Got a post today via one of my PR newsletters that featured Sakita Holley’s top 100 Tips for becoming a Rockstar with the Media. The information is awesome and is actually 111 tips. But, Sakita’s list was so thorough (and long) that one of the comments posted said it all “… Now how am I going to remember all of that?”
The number one rule in PR to remember is that less is more. Media wants all of your information in ‘sound bites’, leading with ‘hooks’ and don’t forget to keep your message ‘short and concise.’ So how do you get your story across without sounding like a tweet?
‘Media training’ was mentioned twice in Sakita’s list. Good advice especially for the novice. ‘Practice’ was also mentioned more than once and I can remember from my piano teacher that indeed ‘practice makes perfect’ (or at least better). I think the other strong tip is ‘be comfortable with silence.’ So many of my clients feel that instead of letting the quiet rest for a second, they fill the air with “you knows.”
So my list of the Top Ten of the Top 100 Tips, with some editorial license and in the order of importance as I see it, is as follows:
- Prepare – Practice, practice, practice – List your points of information in order of importance to get them out in the interview.
- Never lie – Be honest and straight forward with your information.
- Focus – Stay on topic and don’t let the reporter distract or lead you astray.
- Listen – to the reporter’s questions and comments and keep eye contact with them.
- Assume Nothing – Including that the reporter has even read any pre-interview information about you.
- Respect Deadlines – Arrive on time, call back quickly once contacted by media and don’t drag on with your contact.
- Silence is OK – don’t let it go on for too long, but better while you gather your thoughts to keep quiet instead of “you knows”.
- No such thing as “off the record” – A reporter can never ignore what you’ve given them, and even if they are your friend, they’ll report it.
- Smile – It will help you look relaxed, and will make you feel better. Honest!
- Expect a final question that may allow you to conclude the interview with a recap of your message. But, cover it early to be safe.
So there you have it. If you can remember these ten items, you will be able to become that Media Rockstar you dream about!