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17 minutes | Feb 27, 2017
Five ways to make a journalist’s job easier — MSM #047
There’s been a lot of discussion lately about whether the media is good or evil. For purposes of our work as people who thrive through a symbiotic relationship with journalists, we’re going to focus this week on how you can make their jobs easier. For the most part, reporters are stretched thin, and have less time than ever to research and write (or produce) their stories. From how you pitch to providing photos, there’s a lot you can do that will ultimately benefit both of you. To learn more, click on the ‘Play’ button and listen to Episode 47 of MediaSmart.
16 minutes | Feb 6, 2017
Simplifying complicated stuff — MSM #046
When working with the media, your main goal is to convey your message effectively. That seems simple enough – but it’s a tall task when you need to translate lots of complicated information for a general audience. Researchers, economists, computer programmers and many others live in a world of complex data. This week, we discuss how to simplify obscure concepts and be sure your key messages will resonate with the people you’re trying to reach. To learn more, click on the ‘Play’ button and listen to Episode 46 of MediaSmart.
18 minutes | Jan 9, 2017
Anticipating a reporter’s questions — MSM #045
As with so much else, preparation is key before walking into a media interview or facing journalists at a news conferece. And a key part of that preparation is anticipating likely questions. This means preparing for the tough ones – not just the “softballs” – and questions that delve into details not covered by the news release. To learn how to think like a reporter and anticipate questions, click on the ‘Play’ button and listen to Episode 45 of MediaSmart!
16 minutes | Dec 19, 2016
Knowing your audience — MSM #044
It’s easy to think that your job in a media interview is to impart your wisdom and facts upon the reporter, and as long as he or she nods, smiles and takes a few notes, you’ve accomplished your mission. But ultimately, it’s important to speak in a way that connects with your audience – that is, the readers, listeners or viewers. In order to reach them, you need to connect with the reporter, who serves as the conduit. It’s similar to the telephone game: You need to convey the information as clearly as possible to the journalist, in hopes that he or she, in turn, conveys it accurately to their audience. In this episode, we discuss the various types of reporters and media outlets, walking through three of the most common scenarios. Click the ‘Play’ button to hear Episode 44 of MediaSmart!
13 minutes | Nov 14, 2016
Who needs the media? — MSM #043
The media has taken a beating lately, especially in the presidential election. Depending on whom you ask, TV and radio stations and newspapers are somewhere between untrustworthy and completely irrelevant. All of this talk may have you wondering whether it’s even worth giving journalists the time of day. Why not just promote your organization through ads, word of mouth and social media and let those reporter calls go through to voicemail? We brush aside the cynicism this week and outline four reasons why pretty much every business or organization benefits from a positive relationship with the local and national media. Click the ‘Play’ button to hear Episode 43 of MediaSmart!
16 minutes | Oct 10, 2016
Three interview distractions to avoid — MSM #042
The opposite of connecting with your audience is distracting them. In this episode, we discuss three distractions that can kill your message – and ways to avoid each of them. They include: Dressing to distract Use of filler words Poor eye contact Click the ‘Play’ button to hear Episode 42 of MediaSmart!
21 minutes | Sep 19, 2016
The role of a PR pro in an interview — MSM #041
According to some, PR pros should be seen but not heard in media interviews. Others insist they should stay completely away from the interview in the first place. Then, there’s the crisis comms consultant for former Baylor University Chancellor and President Ken Starr, who became part of the story when she injected herself into an interview by pulling her client out of the room after he stumbled through his answer to a tricky question. In this episode, we explore this gaffe and what we can all learn from it, and get input from several listeners on the role they feel a PR person should – and shouldn’t – play in an interview. Click the ‘Play’ button to hear Episode 41 of MediaSmart!
20 minutes | Aug 23, 2016
So, what’s news? — MSM #040
Before you pitch your story to a journalist, it’s helpful to think through the criteria he or she will use when deciding whether your story is “news.” To be sure, the equation will vary depending on the reporter, the news outlet, when you’re calling and even what else is happening that day. To some extent, several different factors weigh into a reporter’s decision, including: Timeliness Impact Proximity Prominence Singularity Conflict/controversy What do these mean – and how do they come into play with YOUR story? Click the ‘Play’ button to learn more in Episode 40 of MediaSmart!
14 minutes | Aug 8, 2016
Five ways to boost your pre-interview confidence — MSM #039
Mark Twain once said: “All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence, and then success is sure.” On this episode, we discuss how one of these can help you do great interviews. (Hint: It’s not ignorance.) When conducting media training sessions, I’ve noticed a cloud of uncertainty sometimes hangs in the room – especially when it involves people who haven’t done many interviews. A multitude of fears surface, from concerns over “how I’ll look on TV” to “What if they ask me a question I’m not expecting?” A key solution to overcoming such fears is approaching the interview with confidence, and knowing that you’re ready to handle whatever questions may come your way, even if you don’t know exactly what they’ll be. Confidence helps you stay organized and convey trustworthiness. Want to learn five ways to boost your confidence prior to that next media interview? Click the ‘Play’ button to listen to Episode 39 of MediaSmart.
21 minutes | Jun 20, 2016
Five considerations around banning journalists — MSM #038
Back on Episode 34, we addressed some timely headlines that involved people in the limelight declaring war on the media. This week, we revisit the topic to focus on a very specific battle in that war: banning journalists. From Donald Trump’s official revocation of the Washington Post’s press credentials to a similar move by the mayor of Harrisburg, Pa. against the newspaper of record in that city, what effects – both intended and otherwise – can these bold steps have? On this episode of MediaSmart, we outline five considerations around the outright “media ban.” Click the ‘Play’ button below to hear more!
35 minutes | May 30, 2016
Drafting a crisis communications plan, with Melissa Agnes — MSM #037
Organizations with crisis management plans are ready to communicate effectively when the unexpected happens. Yet the work involved with developing such a plan can be daunting, causing many organizations to make the unfortunate decision to fly without one. In this episode, we hear from Melissa Agnes, an international crisis management keynote speaker and consultant. She demystifies the process and walks us through the key elements needed in every crisis management plan, from contact lists to detailed action plans. Is your organization ready for a crisis? Click the ‘Play’ button below to find out, and hear Melissa’s great advice in this episode of MediaSmart! Learn more: 5 “Must Include” Items for your Crisis Management Plan – MelissaAgnes.com
13 minutes | May 18, 2016
(E)mailing in the interview — MSM #036
We’ve talked previously about how and when to “phone in” a media interview. This episode is about mailing it in – more specifically, emailing your responses to a reporter. As with all interview approaches, it comes with both benefits and drawbacks. While connecting with the reporter in person or by phone is typically preferable, it’s not always possible. Email can actually work best in some situations, such as: When dealing with complicated or controversial subject matter. When the reporter asks for an emailed response. When inevitable schedule conflicts provide you with no choice. Although providing written answers to a reporter seems foolproof, there are challenges with this approach. Click the ‘Play’ button below to hear more in this episode of MediaSmart!
15 minutes | Apr 25, 2016
Five ways to strike a balance in your next interview — MSM #035
At risk of waxing overly philosophical, so much in life is about striking a balance. So, too, are media interviews. Whether you’re on TV, on the radio or being interviewed for an article, many of the keys to effectively communicating your key messages boil down to a balance in several key areas, including: How you speak Your posture How you relate to the reporter We help you find ways to increase your confidence and meet your next interview head-on. Click the ‘Play’ button below to hear more in this episode of MediaSmart!
23 minutes | Apr 4, 2016
The problem with declaring war on journalists — MSM #034
Sometimes, taking a stand against a journalist is justified. But sometimes it’s not, and amounts to an ethical misstep or even breaking the law. In this episode, we look at four examples ripped from recent headlines: Donald Trump’s war with Megyn Kelly of Fox News How a confrontation with a reporter led to charges against Trump’s campaign manager A University of Missouri communications professor whose stand against the media got her fired A top election official in Tennessee whose verbal outburst at a reporter got him fired While these situations could be considered drastic, each provides takeaways that all of us can learn from in our dealings with journalists. Click the ‘Play’ button below to hear more in this episode of MediaSmart!
26 minutes | Mar 14, 2016
Powerful habits for great speaking, with Lisa Elia — MSM #033
Being natural and conversational is important in a media interview – but what if being natural for you involves some bad habits that get in the way of your message? On this episode, we hear from Lisa Elia as we explore a range of powerful methods and daily habits to help you improve how you come across – in interviews and any situation where you’re speaking or interacting with people. After more than 20 years as a media trainer, publicist and strategist at her company Lisa Elia Public Relations, Lisa launched Expert Media Training, shifting her focus solely to media training, presentation training and pitch coaching. The discussion with Lisa will touch on: Eliminating negative or diminishing self-talk Cutting fillers such as "um,"“like” and "you know" from all conversations Up-speak, and what it says about us How to use power poses to your advantage Why talking from your diaphragm is important How to overcome a thick accent Click the ‘Play’ button below to hear more in this episode of MediaSmart!
32 minutes | Feb 29, 2016
Great use of stories, stats and sound bites, with Brad Phillips — MSM #032
We often hear – including on places like Episode 2 of MediaSmart – about the need to craft three key messages that you want to deliver in any given media interview. My guest in this episode tells us how those three messages fit into a bigger strategy. Brad Phillips – also known as Mr. Media Training – talks us through his message support stool, the three “legs” of which are stories, statistics and sound bites. By using this technique, you can repeatedly reinforce your key points in an interview – without saying the same thing over and over. With lots of great real world examples, this episode is a “must listen” for anyone who wants to effectively connect with the media. Click the ‘Play’ button below to hear more from Brad in this episode of MediaSmart!
27 minutes | Feb 15, 2016
Silence is not always golden, with Hartley Butler George – MSM #031
If your crisis communications plan includes the phrase “Duck, cover and let it blow over,” this episode is for you. “When the going gets tough, many of us tend to either say too much, or nothing at all.” So says this week's guest in a recent column on Bulldog reporter. Hartley Butler George, a Senior Communications Advisor for the federal government in Canada, has worked with companies at several stages of crisis. This week, we talk about how breaking your own bad news can provide you with better control of the message. We discuss how to know when proactive is the way to go vs. a more reactive approach. Click the ‘Play’ button below to hear more in this episode of MediaSmart!
18 minutes | Feb 1, 2016
Giving a great phone interview — MSM #030
Being face-to-face with a journalist is always best, but sometimes, it’s just not possible. That’s when a phone interview may be an option. If you end up “phoning it in,” make sure it’s not by cell or speakerphone, if you can avoid it. The fact you can’t see the reporter will affect the discussion – and if it’s a radio interview, it won’t sound the same as being in the studio. But if you keep just a few tips in mind, you can still give an effective, energetic interview and convey your key information and connect with the journalist and their audience. Click the ‘Play’ button below to hear more in this episode of MediaSmart!
38 minutes | Jan 18, 2016
Doing great on TV, with TJ Walker — MSM #029
There’s so much to remember when you’re on camera giving an interview. We covered some of it back on previous episodes – but this week, we put it all together with MediaSmart’s first-ever guest, TJ Walker. Walker is the founder of Media Training Worldwide and has been conducting media training workshops and seminars since 1984. When it comes to doing great interviews, TJ says: “Anybody can learn.” We touch on topics including: How to dress on TV General on-camera demeanor Body language dos and don’ts Interacting with the host The episode also contains an offer for a free online media training course from TJ. (Hint: It’s around the 22-minute mark.) Click the ‘Play’ button below to hear more in this episode of MediaSmart!
16 minutes | Jan 4, 2016
When your spokesperson screws up — MSM #028
Media interviews can lead to great things – except for when they don’t. Even a well-prepared spokesperson can have an off-day or be caught off-guard by a couple questions, perhaps causing them to panic and clam up live on camera. Or maybe he gave answers that he thought were 40 seconds each, when in fact they were four minutes long and waaay off-message. In this week’s episode, we answer a question posed online: "How do you effectively talk to your spokesperson after they have screwed up in a media interview?" This can be a delicate process, especially if that spokesperson happens to be your boss. As sticking your head in the sand and completely dodging future interviews is not an option, we discuss a three-step approach for you to consider in this episode: Start with the positive. Share your constructive criticism. Offer to help him or her improve. Click the ‘Play’ button below to hear more in this episode of MediaSmart!
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