Why and how your reps should tap into media training

It’s easy for a spokesperson to rattle off memorized patter about your organization, but for a compelling interview—and a follow-up invitation—heed these preparation guidelines.

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An unprepared or ineffective spokesperson can squander a publicity opportunity; a well-prepared representative can transform it from mediocre to meteoric.

Here are tips to incorporate into your media training arsenal:

Prepare your spokesperson for different kinds of reporters.

Good media coaching goes beyond prepared messages; it can include on-the-spot strategizing on how to neutralize an uncertain or even negative scenario with disarming, non-defensive responses. Beyond helping a spokesperson speak effectively for a print interview versus broadcast, look to arm clients with intelligence on a few different types of reporters.

These can include an inexperienced journalist or blogger (a potential time suck), an adversarial reporter who already has a story in mind, or an interviewer skilled at drawing out more information than would be prudent to share. Show clients how to “read” reporters early on. Your prep sessions should include simulated interviews to prepare for each of these one-on-one scenarios.

Develop “go-to” phrases to capture important messages.

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