During a round of media appearances, you will want to have key messages to convey to promote your organisation and strengthen your brand. However, it’s not always easy to convey these messages, as you can’t control what quotes/grabs the media will use when broadcasting your interviews.
If you’re preparing for your next media foray, here are some ways you can convey a consistent message to various audiences, across a range of platforms, and promote your organisation in a positive way. Keeping a consistent media message can avoid a media crisis before it begins, so it pays to be consistent.
Plan, plan, plan
It’s important you have a key message or two in mind before you start conducting your interviews, so you know exactly what messages you are trying to get across. While the interview will be guided by the interviewer, you as the interviewee ultimately have the power to direct the interview, and what direction it takes.
If you are confident you know the key messages and phrases you want to convey, you’ll be able to direct the flow of the interview, whether it’s a live or pre-recorded interview taking place in print, radio or TV.
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Signpost your responses
If you’re looking to convey a consistent message across a range of interviews, then it’s important to repeat your message in a way that ensures whatever soundbite/quote the media uses, it’s conveying your message.
Have a few different ways of imparting your message in mind, and cycle through them – that way, it’s a lot more likely your key message will be used as part of the key grab/quote that is taken from the interview.
If your media strategy includes having a range of people giving interviews, which is a good way to spread the load, then it’s important to ensure everyone is on the same page. Have a document everyone can refer back to when preparing for their next media engagement.
Consider holding a brainstorming session with everyone who will be conducting interviews on behalf of your organisation, so they can agree on the key messages and themes that’ll be spoken about when being interviewed. While everyone will have a slightly different way of communicating – which helps to keep the message fresh – having a set of key phrases/words that are to be used in every interview will help ensure your message sticks, no matter who’s delivering it.
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Practise thinking under pressure
There’s no use preparing for a round of media interviews if you’re not simulating the pressures of a media interview. We’ve previously written about the importance of getting on camera before your next media engagement, as it is a great way to see what you look like on camera and fix any mistakes before the real interview.
Being able to draw on the key messages and phrases you’re looking to put forward during the round of media interviews is crucial, and perfect practise makes perfect! No-one’s ever regretted being too prepared for something, so make sure you have a trial run of an interview before conducting the real thing
But why is keeping your message consistent so important?
If you ensure you have a consistent message, then it’s much more likely your audience will remember the message, and associate it with your brand/organisation. If you’re delivering the same key talking points in each interview, not only are you providing a sense of consistency, but communicating to as wide an audience as possible. It’s important to remember that not everyone will come across every interview you do, so maintaining the same messages across all your media appearances drives home the points you’re looking to communicate.
If you’re looking for advice on crafting and conveying key messages to the media, Media Success can help. We provide personalised training and workshops so your spokespeople can be confident when talking to the media, no matter what form the interview takes. If you’re looking to find out more about our media services, click here, or get in contact with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.