail to prepare, you prepare to fail,” is 100% true when it comes to media interviews. Just because you’re a good talker doesn’t mean you can go into an interview without preparing. If you’re just spouting responses off the top of your head, your messages will probably be all over the place, making it hard for a reporter to truly grasp the point you’re trying to get across. Or even worse, you could say something dumb that will negatively affect your brand.

Here’s a good rule of thumb: Before every interview, come up with a list of the three main messages you want to get across. Boil each message down to its simplest form. Memorize those three key messages until they become second nature to you.

Once you’ve identified those three key messages, it’s your job during the interview to make sure your responses point back to those messages. Your answers need to support these messages and narrative. Try to deliver short, memorable sound bites that a reporter can easily pull and quote for the story. When possible, use facts and hard numbers to support your message as this will add credibility to your words and make them more compelling.

Simply put, it all comes down to preparedness when doing press interviews. The more prepared you are, the better your chances of a successful outcome.

This article is written by Mickie Kennedy, founder of eReleases (, the online leader in affordable press release distribution. Download your free copy of the Beginner’s Guide to Writing Powerful Press Releases here:

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