Dealing With the Media
So you have to do a media interview and you sense the crowd may be hostile.
Understanding that you may be asked some tough, pointed questions has you a bit on edge.
Certainly you’d like to control the situation and get out of there with your hide still intact while at the same time appearing genuine and open with the press.
Controlling the Interview
Here’s a few simple techniques that will allow you to do just that.
It’s always a good idea to open any press conference with an opening statement that outlines the agenda as well as establishing some guidelines. Be brief and don’t offer up too much information.
Serving up an opening statement that intentionally omits key points – such as who, what, when, where and how – will require the reporters to ask these very straightforward questions during your Q & A time so they can write their story.
This technique can shield you from the really tough questions. Set the ground rules by stating that you have time to field about three questions and then stick to your guns!
Preparing for the Interview
This is a good time to remind you that you need to have your sound bites prepared in advance. If you don’t provide the sound bites, the reporters will provide them for you. Reporters love these! It practically writes their story for them.
A couple of other things to keep in mind when dealing with the media…There are no rules for them and everything can and usually is fair game. Sensationalism sells; boring does not. Prepare an agenda with your key points and learn to bridge back to these points as often as you need to.
Stay in the moment and understand what questions you’re being asked and then decide whether it’s fair game in relationship to your prepared agenda.
The Media as Your Ally
Good media relations require that you be open and accessible in your approach. This doesn’t mean that you need to stand before the reporters with a target on your chest. Prepare your main talking points, control the time for Q & A and stay in the moment.
Try these simple media tips the next time you’re called upon to meet the press and allow yourself to have fun!