Thoughts on ways to improve the management of professional services firms

Monday, January 29, 2007

Managing the Media - how to communicare your message

Every so often we need to tidy up. This is especially important where, like me, you work mainly from a home office.

A number of years ago we, our company, paid for my wife to go on a media training course run by Peter Thompson. Peter was one of Australia's leading radio journalists.

Ever since then, I have carried round one of his card setting out his media hints. I know the hints and was going to throw the card out as part of my latest tidy up. Then I thought, why not share them with you first?

1. Before the Interview

1.1 Research the purpose and likely duration of the interview - think about your audience

1.2. Decide whether you should agree to the interview - will it serve your interests?

1.3. Develop one message for a news interview and up to three agenda points or messages for a longer interview - write them down.

1.4. Write one key argument for each point or message.

1.5. Anticipate the most difficult questions - how would you answer them?

1.6. Rehearse with colleagues.

1.7. Practice relaxation and voice warm up exercises.

2. During the Interview

2.1. Be positive - particularly when you are on the defensive.

2.2. Remember Q = A + 1. Answer the question and use it as a springboard to raise your agenda points. Do not just be reactive to questions.

2.3. Use the formula: Point, Supporting Reason, Evidence.

2.4 Come alive - animate your face and voice. Be passionate. Smile and lighten up - enjoy it.

2.5. Keep your answers short.

2.6. Communicate person to person - your audience is no bigger than a few people in one place.

2.7. Be an anecdote machine - use parables, anecdotes, metaphor's and draw on personal experiences.

3. After the Interview

3.1. Analyse whether you communicated your key messages.

3.2. Critique your performance and draw lessons for future reference.

3.3 Audit radio and television programs - learn to model the behaviour of effective communications.

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