6 Things Clients Should Keep In Mind During Media Interactions
As PR professionals and consultants, it is important for us to brief our clients on the following key points that they need to keep in mind during one on one media interactions.
Hospitality: This is very important, as invariably the client and/or the journalist is in a hurry during the interaction. Everyone is. But a simple act of offering a glass of water / tea/coffee/ snacks before or during the interaction is basic courtesy and it is also one of easiest ways to break the ice and start a conversation. It is always appreciated irrespective of the designation of the journalist. It’s good manners.
Wardrobe: Keep in mind the client’s corporate and personal brand and recommend a look for the day accordingly. It is always good to dress up rather than dress down. The way your client dresses for the interview sends out a message to the journalist on how important the interview and the journalist is for them. While we always advise the client not to mention the importance of a story in the said journalist’s publication is to their company, these non-verbal cues send out a clear signal and determine the journalist’s attitude towards the brand and spokesperson.
Talk about YOUR USP: This is the most important thing that needs to be followed. While its nice to talk about the weather, Bollywood, cricket and politics it cannot take over an interview. The major chunk of the interview time should be devoted to talking about the news peg that has been pitched to the journalist. Every other topic is relegated to the ‘ice breaker’ time. Brief your client to use their time with the journalist to talk about their own company’s USP.
Do not talk about competitors: The journalist’s time is valuable and so is your client’s. Use the time well to speak about your company instead of giving airtime to your competition. Don’t get drawn into controversial remarks about competition and make headlines for the wrong reasons. Advise your client to moderate the conversation to their own advantage.
Personal Information: While it is polite to exchange visiting cards and exchange numbers, your client should be aware and make the journalist aware of the communication protocol that you follow.
Be Nice: No, it is not cool to throw attitude or be rude to a journalist or their photographer/camera person or your PR team or your own team in front of journalists ( or otherwise). Be adamant about this with your client. Be nice and behave.
-Chaittali Dave, Nucleus PR