Imagine that a style photographer from a print magazine snaps a shot of you at a store opening, and then asks for a quick quote about your style inspiration. Or, that you wake up to a phone call from the producer of your local news station, who invites you on air to chat about great winter looks. Maybe a blogger you love reaches out and wants to do a video interview with you the following day. Are you able to confidently (and quickly) communicate your distinct point-of-view, stay on-brand (a term we use in PR to describe communication that highlights the mission/values of a company) and effectively turn any question into an opportunity to promote your blog?
Without a bit of preparation, you might find the pressure to perform on camera or in an interview overwhelming. My friend Nancy refers to this as “lights on, brain off” syndrome. This is why many PR agencies offer something called media training, which takes clients through mock-interview situations to help them react positively under pressure. Another part of media training is teaching clients to speak in soundbites, memorable quips that distill big ideas into a fun audio snack. Still another includes practicing bringing a question that has nothing to do with a client's product or service into an opportunity to promote that product or service.
Ready to test your media prowess? Incorporate the following 5 Media Training Tips into your next PR opportunity and let me know how it goes!
1. Practice the 10-Second Rule
Imagine you have 10-seconds to explain to an editor or producer who you are, who you serve and what your blog is about. Create and memorize 3-5 soundbites that you can comfortable say in 10 seconds or less.
2. Watch out for mean girl media BFFs
Great journalists are trained to sniff out a story – and there is nothing they like more than pouncing on a juicy, personal detail or divisive opinion to give them a headline that will drive sales or clicks. Even if you have no intention of talking about how started sewing because your mother told you that you didn't have a shot on star search with that voice, within a few minutes of establishing rapport, you may end up on a 10-minute tangent of parental woes. Have a friend play devil's advocate and ask you all sorts of questions. Practice not taking the bait, and instead turning that question into an opportunity to talk about your blog instead.
3. Mind your umm's, wells, likes and you knows
Have you ever had the experience of noticing a particular overuse of a word while someone is talking – and that is ALL you can hear? One big challenge for many of us is retraining ourselves to speak in clear sentences without unnecessary umma and you knows. Record yourself responding to the questions you are most likely to be asked – when did you start your blog, who are your style icons, is print dead, etc – and then work on cleaning up those likes.
4. Be a trending topic hunter
Before your interview, do a cursory news check to see if there are any stories that you can reference. If you get asked a question about what brands are doing a great job with social media, it's great to show your industry know-how by having a few examples at the ready. If a student made the news for breaking the dress code at a high school, be prepared with quick point-of-view, and a plan to steer the conversation back to you.
5. Be gracious
Even if you don't love the piece, say thank you and promote it across your social networks. Pay attention to how you were quoted, how the story developed and learn from the experience. Each media opportunity is a great way to refine your message and become an even bigger media darling.
[Image credit: Shutterstock.com]