How Challenger Brands Should Speak to the Press

February 14th, 2013 Written by

There’s no advertising exposure more credible than having a PR story featuring your company or product in a magazine, local newspaper, online or on television or radio.

Many times, our clients will ask us to help train them to become better at the interview process. They ask us to teach them that special interview “style” or how to best “perform” for reporters. Here’s the advice we’ve been giving our clients for the last 29 years…

Many reporters will make immediate judgments about you based on your body language, tone of voice and other small nuances that determine your honesty, integrity and depth of knowledge. So, our advice is always the same: be yourself, act naturally and come to the interview with a clear message that will be interesting to the reporters’ audience. The more you try to be someone you are not, the less credible you appear in the eyes of professional reporters.

With that caveat, here are five tips to keep in mind the next time the press is interviewing you:

  1. Be prepared. Practice your message until it sounds natural and unrehearsed. The best way to do well in an interview is to know what you want to say beforehand. Have your main message points written down and in front of you so you can be sure to cover these main topics.
  2. Speak at a slower pace. Most of us tend to speak faster when we’re nervous, so be sure to slow down.
  3. Keep your answers informal, conversational and try not to speak in techno-babble. You’ll come across as more believable.
  4. If you get off-track from what you intended to say or get hit with a difficult question, answer it as briefly as possible and politely move the discussion back to your key points. For example: “Yes, we’ve had layoffs, but the good news for our company and our community is (insert your key message here).”
  5. Relax and be yourself.

PR coverage is a great tool for Challenger Brands. If you don’t have an ongoing PR plan already, be sure to develop one and learn to speak to the press. Then just watch your company grow.

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