It takes time and practice to get really good at interacting with the press. Experienced public speakers may not think that they need much coaching, but sometimes even they need a little bit of help.Talking to the press flexes different muscles than giving a presentation to a board.
The next time an executive or spokesperson from your brand has the opportunity to speak with the media, keep the following guidelines in mind:
1. Realize you can’t control the media. The reporter will ask whatever questions they want to ask and they’ll write whatever angles they want to write. You can’t, no matter how hard you try, control the story. Instead of worrying about controlling the story, focus on what you can control: Your mouth.
2. Know your stuff. Take a moment to think about your talking points. While you can’t control the questions, you can control your answers. Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger was famous for saying, “Does anybody have questions for my answers?” Prep your talking points and try to focus on those points. If the reporter asks a negative question, try to steer things back to your positive points.