“No way, I’m not talking to a reporter. The media never get it right, why waste my time?”
If I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard this in my long career in media relations, I’d be sitting by a pool with a chai tea and a stack of magazines. For the rest of my life.
When it comes to reasons not to grant media interviews, I’ve heard it all.
“The reporter had an agenda.”
“I didn’t get the questions beforehand.”
“The article only included the least-important points.”
And a personal favorite, “I read an article once that I disagreed with.”
And I know firsthand what it’s like to feel misinterpreted, misunderstood and outright misquoted. Throughout my career, I’ve been the primary spokesperson for various organizations, some under closer scrutiny than others — and it can be frustrating!
Except when you’re prepared.
While running away from media interviews is tempting for some, it’s not a practical strategy when you’re a leader within an organization. I know that working with the media doesn’t come naturally to most people, and that’s why media coaching exists: to give you the tools you need to feel empowered and deliver the story you want to tell. With the right media coaching, challenges become manageable opportunities. Let’s look at the above scenarios with media relations best practices in mind:
“The reporter had an agenda.” It’s true that the reporter has a job to do – but so do you. They need your expertise to accomplish their goal, and you have a story to tell. Media coaching levels the playing field.
“I didn’t get the questions beforehand.” More often than not, journalists will not provide questions before an interview. As the subject matter expert, it is your responsibility to show up prepared to deliver your key messages, regardless of whether you have the questions ahead of time.
“The article only included the least-important points.” There are proven techniques for ensuring that your messages are included in coverage, and media coaching teaches you how to master those techniques.
“I read an article once that I disagreed with.” While news coverage that elicits strong feelings can discourage you from wanting any part of interviews, you do a disservice to your stakeholders if you allow that frustration to take over. An experienced media coach works with you to develop your strengths and tell your story with confidence.
Where do you find trusted, proven media coaching to turn potential challenges into storytelling opportunities? The PadillaPrep coaches are industry experts, former journalists, thoughtful strategists and crisis veterans. Our coaching is grounded in decades of experience — not a “one size fits all” experience, but an approach tailored to your specific needs.
PadillaPrep coaches will turn that “no way!” reaction into an enthusiastic, “I get to tell my story today!”
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