Improving Media Relations Practices [PRSSA National Conference]

Dr. Joseph V. Trahan, III, APR, Fellow PRSA, had every attendee of the Media Training Session at the PRSSA 2011 National Conference excited about media relations before he was one minute into his presentation. Among the many messages Dr. Trahan enlightened attendees with, were the “Three C’s of Media Relations” and media interview techniques, the most relevant and basic tips for young professionals.

Public relations professionals can use Trahan’s three C’s to improve their media relations practices:

Control

Control means never losing control when talking to reporters. Right now, public relations professionals have to deal with “the 4-headed monster” — including traditional media, social media, your own company’s media and stalker media who attack your reputation.

Competence

Remember to stay in your lane. People in public relations often want to try to do everything, but will create better work when they stay on issues that are most relevant to your organization.

Concern

When on camera, concern must be on your face, in your words and in every single thing you do.

Follow these tips from Trahan to have successful on-camera interviews with the media:

Begin With a Brief Summary

Open your interview by providing a 25-40 second summary of what you’re speaking about. This should include the who, what, when, where, why and how.

Answer With Stand-Alone Statements

Remember that only one or two of your sound bites might make it on air. Take time after each question to listen, pause, think and answer.

Have an Open, Confident Body Language

Don’t forget to look at the reporter, not just the camera. Your eyes will control the interview — don’t look away or down. Establish a comfortable space between yourself and the reporter, and don’t keep hands on your hips or crossed across your chest.

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