This book gives you the essentials about dealing with the media, starting with interviews and calls from reporters. Sally Stewart, former journalist and PR practitioner, delivers the nitty-gritty. Her advice to recognize reporters' financial and emotional pressures is particularly useful. Reporters have two clear priorities, she says, to write good stories and to go home. If you want their good will, try a little respect, she suggests, although she displays considerable cynicism and negativity about them. Her lessons include getting reporters to pay attention and which reporters to contact and how, be it by phone, e-mail or fax. Stewart tells you how to deal with unexpected calls from the press, and how to decide whether or not you want to be part of a story. If you do, here's how to make the most of it. And if you don't, this book tells you how to extricate yourself, if possible. Along the way Stewart explains how to dress for a television appearance. If this paragraph mentions any core skill you don't already have, we have a newsflash for you: get the book.
on August 1, 2009
Let's face it..negative word of mouth in any industry is a tough, tough killer. But while you can't afford for customers to say bad things about you or your company, noone can afford to have members of the media also plotting against them! Sally Stewart knows the media business and can help you save your business alot of grief by teaching you how to deal with the press effectively. Sally is a veteran journalist who worked for USA Today and covered many tough stories like the Los Angeles Riots and the OJ Simpson Double Murder Trial. In her book, "Media Training 101", Sally provides great strategies to combat reporters' built in prejudices and interest them in positively reflecting the work you are doing. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in media relations. John Darrell Sparks - Media Relations and Communications Specialist. John.firstname.lastname@example.org
on April 24, 2009
This is a great book to read if you do not any experience with media relations. For example, it might be a good tool to use in media training within an organization. The author really takes a step-by-step approach to working with the press, which can easily be a frustrating process!
My favorite section of the book talked about the importance of being respectfull of the media's time and needs. Overall, a great book that isn't stuffy or complicated ... just cuts straight to the point to get you in a good position with your local media.
When being interviewed by media, it is tempting to do a `brain dump,' and give them as much information as you can. This can backfire, though. Faced with an information overload, the journalist has to pick-and-choose through all the data to construct her story. She probably has room only for a few of your points, and she may not choose the ones that you would like.
Politicians understand this. When they do interviews, they focus on `talking points.' The politician prepares by selecting three or four points they want to get across during the interview. The preparation allows them to get their message across clearly and succinctly.
You should do something similar to this to prepare for your encounters with the media. In 'Media Training 101,' Sally Stewart recommends that you have five focused and concise Key Message Points.
Key Message Point #1 is a general statement about your company. It might include facts such as how long you have been in business, what you sell, or where you are located.
Key Message Point #2 gives financial information. For example, revenues, growth percentage or number of units sold. Don't overload on statistics. Choose something easy to understand.
Key Message Point #3 identifies your target market. What characteristics do your customers share? Are they consumers or businesses? Are they in a specific industry? Are they located in the same geographic area? What need do they have that your product or service fills? You might also mention your share of the market, if it is impressive.
Key Message Point #4 addresses the company's future growth. Are you expanding into foreign markets, creating new products (or identifying new uses for existing products) to appeal to new types of customers, opening a new location or adding more employees?
Key Message Point #5 can be anything not covered in the other four points. It is a way to point out the uniqueness of your company. You might mention awards or other recognition your company has received, the specialized training or experience of your staff, or whatever you would want customers and the public to know about your business and what makes it special.
Once you have your Key Message Points, you are prepared for an interview at any time. This is important, because you won't always have a lot of advance notice of an interview. In some cases, you will have only minutes (if that) to prepare. With your Key Message Points you will know what to say-and when to stop talking.
Author and Marketing/Publicity Consultant
on November 7, 2003
This book is the best guide to media training I've seen to date. By dispensing with the war stories that bog down many books of this type, "Media Training 101" focuses instead on practical solutions. Ms. Stewart's strategies and tactics are similar to ours, but she provides new ways to engage even the most challenging public relations clients. Thank you.