Renee Prejean-Motanky

9 TIPS TO HELP YOU GET QUOTED IN THE MEDIA

In Communications, Media Relations, Public Relations, Tips You Can Use on July 4, 2013 at 3:21 pm

Media Coverage

First, know the goals and direction of the interview. Is it for the reporter’s background or on the record? Even if it’s a background interview, it can still be a good use of time, as journalists and bloggers tend to return to good sources. If it’s for attribution, assume you aren’t the only one being interviewed and remember what your competitive edge is.

Be prompt. Sometimes even great interviews don’t make it into the story because they blow the editorial deadline. Make sure you know what that deadline is and adhere to it. Journalists work in a dynamic environment, so being included in a story often comes down to being the first to return a reporter’s call.

Be accessible. Don’t speak in buzzwords, acronyms, or technical jargon and, if you must, then explain any terms used succinctly. If you’re being recorded for radio or TV, speak in sound bites, and “headline” your responses by leading with the important information first, then add details and supporting points.

Be contrarian. Don’t feel you have to tow a straight line. Carve out what makes you different, and deliver your point of view in a bold and confident way.

Coin a phrase. Catch phrases and analogies can break through and ensure a successful quote. For example, if you can be the first to call derivatives “financial weapons of mass destruction” (as Warren Buffet did) or dub a self-imposed Twitter crisis a “Twimmolation” (ref: TIME Magazine; James Poniewozik), then you’ll probably own the pull quote.

Be colorful. Consider visual metaphors to make your point. Instead of saying your product launch is successful, maybe say it’s a hit of “Beyoncé proportions.” A training program isn’t just the best, it’s the “Show Me the Money” of the category. A competitor’s mission isn’t merely difficult, it’s “changing tires while driving on two wheels.”  You get my drift…

Use statistics. A single, compelling statistic, piece of research, or fact can make a big difference in an interview, because it adds credibility. Pull out your big guns, but use them sparingly.

Go deeper. Spend an extra 10 minutes thinking a level beyond your most logical comment to a topical question or issue. If you can be prepared to share the reasons behind a development, an emerging trend, or a prediction for the future, your quote will stand out.

Reference your own authority. Because your remarks are often subject to editing, it’s a good idea to reference your credentials and to mention your company at least once during the first three responses. But don’t overdo it or you’ll sound like an advertisement rather than an authority.

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