Getting Your Point Across in the Media
Chicago Media Training to Better Convey Your Message
Having produced a number of commercials, promotional clips and many other pieces of video content over three decades in Chicago, media training and why it is important is clear to us at The Michael Group.
Unfortunately, (or otherwise, depending on your viewpoint!), rapid technological advancements in the media industry mean that many managers, employees and even workers in unrelated fields are being thrust into the spotlight, without much of an idea of what to do when they get there. This makes sense, since unless your line of work dictates that you conduct interviews regularly – or unless your personality naturally lends itself to this environment – you’re bound to be caught off guard. Yet, as with any other skill, spending time learning about the keys to handling the media will help you tremendously, and it is worth it. Why? Well, video content is rapidly taking over. Businesses, even more conservative conglomerates, are realizing that unless they tap into this space, they’ll be missing out. At a recent keynote at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Mark Zuckerberg said: “Most of the content 10 years ago was text, and then photos, and now it’s quickly becoming videos”. He went on to say that videos, and especially live streaming, offer consumers an honest, unfiltered view of a person, brand or company.
Further to all of this, the videos that really rake in the views aren’t long. They’re short, bite-sized pieces of content, and this means getting your message across as clearly and quickly as possible, but how do you go about doing this? Well, we’ve put together a few key pointers to get you on the right track.
Plan your own interview, even though you are the interviewee
This seems like an odd thought, but just think about it. Would you really like the agenda of the journalist to take precedence over the two or three key messages you wish to relay? Of course not. Map out your intentions for the interview and weave these into your answers – of course, you need to answer a question accurately, but with your own goals clearly mapped out in your head, there will always be an opportunity to say what it is you want to say.
Ditch the jargon
As impressive as it may be for your manager, or members of your own industry, your core audience may not appreciate technical language that simply goes over their heads. Do your best to speak as simply and personably as you can.
Don’t deviate from what’s asked and what you want to say
The short of this is… keep it short! Wordy answers will give the interviewer the opportunity to use the section of your answer that suits them, and discard the rest. Stay true to your own goals, and answer seemingly unrelated questions succinctly.
If you don’t know something, then say so
There’s little wrong with not knowing the answer to a question, or even admitting that you do not have the authority to provide an answer. Instead of responding with a defensive “no comment”, you’re still maintaining your dignity by honestly answering that you don’t know or perhaps that you aren’t sure, but can report back on the matter at a later point. The key to dealing with a question to which you don’t know the answer, is honesty.
As with any interview, variables are aplenty and the idea of how things will go in your head is unlikely to match the reality. But by approaching the media with these tips front of mind, you’ll be a step ahead of the rest and that much better equipped to effectively relay your message.