Media Relations Training with Jeff Tippett

There’s a crisis in your organization. The phone rings. It’s a reporter. Here’s your chance to control the narrative and put a positive spin on the story. But you’ve never talked with a reporter before…

Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Throughout my career in public relations, I’ve helped members of large and small organizations prepare their media relations strategy. Last week, I got the chance to do media training with the League of Women Voters. I wanted to take the opportunity this week to share the three most important things to keep in mind when executing your media strategy.

  • Craft your message
    Many organizations and businesses are doing great work in their community, but they haven’t figured out how to effectively craft their story. Ask yourself, what are the three ways by which I want my organization to be known? Once you’ve boiled down your ideas into three bullets, practice your delivery to make it sincere and memorable.
  • Prepare for the interview
    Ask, then clarify, what the reporter is looking for in the interview. Once you understand the reporter’s goals, you can begin to practice 5-10 second soundbites that will effectively communicate your message. Talking in front of a mirror or with a colleague can help you build confidence in your answers.
  • Broadcast vs. Print
    While messaging and preparation are important for any interview, I want to note some differences between broadcast and print interviews. Keep in mind that broadcast is looking for quick turnarounds while print can do more in-depth work. Providing visuals in both cases is important, but it is essential for a TV interview. Whether you have footage or a good place for them to film, it’s a great opportunity to further control your message.

I realize that sometimes people simply don’t have the luxury of fully preparing for an interview. If this is the case, ask people on your team for help. If no one else can do it, try delaying the interview. Tell the reporter you are busy in a meeting, and ask if you can email them some responses. Try not to say no, but it’s important to think over your message before any interview.

If you need help preparing for an interview or are interested in learning more about crafting an effective media strategy, contact Targeted Persuasion today.

“If they can’t repeat it, they didn’t get it” – Sam Horn


About Jeff Tippett: After more than a decade of award-winning work in advertising, marketing, and public relations, Jeff launched the public affairs and communications firm, Targeted Persuasion. The firm has established a strong track record, signing local and international clients and helping guide organizations, businesses, and political campaigns to success. Jeff would love to talk with you about your public affairs and communications strategy. Reach out today.