Solopreneurs and small business owners may think media training is a luxury they cannot afford since they often operate as “one man bands” running their own social media, PR and marketing. But putting some time into mastering the key elements of journalist relations is not only beneficial—it’s critical.
“I can think of several small businesses that were badly impacted by negative press coverage because they didn’t have a media plan in place,” said Women Media Pros founder Suzanne Spurgeon, in a news release. “A small investment in media training would have helped them control their communication crisis in today’s viral world where time is of the essence.”
Spurgeon and her Women Media Pros team teach clients how to best approach media to pitch products and services—including how to generate positive media coverage, how to manage their messaging on social media, and perhaps most important, how to contain a communication crisis.
“Reputation management is a key part of media training, but so is learning to take advantage of media opportunities that come your way,” added Bella Shaw, senior consultant at Women Media Pros, in the release. “When a reporter calls, you need to stay on your message and use the interview to your advantage.”
Staying on message is easier said than done. Have at least three strong talking points teed up for any media interview. Answer these basic questions to help craft your talking points:
- What is unique about your products or services?
- Why is it important to your audience, not just to you?
- How can you solve their problems or meet their specific needs?
- Are you qualified to shed light on the interview topic?
- Does your expertise match up with the subject?
No matter how short your media interview is, work in at least one of your talking points. If you don’t it is a missed opportunity.
Spurgeon has introduced media training/crisis communications via Skype and FaceTime Sessions to fit smaller budgets and work around tight time schedules.