New Year’s resolutions are easy to think of and even easier to break; people lack the motivation to continue with their healthy eating or promise to drink less. Communicate Media want to ensure that your company sticks to these resolutions about interacting with journalists and improving media relations.
1. When doing media interviews, know what you want to say.
Going into a media interview with a good idea of what you want the headline to be or the one takeaway message for your audience may sound obvious, but it is good for you – and it’s good for the journalist as well. They will appreciate a clear message coming from their interviewee because it saves them from looking through their notes or spool through the video to try and find the relevant message or best quotes themselves.
Being clear on your message, sticking to it and illustrating it with examples and case studies will give you more control over the final result.
2. Identify some more examples and case studies.
Talking of examples and case studies, one good New Year’s resolution would be to work with your clients. Or, if you’re an in-house Comms person, speak to your colleagues within the organisation to identify some more stories and case studies.
When we do Media Training courses, we often send our participants away with some homework. They picked up on the value of using examples – now they need to go back and find some of them that they can use themselves. Colourful, human stories that emphasise key messages and perhaps challenge unwelcome perceptions are great for interviews with journalists and media relations generally. Check with clients and colleagues that they’re happy to be mentioned, of course. But one thing PR companies and in-house Comms teams can start doing immediately for 2022 is to pull together a bank of these stories that anyone doing media interviews can draw on.
3. Check your language.
As we point out in our Media Training courses, every industry and sector has its jargon. We’re all too aware that some of the conversations we journalists have with each other must mean nothing to somebody outside the business. So, look through your press releases and corporate communications to ensure that your language is simple and conversational. Are there any hackneyed phrases or examples of corporate blather that you can delete and replace with something direct, concise and immediately understandable by all your audiences? If so, do it now and ensure that you use simple, natural language for all of your communications in 2022.
4. Make sure that you have a team of people ready to speak to the Media.
All of our media trainers at Communicate Media are working journalists, so they know how frustrating it is when they’re working on a story to be told that the only person who can speak on the subject is away on holiday, or more likely these days, off with Omicron.
Whether you’re promoting a new product or service or ensuring that you’re prepared to handle an issue, make sure that you have a group of people from across the organisation who are media trained and equipped to do interviews with journalists. It’s a good idea if, as well as being familiar with the subject, they also come from various male and female backgrounds with different age groups to be relevant to multiple audiences.
5. Update your crisis communications procedures.
We’ve been providing a lot more crisis communications courses over the last year. Perhaps it’s one of those surprising little results of Covid that people are thinking the worst and ensuring they’re prepared for it, or maybe it’s because almost every week, one organisation or another seems to get into trouble with Media.
One good New Year’s media resolution for 2022 would be to run through your crisis communications strategy. Check that it’s up-to-date and, very importantly, that everyone knows their role within it. In our crisis communications media training courses, we look, for instance, at “information in” and “information out”. This means that before we even consider what messages you’re going to put across during a crisis and who will deliver them, we ask about how you would discover that something had gone wrong. Are you monitoring social media? Are your sales teams and customer representatives familiar with a trivial issue that could blow up into a crisis, and do they know who to inform about it within the organisation?
It would be best if you were clear on this before you think about your crisis messages and your strategy to gain control of the situation and take the initiative with your message delivery.
Practising all these things now will put you in a much safer position and improve your media relations as we look forward to this New Year.
How do I organise my Media Training?
To ensure you stick to these New Year’s resolutions, organise your media, presentation, or crisis communications course today, contact us to ensure you are prepared for anything that a media interview, company crisis or unexpected external event might throw your way.
Communicate Media Training ensure you as an individual or an organisation is prepared for every eventuality regarding media interviews and developments in the coming months and years.
Call: + 44 (0)7958 239892