5 Classic Mistakes To Avoid When Talking To The Media - Kendrick PR
April 6, 2017

5 Classic Mistakes To Avoid When Talking To The Media

At Kendrick PR, many of Julia’s clients want to know about exactly how they should talk to the media about their aesthetic businesses or brands. Julia is more than happy to have a chat with you and give you some one-to-one advice, however, because this is such a frequent topic, we have decided to put together some classic mistakes to avoid when talking to the media for your reference below:

1. Don’t use professional jargon…??While you are obviously very familiar with your business and all of the professional terminology involved within this industry, your reporter and their audience might not be, especially if they are from a ‘consumer’ publication (rather than trade). It is important that you always keep your message clear and simple, while also bearing in mind not to come across as condescending. This includes avoiding technical wording, acronyms and abbreviations, to name a few.

2. Don’t be afraid to say “I don’t know”…??If you are asked a question that you are unable to answer in that moment for whatever reason, it is fine to say “I don’t know” so long as this doesn’t happen too often, and that you have truly prepared for your interview. Reassure the reporter that you will get back to them with an answer at a later point. If it is a question that you can’t answer at all, simply point the reporter in the direction of where he might find the information he is looking for. You can use the question as a chance to build towards a different question if it is one that you perhaps don’t actually want to answer. However, under any circumstance, do not say “no comment” as this can make you appear uncooperative, unresponsive or evasive.

3. Don’t’ lie, embellish or generalise…??Keep in mind the classic saying “honesty is the best policy” when talking to the media. If you wander from the truth, it is almost certain that you will always be caught out sooner or later. You can’t put a price on the value of your honesty and credibility, and once you lose them it is extremely hard to get them back; see our blogs on reputation for more information. Link to reputation blog. Lying to the media can have severe consequences when it comes to the success of your business.

4. Don’t let inaccurate statements go unchallenged… but don’t lose your temper??There is nothing wrong with having to correct a reporter or journalist if you feel they have made a mistake or ‘put words into your mouth’, as it were. If possible, correct them immediately, but this can be done once the interview is over as well. Be very careful not to become too defensive in your response, or even worse, lose your temper. Sometimes it might seem that someone is personally attacking you, but instead of losing control of the interview, it is acceptable to object to a line of questioning if you deem it to be unfair or personal.

5. Don’t forget what YOU want to talk about!??Yes, you are there to answer a reporter’s questions, but remember you have this opportunity to get across your own messages or key points. Stick to just three key messages you want the audience to know about on this topic and introduce these as often as possible within your answers – using bridging phrases to avoid a clunky switchover from point to point. Don’t try to cram in too many messages – audiences are generally only about to retain three messages if these are repeated consistently.
Get in touch!??Want to know more about how to talk to the media? Get in touch with Julia today.