Some brand spokespeople sometimes make a very simple mistake when talking to the media, which is that they forget to connect with the target audience of the company.
Before showing up for an interview, the spokesperson should know the target audience as these are the people that we want to hear, understand, and accept what the company is telling them through the spokesperson. Meanwhile, the journalist acts as a sort of a messenger that communicates with the target audience on the company’s behalf.
There’s a very simple way of avoiding that issue, and it’s essentially to think about the target audience instead of the journalist.
The audience should hear a story from the company, and that story should cover some very basic questions, including a few things that most matter about the business, several things that make the company’s products or services different and better from other ones in the industry, as well as what problems these products or services are able to solve for the customers.
Spokespeople—and public relations pros—should write down a paragraph or two that will summarize all of that information and then hone in on it, and narrow it down until the information can become a story that’s worthy of the target audience’s attention.
Another essential for companies is to find out which media outlets the target audience prefers to get information from. Researching those media outlets, and learning more about them can improve the chances of the business getting media coverage from them.
Certain reporters cover certain industries and businesses, and appealing to them with the company’s story works best when a business is looking to get media coverage that will ultimately connect it with the target audience.
Before any interview with the press, the spokesperson should figure out which are the top few messages that they want to communicate, and then position all of the talking points around those messages. Everything that’s said during the interview should go back to the key messages that are there to support the company’s story.
These key messages should be short, informative, and quotable. They tend to work best if they provide information about the industry, and are supported with data or research. Additionally, it’s best to keep away from stream of consciousness comments, because they make the reporter’s job a lot more difficult because their main job is to get to the core of what the spokesperson is trying to say.
There’s no need to comment on anything that can negatively impact the company, the employees, the investors, or the customers during an interview, or any sort of media coverage. Commenting negatively about other businesses in the market, or on any rumors can also lead to negative coverage from the press.
At the end of the day, if there’s any sort of comment that could put the company in a bad light in front of the target audience, it’s best to avoid talking about it altogether.