Learn Media Training From The Media

I know the thought of a media interview can be scary to get started but over time it can become fun.

I gained my Green Card to move to the USA as an Alien of extraordinary ability in the large part by getting media coverage about me. I have been interviewed on the BBC, Fox TV, Forbes, Inc.com and The Huffington Post as well as hundreds of other media outlets large and small.

I have also become part of the media as a contributor to Forbes, Mashable, The Guardian, The Huffington Post, Inc.com, Irish TV and Entrepreneur.com as well as many other media outlets.

I have worked with friends and clients to prepare for and deliver great interviews and now I would love to help you! As with many things in life, preparation is everything. Let me help you prepare for your big opportunity to shine.

Need help? Find out more. Please contact me.

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Media Training Guide for Executives

 

Chapter 1: Introduction

Chapter 2: Who Needs Media Training?

Chapter 3: Writing Your Most Compelling Story
Long Interviews
Medium-Length or Shared Interviews
Very Short Interviews
Telling Stories vs. Answering Questions vs. Reciting Facts

Chapter 4: Building Your Master Cheat Sheet
Memorization
Improvisation

Chapter 5: Specialized Prep – Print / Online Publications
Step 1: Research the Publication and the Journalist
Step 2: Positioning Yourself to Make Sure Your Story Emerges

Chapter 6: Specialized Prep – Radio Media
Unnatural Pacing
Dealing with Other Guests
Dealing with Callers

Chapter 7: Specialized Prep – TV Media
Practice
Brevity
Host Preparation (or Lack Thereof)
Body Language

Chapter 8: Advanced Skill – Issuing Statements & Responding to Claims
Strategic Considerations
The Hot Seat

Chapter 9: Advanced Skill – Becoming a Media Pundit
The Basics of Becoming a Pundit
Hiring a Publicist
Your Reel
Building a Great Reputation

Chapter 10: Advanced Skill – Working Breaking News
Keeping the Story Fresh

Chapter 11: Advanced Skill – Building Your Personal Brand
Benefits of Building Your Brand via Media Coverage
Help a Reporter Out (HARO)
Op/Eds and Securing Your Own Column
Pitching Individual Articles
Hiring Ghostwriters

Chapter 12: Grooming Yourself for Interviews
The Heat of the Studio
The High Definition
The Bright Lights
Patterned Clothing and Distracting Accessories
Skirts and Dresses vs. Pants

Chapter 13: Conclusions
Doing It Yourself
Hiring a Media Consultant
Working With Me
Conclusion

Media Training Guide for Executives

 

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Chapter 1: Introduction

Media interviews have changed. If you look at examples from the 1980s or even the 1990s, you will see longer segments, fewer guests, more leisurely conversations and a much gentler tone. Today, those long segments have been traded for rapid fire interviews with more guests, and ambition to cover more information in as little as half the time.

Beyond ways in which traditional media has changed, the emergence of the Internet has been game-changing for the amplification of every word written and every minute of interview taped or recorded. The stakes are higher than ever for interviewees, whose moments in the spotlight will be circulated more widely than before, and archived and accessed forever.

However, with new challenges have come new opportunities for those who can master the art of media interviewing. Well-executed interviews will improve the image of the interviewee, the company she works for, and more than likely positively impact revenue or sales. Brands—both corporate and personal—have taken on new importance. Search engines and social media have created a new standard that finds the public taking a more proactive role than ever in scrutinizing companies and professionals, and using archived media to check them out.

A thoughtful approach and dedicated preparation for media coverage can train interviewees to sound polished and knowledgeable while conveying substantial information despite serious pressures on time. This eBook presents a systematic approach to that preparation while touching on common mistakes that can help the newly-indoctrinated avoid common land mines.

Media training also serves additional purposes. Beyond discussing how to make a good showing in the interview situations that every brand wants, media training can help companies think proactively about unanticipated and even undesired media attention. In this sense, media training should be viewed not only as brand management but as risk management. This eBook is designed to help you think through possible scenarios before they arise so that, if they ever do, you can dive right into responding skillfully rather than wasting crucial time floundering in damage control.

Though this eBook does not have to be read sequentially, we recommend doing so, as certain concepts build off of earlier ones and repetition is avoided. Our chapter breakdown is as follows:

¥ Who Needs Media Training? discusses the different kinds of people who may be called on by the media: those actively seeking the media spotlight in order to gain coverage for their company or brand, those who may find themselves in the midst of breaking news, and/or those who may face a reputational crisis.
¥ Writing Your Most Compelling Story discusses how to take a thoughtful approach to the story you want to tell and provides practical advice for storyboarding interviews of different lengths.
¥ Building Your Master Cheat Sheet discusses how to make quick reference notes that you can use to study for on-camera interviews or actively use during off-camera interviews, while also presenting key elements of rehearsal strategy.
¥ Specialized Prep: Print Publications opens with an overview of considerations for interviews of all formats, and culminates in specific advice for interviews that will appear in print.
¥ Specialized Prep: Radio Media builds upon previous advice by discussing specific considerations for radio interview situations, including dealing with callers, other guests, and tricky timing.
¥ Specialized Prep: Television builds upon previous advice by discussing additional considerations related to being on camera.
¥ Advanced Skill: Issuing Statements and Responding to Claims discusses landmines to avoid and other sensitivities that may be at play when it’s necessary to communicate about a serious incident that has occurred.
¥ Advanced Skill: Becoming a Media Pundit discusses how to cultivate a long-term media presence by establishing yourself as an expert who can be called on to comment on news.
¥ Advanced Skill: Working Breaking News discusses the ways in which a breaking news cycle is fundamentally different from the regular media cycle, and how to craft stories when details are still emerging.
¥ Advanced Skill: Building Your Personal Brand discusses strategies for extending your media engagement, such as being reactive to interview requests and/or playing a proactive role in soliciting exposure on your own behalf.
¥ Grooming Yourself for Interviews provides tips and tricks for planning your wardrobe and makeup to avert common challenges presented by lighting, camera technology and other studio circumstances.

 

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Chapter 2: Who Needs Media Training?

Businesses have many reasons to want to be in the media. Interest in their operations – innovative products, interesting intellectual property, IPOs, charismatic leadership, or community activity – can create marketplace interest that garners tremendous attention for a company. Also garnering attention on behalf of companies, unfortunately, are negative reports that occur when a leader or the company itself has done something unimpressive. Of course, members of an offending company would rather not be in the media in cases like these, but generally it is advisable, and it’s best to know how.

And it’s not just about being in a company. If you are in a high-profile role in the public domain such as a government bureau or agency and are involved with something that is newsworthy as a general interest piece or the center of a breaking story, you are likely to be approached with, or actively seek, media attention. This eBook will be your guide in preparing you or your company for a wide range of interviews and place you in a stronger position to represent your personal or professional brand.

There are three types of media targets. First, those with an ongoing role to play in the news cycle, and those who will find themselves as media targets when either a special need, or a particular goal, arises. Examples of the former may be business leaders who work in influential industries that are always in the spotlight, such as financial services, real estate and energy. Second, those thrust into the spotlight for separate reasons, such as a professional athlete on the brink of vying for a major title, a company that just got funded or is on the brink of going public, the inventor of an exciting new technology, or a person or organization accused of a crime. A third group of people are those looking to gain personal or company exposure, and they may proactively seek opportunities for media attention in order to directly or indirectly promote themselves or their products.

So, what is media training all about? We are all exposed to countless media interviews, and most of the people interviewed on television, radio, or in print make it look easy. Yet the truth is, those people are tasked with relaying a lot of information in a very small amount of time, a talent that requires practice and skill. And it’s not just about the facts—media interviewees are working to communicate information, but also to leave a specific impression. Not only do they want you to know things that you didn’t prior to seeing or hearing the interview, but they may want to influence how you feel about an issue, inspire you to a specific call to action, or leave you feeling more confident about the interviewee and his or her brand.

In other words, you may be passable without media training, but taking the time to develop a buttoned-down approach to media interactions will equip you with a more robust strategy. The extra time and effort taken to craft a conscientious approach upfront could reap benefits that bolster your overall effectiveness, making you and your organization look very, very good.

In Summary: Introduction
● Today’s media interviews must cover a lot more ground in a lot less time, placing heavier pressure on the interviewee. Media training teaches you to sound polished, while delivering succinct answers.
● Positive media interviews have unprecedented potential to improve the reputation of an interviewee or company. Gaining proficiency through media training can reap rewards.
● Negative interviews achieve the opposite, yet given the reach and archiving potential of the Internet, they never disappear. Media training minimizes unflattering interviews that never go away.
● Media training provides companies with a good roadmap for proactively managing reputation risk and preparing for future scenarios.
● Media training previews for you a multitude of situations or typical conversation flows that you would not otherwise be exposed to until you were in an interview situation.

In Summary: Who Needs Media Training?
● People in other (non-business) professions that have a long history and will have a long future dealing with the press (e.g., athletes, politicians)
● The official or primary public spokesperson of a high-profile individual, organization, agency, bureau or brand. (e.g., CEO, Fire Commissioner, Chief of Police, Press Secretary, etc.)
● Any person who has been deemed as having the greatest expertise, in an area in which great expertise is critical (e.g., an expert commentator on a breaking news issue)
● Speechwriters or others who will be responsible for helping to craft the stories and provide support to the spokespeople who will appear in the media.

 

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Chapter 3: Writing Your Most Compelling Story

The natural starting point for media preparation is to build a prioritized story. To the extent that time will be the defining factor in how much you can cover in any interview, it is important that your story be modularized so that you can pick and choose which topics are important to raise, when, and to understand what a short version, a medium version, and a long version of your story would hold.

This is a one-time exercise designed to take you through the process of laying out your story elements and thinking through how media-appropriate each one might be. Brainstorming a list of possibilities will become the beginning of a full set of talking points that can be narrowed after being screened for other desirable criteria. The best elements will not be overly complicated, should be easy to transition to and from, and won’t omit any critical elements of the story. They will take into account the comprehension level of the audience, and will work together to underscore your larger points. By looking at your story at a high level and in an organized way, you will be in a good position to understand which of the ideas you would like to communicate will be easy versus tricky.

Example: CEO of a Technology Company
Suppose that you are the CEO of a technology company with a forthcoming product that lets people write on special paper in a special notebook, digitize it dynamically, and then microwave the book to erase the pages, clearing them to write new things. You know that you will be asked how your technology works and that the real explanation is extremely complicated, graduate-school-level chemistry. You also know that you will be asked to compare your product to what others mistakenly believe is a competitor product, which would take even more time to explain. By mapping out your story on paper, you can go through your ideas in a systematic way, distinguish which ideas are clear and accessible, and find creative ways to rephrase and explain those points in layman’s terms.

You can also strategically decide which set of points is most critical in the event that you will be asked to provide a very brief quote or to appear as part of a very brief interview. Mapping out your story isn’t so much about knowing your story as it is about putting it in the right package. Taking the time to storyboard will cause you to appear more cohesive and organized, and will force you to be conscious about creating an effective story flow.

Long Interviews
It makes sense to start out with your long-form storyboard. Suppose that you are the sole subject of a 30-minute or longer interview. In this situation, you know there will be an opportunity to go beneath the surface and talk about things in detail. It is now your job to brainstorm the kinds of things you want to discuss and strike a balance between the issues you are most interested in and simultaneously achieving several goals: establishing your credibility as an expert, providing real information and insight that will be news to your viewers or listeners, proposing a call to action that would be a win for your cause or topic, and talking about your work or the work of your organization. Even if you don’t end up using all of it, thinking all the way through what could be said will give you plenty of content for multiple situations depending on what you are asked.

Medium-Length or Shared Interviews
In some cases, you may be asked to join a panel of interviewees and commentators and end up with significant – but shared – time on the air. In this situation, you would still start with your long-form storyboard but narrow down to your priority-focus items, given the limited time. This is about paring down to what might be the most important or unique insight you have to offer given the focus of the conversation. Also, to the extent that you may know that your co-panelists have opposing points of view, take the time to research their arguments so that you can be prepared with responses that bolster your own credibility.

Very Short Interviews
For a brief spot, you may have only five minutes or less for the entire interview, which narrows down to around 3.5 minutes of airtime for you. In a case like this, you must decide the most critically important elements of your story and figure out how to fit them into a nutshell. Again, by starting with your long-form storyboard, you will be able to zero in on what the critical story elements need to be. The more effort you put into coming up with short but powerful statements, the more potential you have to bring value, even in a short-form situation.

30-Second Pitch
In some situations, you may need to garner interest from a media persona who would like to interview you, but doesn’t yet know if your area of interest meshes with theirs. They’re deciding whether or not to interview you, and you have 30-seconds to “wow” them. In this situation, you need to distill your main point to a one-line soundbite that you would like everyone to remember you by. Take your short interview statements, and pare them down to the bare essentials: what is most powerful way to state your purpose in the least amount of time possible?

Telling Stories Vs. Answering Questions Vs. Reciting Facts
Though many interview formats involve question and answer, it is important to settle quickly into a storyteller mindset. Though it seems as if interviews involve a series of questions and answers, skilled interviewees are successfully driving from behind. Just because you’re not asking the questions doesn’t mean you can’t drive the conversation. Maintaining a firm hold of the story you want to tell can keep you anchored during interviews and ensure that you don’t get carried away on whatever tangent your interviewer might take you. If the interviewer is scattered, disorganized, or simply not focusing on some of the more exciting possibilities, it may cause you to appear similarly scattered and unfocused. Be gracious about answering an interviewer’s questions, but also be committed to staying on the critical path.

In Summary: Writing Your Most Compelling Story
● Establish your credibility and expertise.
● Provide real information and insight that will be news to your viewers or listeners.
● Connect the topics being discussed to your work or the work of your organization; seize opportunities to talk about your work or the work of your organization.
● Propose a call to action that would be a win for your cause or the topic being discussed.

In Summary: Crafting and Packaging Your Story
● Write out your entire message so that you can “see” all elements of the story.
● Since you will always need pithy versions of the story, decide what the critical elements are.
● Build out different versions of the story that are appropriate for 30-second, short, medium, and long interviews.
● Tell your story instead of just answering questions in order to drive the narrative you want to tell.

 

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Chapter 4: Building Your Master Cheat Sheet

Now that you’ve settled on your story, you need a formatted version of your storyboard that can serve as a quick reference for a time when you are brushing up on your facts. This cheat sheet should be in whatever format feels most natural to you, but in its combined form, it should be no longer than one page.

For telephone and radio interviews, it’s fine to keep this document in your hand, but it is still a good idea to study it beforehand. Doing so will refresh your memory around the facts of your story and will also remind you where certain data is on the page. You can also use whatever system works for you to categorize individual facts. Highlighting and color coding facts and statistics differently from key story elements, and opening and concluding facts will not only make them easier to locate but will also facilitate recall.

Memorization
As you are making your final preparations for your interview, drill yourself on any facts that may require memorization. To get off to a good start, and have a strong finish, having something memorized for each end of your interview would be wise. By putting together a strong opening statement that can be memorized, you are helping yourself by carefully choosing words and a tone that have been handcrafted to signal your authority, win early trust or build early rapport with your audience, and lay the groundwork for the story you want to tell. Even if your interviewer dives right in with a question, you can sideline for a minute with a statement that talks at a higher level about an issue and positions you to have the interview you want to have.

To use the previous example, if your interviewer opens by asking whether the defendant has a case, you can dive into your opening, and say something like. “Before I answer that, let’s talk for a minute about how much the legal system has changed…” Similarly, as you realize that your time together is coming to a close, having a strong closing statement in your back pocket will leave a strong impression.

Finally, you want to have a least two or three more ideas memorized. Again, this is because if you carefully phrase some highly poignant statements, you will look very good and your ideas will stick. It’s not possible or advisable to memorize everything, and in fluid conversations that wouldn’t make much sense to do. But you want your interview to have some great moments that really pack a punch, and having some well-worded phrases in your back pocket is a very good idea.
Improvisation
Equally as important as memorization is improvisation. Your goal for the interview is not only to be factual and accurate but to deliver your story as elegantly as possible. Particularly for live radio or television interviews, hosts may pivot quickly and you will need to be ready on your feet. One great practice strategy is to get a phone app or a friend to help randomize questions in flashcard style. Answering practice questions in random order can help train you to be agile on your feet.

In Summary: Compiling Your Cheat Sheet
● Consolidate your key points, facts and figures to no more than a single page, or use a study aide or flash card app to organize abbreviated notes into an easy-to-use tool.
● Use color coding or other formatting to make items intuitive to find.
● Study your cheat sheet beforehand to reorient yourself with where all the facts are on the page.
● Memorize the necessary handful of statements that have specific phrasing.
● Use randomized flash card apps or friends to drill you randomly on questions.

 

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Chapter 5: Specialized Prep – Print / Online Publications

Being interviewed for a print or online article is the most common type of media coverage you’re likely to be offered, and the most common interview platform will be via telephone. Your first task is to evaluate the circumstances of the interview and begin thinking about how best to prepare. If you decide to move forward, you must strike a balance between accommodating the writer’s deadline while also allowing yourself adequate time to refine your story in a way that portrays you in the best possible light.

Step 1: Research the Publication and the Journalist

Do basic homework.
What is the style and tone of the publication? Does it skew liberally or conservatively, and what difference will that make in your space? In what style does the journalist write? Is his tone entertaining, educational or combative? What position have they taken on your issue in the past, and what issue could you seeing steering your conversation in this time?

Find out the proposed story structure and narrative themes.
Whether you were offered the interview or pitched it yourself, you still want to learn as much as you can early on about the story they are looking to write. Ask up front about their vision for the article as a whole. How does the writer feel about the issue? Will you be the central focus of the article or will others be interviewed as well? At this point, you are looking for clues as to whether the writer or publication is aligned to your point of view and is likely to portray you or your company in a favorable light, or whether they are in disagreement with you and may take an oppositional tone (or bring in someone else who takes an oppositional tone to what you have to say.)

Be circumspect before agreeing to do a controversial interview.
If you have gotten a call out of the blue for a comment, and are being asked to respond to something controversial, be circumspect. If you suspect that the journalist is not aligned with you, or that you or your organization will not be portrayed in a favorable light, you’ll have to decide the best course forward. If you respond, you may be exposing yourself to criticism and finding yourself under more scrutiny than you particularly wanted. But if you or your company plays a large role in the issue, and doesn’t respond, your silence may create controversy of its own.

Don’t take “no” for an answer to your request to prepare.
Don’t let a publication tell you that they don’t reveal questions ahead of time because they don’t script interviews. Leave your preliminary conversation with a good understanding of the kinds of questions you will be asked. Requesting this is logical. You would like the opportunity to prepare and pull any specific data that should be part of the conversation. You may also want to check in with your legal team or have a preliminary conversation with internal leadership to confirm what can or cannot be said. Be suspicious of a publication that would deny you this.

Step 2: Positioning Yourself to Make Sure Your Story Emerges

Have killer sound bites ready.
During the interview, since you won’t be on camera, you can heavily rely on notes. As with all interview formats, it’s a good idea to have some pithy ideas or soundbites ready. You want to have a few stellar phrases that you have carefully wordsmithed, that would play ideally as quotes. The writer will compose the article, but by handing her a few gems you are making her job easier while at the same time making yourself sound good.

Better-educate the interviewer during the interview unless she is an expert.
As with any interview situation, it will become clear to you at some point during the interview itself how familiar the interviewer is with the issue or topic. While radio and television interviews will be happening so quickly that not much can be done to get an underprepared interviewer up to speed, interviews for print publications tend to have room for you to truly educate the journalist, to give critical context and other enriching details that will make her more knowledgeable about the context of your story. If you do have the opportunity to play a broader educating role, and especially if you see a gap in the journalist’s knowledge, take that opportunity. It’s not good for you or the journalist to be associated with an article that misses the mark by failing to understand key circumstances, facts and concepts. To the extent that you can gently support the journalist, by all means, do.

Don’t be afraid to ask for a copy before publication.
After all, your reputation is on the line and it’s fair to ask for a fact-check review prior to print. You don’t want to signal to the writer that you are being overly-controlling of the article, so don’t come off as demanding, or give the impression that you want control of the tone or content. Position your request for review as a fact-check. Turn your review around quickly. And, if there is something that will be printed that you don’t particularly like, at least you know about it ahead of time.

In Summary: Research the Publication and the Journalist
● Do basic homework about the publication in which you will appear.
● Find out the story structures and narrative themes that are being proposed for your piece.
● Be circumspect before agreeing to do a controversial interview.
● Don’t be afraid to ask for a draft of questions that might be asked during the interview so that you can prepare.

In Summary: Positioning Yourself to Make Sure Your Story Emerges
● Have killer sound bites ready.
● Take opportunities to better-educate the interviewer during the interview unless she is already an expert.
● Don’t be afraid to ask for a copy of the interview before publication.

 

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Chapter 6: Specialized Prep – Radio Media

Radio interviews can be a bit trickier, especially if there is a call-in component. As with interviews for print, it is wise to screen them to understand the intention, viewpoint, and tone of the publication. Again, you must consciously decide whether this interview is right for you. If you move forward, you will want to get a sense for the questions that you will be asked, and you’ll need to prepare accordingly. Yet, with radio, maintaining control of your story comes with three significant challenges:

Unnatural Pacing
Radio is full of frequent commercial breaks. This means that, even with a relatively long interview, the pacing can be herky-jerky. Radio hosts are skilled in the art of cutting short conversations in order to handle these commercial interruptions. Typically, your host will cut you off a few seconds before the clock runs down, and will resume each interview segment with a brand new question. Due to this, radio shows can seem incoherent and disjointed. If you’re not prepared for this, and don’t become proficient in fully answering each question in very brief time, your thoughts may be incomplete and you won’t be in a position to tell the story you want to.

Pacing can be unnatural within individual segments as well. Radio hosts can move quickly, interrupt frequently, and often change directions on a dime. This is yet another place where improvisation matters. Being able to shift quickly on your feet and tie ideas together even when the host is scattered or even pushy is worth some practice. Consider enlisting the help of a friend to be a mock radio host with you as the interviewee. Instruct your friend to be excessively pushy, even a bit combative at times, to get you in a mindset of maintaining grace under pressure and telling a smooth, cohesive story, regardless of what the host is doing.

In order to address this, practicing a system of blunt answers first can help you sound more polished on the radio. Whereas it is natural for many people start with explanatory logic and then come to a conclusion, on the radio it can be better to present the conclusion first so that you don’t run out of time to complete the thought. For example, if a legal expert is asked whether he thinks the judge will sequester the jury, it would be better for him to say “Yes,” and then explain why rather than launch into his logic and possibly never get to his definitive “Yes” if he’s cut off.

Dealing with Other Guests
Many radio shows are formatted to tackle a central topic while calling on the expertise of numerous guests. This means that, instead of having to be in sync only with the host and the questions you have been preparing to answer, additional dynamics introduced by the other guests will come into play. To the extent that radio producers often like to bring in guests with opposing viewpoints, you may find yourself in a position to deal with other experts whose views are opposite to yours, and unlike the host, these other experts have fewer incentives to be friendly.

There are reasons for this. Sometimes lobbyists are invited onto radio shows and it is their job to be bulldogs in defense of their causes. Additionally, media research has revealed that taking an oppositional standpoint, being outspoken on an issue and presenting with a dynamic personality is a tactic that garners attention, amplification, and credibility in the moment. If you come up against a person who is willing to assume that persona in order to further the cause of his own camp, you may find yourself even more frequently interrupted, actively discredited, and on the receiving end of some combative tactics.

If this is your situation, there are some very specific things you should do. First and foremost, take the high road. If their behavior is rude, it will seem even more rude if you are conspicuously respectful. Secondly, don’t take the bait. If this person starts asking you leading questions in an effort to trap you into making their point, find a way to avoid answering. Going down their rabbit hole will make it look like they are in control. Finally, don’t try to go back and forth organically with them. Let them deflate their balloon and then take the floor after they’ve said what they had to say. This is also wise as it will give you the last word.

Finally, it’s important to be friendly to other guests of the show because, if you are experts on the same topic, chances are you are colleagues. Meeting the other guests is a great opportunity to network, and to the extent that others interested in your industry may be tuning in, it is important to come off as a person who is knowledgeable, polished and professional. For all you know, your newest customer, newest employer, or newest media caller is out there listening. Represent yourself well and it will become an asset.

Dealing with Callers
Even if the radio show production staff has prepared you with a list of questions you’re likely to hear from the host, a show that allows listeners to call in may come with a few surprises. If you’re lucky, the show’s call screener will have a healthy pool of great questions coming in, and you will get some interesting ones. However, if it’s a slow day and the questions aren’t great, you may be stuck with some duds. There are a few different kinds of bad questions you might hear on a radio show—“bad” meaning hard to answer.

¥ The Ranter. You may have a caller who is angry or has strong feelings about the topic of which you are speaking and comes on the line to rant. This caller may ask no question whatsoever (and it’s hard to answer something that’s not a question), or alternatively, he may grill you with questions that you can’t answer because he’s angry about something that is so big and complex that it is outside of your expertise or scope of responsibility. This caller isn’t really on the line to ask you a question—he’s on the line to vent. If no natural answer emerges after listening to his commentary, you will seem gracious if you commiserate with him. Agree that the issue is complex and that there are problems. Advise him around action he can take to petition current systems, etc. If you are aware of widespread or common complaints relating to your issue, and you can anticipate common gripes people might call in with, think through what those may be and develop a few answers as part of your preparation.
¥ The Rambler. Certain callers have trouble getting to the question. Ever-conscious of time, your host will probably prod rambling types to get to the question, or will ad lib the question on the rambler’s behalf. Still, it’s likely that the question will feel scattered or convoluted given excessive preamble. Don’t try to answer an overly complex question. Instead, restate an answerable question along the general guidelines that were mentioned, and answer your own restated question. Just because you were asked a scattered question doesn’t mean you have to give a scattered answer.
¥ The Misinformed. Sometimes you will be asked a question by somebody who doesn’t really understand the topic at hand, and the assumptions within their question may be just plain wrong. Here is another opportunity to be gracious. Gently correct their false assumptions and leave it at that. For somebody who is severely misinformed, you may not have time to get them completely up to speed, but it will portray you in a good light to be kind and offering of your expertise.
¥ The Instigator. Some people like the idea of asking unanswerable or overly-philosophical questions, playing devil’s advocate and generally stirring the pot. This person is somebody who, in all likelihood, simply likes a good debate and wants to know what an expert would say about an advanced concept or a twist on what has already been mentioned. This, again, is about improvisation. It’s about how you handle something that comes out of left field. Your job here is to not be dismissive but to maintain an air of curiosity that shows that you can think out of the box when presented with new ideas.

In Summary: Specialized Prep – Radio Media
● Be prepared to pivot quickly due to the unnatural pacing caused by frequent stops and starts from commercial breaks.
● Be gracious when confronted with other guests and research them ahead of time if possible.
● Expect questions from callers to be less organized than the host’s questions and remember how to deal with:
o The Ranter
o The Rambler
o The Misinformed
o The Instigator

 

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Chapter 7: Specialized Prep – TV Media

Television interviews are similar to print and radio interviews in the sense that it is important to screen them for fit. As with radio interviews, you will be challenged by pacing, and you may have to deal with other guests. Unlike radio interviews, you will have to deal with other elements related to appearance and visual presentation. And beyond all those factors, they require a different kind of preparation.

Practice
Television interviews require the most memorization, as it is the only format in which you won’t have notes right in front of you. Though you know your story, it is easy to ramble and to be less than clear-headed when in front of the camera. If you are in a studio, you may be focusing on your visual status, like looking at the right place on the camera lens and keeping your body in a flattering position. Talking at a camera and not a person can be quite disorienting. It is markedly more difficult to keep track of your appearance, your story, and a live conversation that you’re having all at once, than it is to keep track of only the latter two. You may find that practicing for television appearances takes a bit longer than other interviews if you want to feel in control.

Brevity
Complicating the matter of practice and memorization is the fact that television interviews also tend to be the briefest format. Therefore, you might be under pressure to fit the most content in the shortest amount of time. Unlike radio shows, which may cover one or two topics per hour, television news shows may cover eight or more topics per hour. This means that, unless your television interview is uncommonly long, it’s time to practice the short-form version of your story.

Host Preparation (or Lack Thereof)
The volume of stories covered in a typical news magazine places a larger burden on hosts to familiarize themselves with each story, each industry, and each guest, and it is common for hosts to be less than perfectly prepared. This may come in many forms, but it generally looks like details being misstated. If you find yourself in the midst of an interview and you realize that your host is unprepared, take steps to take control of the interview. By letting an unprepared host take the reins, you are limiting the overall potential of the interview to the knowledge of the host. But you have a specific story to tell, and if your interviewer isn’t up to speed, you’ll have to do some of the heavy lifting.

Body Language
Beyond remembering the right things to say and being well-practiced in sticking to your story without notes, television appearances will be a success if your body language is aligned with the image you wish to project. First and foremost, you want to appear comfortable and confident. If you don’t, people will sense that something is wrong and won’t be sure about your credibility. Feeling comfortable in your clothes and your skin while on camera is key.

If the content of the interview is particularly difficult or if you are simply self-conscious in front of an audience, you should have a strategy for tricking your brain into believing that you are more comfortable than you actually are. The most obvious trick here is to practice a relaxation technique, such as deep breathing or listening to calming music, in the hour before the interview. Trading your morning coffee or other stimulants for something calming, such as chamomile tea, can also help. Doing a visualization in which you imagine yourself as you would like to appear on camera is another thing you can do. Consider recording yourself on a video camera or on your phone as practice.

In Summary: Specialized Prep – TV Media
● Practice memorization with the most dedication since you will not be free to use notes.
● As this may be the briefest interview format you experience, practice your short stories unless you have assurances that the interview will be long.
● Know that television hosts may not have been well-briefed on you or your story, so be ready to fill in key information or gently correct misstatements.
● Take precautions and practice allowing your body language to be as open as possible, which will add to your credibility and overall charisma.

 

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Chapter 8: Advanced Skill – Issuing Statements & Responding to Claims

If there has been some incident or controversy involving you, your organization or your brand, issuing a statement or apology in response to accusations or charges may be a wise course of action. If the incident is major in scale and has serious implications for your future profitability or viability as a business, you may want to consider hiring a public relations firm with expertise in crisis or reputation management.

Strategic Considerations
Whether you hire a consultant or develop a strategy utilizing internal resources, be sure to keep the following in mind as you consider your response:

Timing is everything. If a crisis of widespread interest or serious reputational importance has occurred, making a statement sooner rather than later will minimize the length of time that third parties speculate on your side of the story. By responding sooner rather than later, you will gain control of part of the story and position yourself to avoid time spent clearing up misinformation and changing opinion.

Legal implications must be considered. If the matter at hand does involve or might involve legal action, certain details may be unwise to discuss in the media. Anything you have said publicly may be admissible in court. Consulting a legal resource is a step that should be undertaken prior to issuing a statement in any sort of negative reputation situations.

Financial implications must be considered. Any statement issued during a time of media attention or turmoil for a public company should anticipate impacts to stock price. The financial management of the company, particularly Investor Relations and Treasury departments, will need time to prepare for changes in cash flows, and requests for information from their bank group and rating agencies.

Privacy must be considered. In some cases, an agency or company presiding over an incident or disaster may be responsible for providing details on the status, health, or safety of those involved. In this case, the desire of the public to be up to speed must be balanced with a right to privacy.

The court of public opinion may be harsh. Particularly in cases where accusations of wrongdoing have emerged, the public may be sensitive not only to the content of the statement, but also to the role of the person who delivers it. For example, if an oil company has spilled millions of gallons of crude into the ocean, the public would rather see the CEO be the one to make the statement than to hear it from a press secretary or some other company representative who is not responsible.

With respect to the content of the response, the same holds true. A statement of apology will be better-received if it is clear and unambiguous. Saying that you are “sorry for the pain that was caused by your actions,” (which is stated in the passive voice) is a weaker apology than saying “I was wrong. I take responsibility. Here are specific steps I am taking to make things right,” (which is stated in first person). Also, delivering an apology in a heartfelt way—not stoically—will make a difference.

The Hot Seat
Beyond what you are prepared to say in a tricky situation, you must also consider what others want you to say in the event that you’ve opened yourself up to an interview. Issuing statements is a one-sided endeavor, and, after the fact, it is likely that journalists who haven’t interviewed you will pick your statement apart. But if you have actually agreed to an interview, you’re in an even trickier situation.

In this case, the journalist may actually be a bit combative. Even a journalist who is not being harsh is sure to ask some tough questions. Be prepared for tactics designed to get you to reveal more than you want to. The journalist may be silent after you’ve answered a question, a subtle cue for you to say more. You may be asked leading questions or baited by questions that take certain speculation as fact. It is important to not let yourself be pushed around by the interviewer, to stick to your story, and to say what you have come to say.

There may be particular questions that you know you will be asked. It is critical that you have rehearsed answers to those questions as well as specific follow-ups. The reporter has a plan, but so do you. You have agreed to the interview to achieve your specific goals. Signal to the reporter that you cannot be intimidated. Do what you came to do.

Finally, always have in the back of your mind the “hot mic” issue. The interview doesn’t stop and start whenever you believe the camera is rolling. You should be conscious of what you say the entire time you are in the building. Anything a reporter hears, she will consider to be fair game.

In Summary: Advanced Skill – Issuing Statements & Responding to Claims
● Timing is everything; be thoughtful as you consider when to make your statement.
● Legal implications must be considered prior to saying anything publicly, so have an attorney on call.
● Financial implications of public statements must be considered, particularly when shareholders are involved.
● Privacy must be considered in an incident in which non-affiliated individuals are involved.
● The court of public opinion may be harsh; be sensitive to nuances of your response that may invite scrutiny from your audience.

In Summary: The Hot Seat
● Be prepared for questions designed to get you to say more than you want to say. Don’t let reporters bait you, knock you off of your emotional kilter or get the best of you. Stay on message and don’t get sidetracked.
● The reporter has a plan, but so do you. Don’t forget what you went there to do and why you accepted the interview.
● Rehearse questions you know will be asked, particularly if you’re not looking forward to them.
● Remember the “hot mic” issue.

 

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Chapter 9: Advanced Skill – Becoming a Media Pundit

Depending on your area of expertise, you may be in a good position to become a media pundit, that is, a well-regarded authority on a specific topic who is called in to provide commentary around current events.

Working in this capacity is ideal for somebody looking to gain status within his or her field, somebody looking to launch a sub-area of their career on the speaker circuit, or someone looking to spend more time in the public eye with timing that broadly coincides with a related accomplishment. It is common for those who are on the brink of publishing a book, or completing some other major project to spend more time in the media eye around the time of their launch. News outlets benefit by featuring cutting-edge thought leaders with new and timely insights. Experts benefit from gaining exposure at critical times for their brands.

The Basics of Becoming a Pundit
If you have recognizable credentials, such as a high profile position, a strong pedigree from an educational or professional perspective, and a media reel that demonstrates that you are good on camera and photogenic, you have everything you need to be able to shop yourself around as an expert. Having written a book or important paper, or conducted research in your area of expertise will also be an attractive credential to producers. To the extent that working with credible sources is a fundamental principle of journalism, the better your credentials and professional chops, the more attractive a candidate you will be.

As you position yourself for this role, your goal is to make yourself known, ahead of time, around your areas of expertise so that you are in the Rolodexes of those who may want to call on you. News breaks quickly, and you need to have good relationships in place in order to be competitive, rather than to try to get media placements after a story has already gained momentum.

Hiring a Publicist
Though you could try to go it alone, it is worth hiring a well-priced publicist to work her relationships in the media world. Producers are likely to take calls from people they know and trust, and receiving a call from a respected publicist will add a layer of credibility. It will give confidence to the Producer that you are worth looking at and have a third party involved who will be responsible for some of your handling.

When screening for a publicist, interview hard for fit. Hiring a publicist with strong relationships in your industry or sector will be paramount. So is hiring a publicist with a reasonable client load who has time to get to know you and work hard on your behalf. Finally, consider congruity. It may sound impressive to work with a publicist who works with big names, but this may mean a higher price for a lower level of service if you are one of her lower-profile clients.

Your Reel
Even if you have no imminent plans to pursue pundit roles, you should secure a copy of, and archive, appearances you’ve accumulated along the way. Most radio and television stations that have had you on in the past will send you a copy of your appearance for your reel. From there, it’s just a matter of splicing together a 10-minute or so “best-of” your own appearances. These should be a combination of appearances in which you looked or performed the best, as well as a combination of those that show some versatility and range.

Media outlets have many reasons to want to see you in action. They want to get a sense for your tone and overall presentation. When considering whether to put you alongside other people, they may want to balance the panel from an ethnicity, gender, and age perspective. There is no minimum number of appearances you should send, but as you build your reel, continue to repopulate it so that it has fresh appearances. Sending a fresh reel every six months or so is also a great way to stay top-of-mind with the producers running the show.

Building a Great Reputation
As you begin securing appearances, focus on building your reputation as an attractive candidate for future interviews. Arrive early, bring your makeup in case they don’t have a makeup artist for you, and wear clothes that are flattering on television. Send ahead anything that the production crew might need in order to represent you correctly, such as the correct spelling of your name, your official title, and relevant images they might want to show, such as the cover of your book. Be kind and accommodating to the staff and to other guests who may appear alongside you. People are attracted to nice people, and a friendly, respectful demeanor will add to your air of professionalism and go a long way.

In Summary: The Benefits of Becoming a Pundit
● Becoming a media pundit may be ideal for somebody looking to gain status within his or her field, somebody looking to launch a sub-area of their career on the speaker circuit, or someone looking to spend more time in the public eye.
● Hiring a publicist and working with other professionals may be well worth it in order to improve your media placements.
● Ask for copies of all of your appearances from show producers so that you can save them for your reel.
● Approach every media interview with the knowledge that it may play a role in building your personal brand, both as it relates to the public, and as it relates to industry people.

 

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Chapter 10: Advanced Skill – Working Breaking News

Breaking news appearances are a bit different than other kinds. Instead of showing up in a studio for a single interview, you may be making intermittent appearances throughout the day. In some cases, you will be providing commentary on developments as they come in, but if new developments are slow to come, you may have to repackage the same information in new, creative ways.

Keeping the Story Fresh
Since viewers who have been following the story for hours don’t want to hear a verbatim of what they have already heard, you’ll need to reframe the same facts so that it sounds somewhat new, as if the story is progressing. But you can’t be too fast-moving on your progression. For those who are just tuning in, they still need to hear the basic facts.

It is in these kinds of situations that improvisation becomes necessary. You will need to find ways to communicate the basic facts to get newcomers up to speed, yet to introduce other tidbits that help occupy viewers or listeners as the full details of the story emerge. Some things you might want to consider talking about to fill the time include:

¥ Similar cases from the past and the outcomes of those cases: e.g., a plane crashes over the ocean and nothing has been found yet. Talk about trends in planes going down over the ocean and in how many of those cases the Black Box was found.
¥ The technology being used to remedy the situation: e.g., in this case, probes that crawl the ocean floor or instruments that can pick up on the Black Box’s signal.
¥ Profiling the people who are known to be involved: e.g., the identities and flight records of the pilot and co-pilot.
¥ The likelihood of any theory or speculation being true: e.g., discussion of military reports, possible terrorist threats, possible mechanical failures.

In situations like these, it is a good idea to bring your laptop in order to uncover credible research about side topics during your down time.

And, speaking of research, double-check your statistics prior to speaking and be sure to minimize the risk that something you are saying may be misreported. Things move so quickly with breaking news that it is very easy to overlook inconsistencies and not take enough time to find strong source information. The outlet you are broadcasting on does not want to be in a position to have to recant any information they have published. You can also maintain an excellent reputation by being flawless when it comes to facts.

In Summary: Working Breaking News
● Use your core expertise to analyze the breaking story as it evolves.
● Use time in between stories for research that can be brought into your segments, from facts and statistics that relate directly to the evolving story as well as to peripheral facts that can be used to kill time while details are awaited.

 

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Chapter 11: Advanced Skill – Building Your Personal Brand

If your goal is to build or repair your personal or company brand, there are other opportunities to seek media coverage. Here we have primarily focused on being prepared for media invitations and positioning yourself as an expert who is available to comment on relevant events. Yet, there are other opportunities to drum up coverage on your own.

Benefits of Building Your Brand via Media Coverage
The benefits of media involvement are far-reaching. First and foremost, there is prestige. Being interviewed in the media or publishing your own articles and demonstrating thought leadership sends a strong signal of expertise, career success and overall value as a professional in your field. If you are ever applying for a job, your hiring manager will likely do a Google search on you or look at your social media, and having a history of media participation will only add to your perceived value. Also, on LinkedIn there is space for you to indicate where you have been published or mentioned, so the very act of having media placements may be part of what gets you discovered. Finally, building a history of positive media coverage insulates you from the risk that an unflattering story, if such a story arises, will be the only thing that is found if someone searches you. A history of media participation will almost always make you seem stronger professionally, and more impressive.

Help a Reporter Out (HARO)
Help a Reporter Out (https://www.helpareporter.com/) is a matchmaking web site that lets journalists looking for expert sources describe the kinds of story leads they are looking for and invite interested sources to describe how they may be able to help. The benefit to the journalist is his ability to efficiently research stories and drum up people with firsthand topic experience to add richness and authority to their stories. The benefit to the source is that they gain the opportunity to demonstrate their expertise by being quoted. Everybody wins. Participating on this website is simple: create an free account, and be on the lookout for opportunities to contribute to a story that might be a good fit. From there, simply respond to the journalist’s solicitation and potentially receive a callback that culminates in an interview. For those who may want to leverage this as a major tactic in a serious effort to gain media coverage, there are paid subscriptions for HARO that proactively let you search.

Op/Eds and Securing Your Own Column
If you are a good writer and think you could curate a series of career-relevant topics to talk about, you might consider gunning for a column of your own. It is relatively easy to become a regular contributor to a local or regional paper, or to a large national blog such as The Examiner or Huffington Post. Once you have several solid articles under your belt in some major publications, you may be able to become a contributor with an even bigger, nationally-circulated publication. This is another area in which a good public relations agent could help, particularly if she has relationships with editors working for publications that would be a good fit for you. However, the ability to reach editors and pitch yourself to them is, in some ways, easier than it ever has been. If money is no object, hire a great agent. If you are pinching pennies, do the footwork yourself.

Pitching Individual Articles
Perhaps you don’t want to make an ongoing commitment to writing articles, but you do have an idea for a one-off article that you would like to write. You may consider writing that article (or having it ghostwritten) and shopping it around by pitching individual editors. Having your article placed in high profile publications isn’t easy. It can be competitive and you may see a lot of doors closed before you see one open. Yet, if you have a killer topic and a well-written article, it won’t matter how much or how much you have or haven’t published in the past. An article that will get reads and drive traffic will be attractive to the right publication.

Hiring Ghostwriters
Ghostwriting is a big business, and chances are, a good deal of what you have read has not been an original work of the named author at all. Thought leadership and writing skill don’t always go together and it is very common for those with great ideas to hire writers to polish their thoughts. Particularly since the fall of traditional journalism, tens of thousands of writers have to rely on freelance work to make ends meet. A great writer can put your ideas into words. Don’t be shy about hiring someone who can do the best job in making sure your ideas get the presentation you deserve.

In Summary: Building Your Personal Brand
● Building a paper trail of interviews that showcase your expertise and portray you favorably is a professional success booster that can be actively pursued.
● Responding to requests for expertise (such as on Help a Reporter Out), sending out pitches, and writing your own columns or Op/Eds are three free, easy ways to work with journalists on interesting topics that may win you exposure.
● To become a serious self-promoter and to achieve high-profile placements, hiring professional helpers such as publicists, media consultants, and ghostwriters will bolster your success.

 

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Chapter 12: Grooming Yourself for Interviews

It should go without saying that any interview you have committed to attend in person should find you in top professional form. This typically means a business suit or business casual with hair and makeup done, even if you will only be on the radio. It is not common, but it is always possible that someone may ask for a picture for the website at any interview you must attend in person. For interviews for print publications, it is even more likely that you will be asked for a photo.

Television is a bit different. Given the bright lights, high-definition cameras, and your most-likely seated position, there are a few special considerations that you will want to think through before preparing yourself for television. Here are a few things to think through ahead of time:

The Heat of the Studio
Even in a well-ventilated television studio, it’s easy to get hot. A remote (via satellite) interview will probably find you in a cramped studio with lights astonishingly close to your face. If you are wearing a suit and a shirt made of heavy material, you could easily get hot and begin to sweat during the interview. For this reason alone, it is usually a good idea to stay away from a heavy-weight suit. The more comfortable you feel, the more comfortable you will look, and the more viable your video clip will be for your reel.

The High Definition
HDTVs have raised the bar for how flawless makeup needs to be. Screen resolution has become so good that cameras pick up every single flaw. If you normally wear light makeup, or no makeup, it’s a good idea to adopt a special strategy for television appearances. Put on a lot more, or use a heavier weight than you normally do.

The Bright Lights
Beyond the reality of HDTV, the brightness of the lights can also change your appearance by washing some of your coloring out. In plain light, you may be able to see color on your lips and blush on your cheeks, but on camera it may not look like you’re wearing either. Women are advised to use darker lipstick and use more blush as well as more definition (mascara, shadow) on their eyes. You may feel overdone, or even clownish as you look at yourself in normal light in the mirror, but camera lights are bright enough to both highlight flaws as well as blanche you out.

Patterned Clothing and Distracting Accessories
An outfit or accessory that looks quite flattering on the street can play as busy and distracting on camera. It is wise to wear solid colors, dress in minimalist jewelry and choose pieces that are generally slimming (as the camera really does add ten pounds). The color that should be chosen really depends on skin tone. Colors that aren’t right for light skin (long-standing wisdom generally advises them to skew toward solid greens and blues and stay away from blacks and whites) often play well for people with darker skin tones. It is wise to watch the show you will be on to get a sense for the style of camera work and to evaluate how others with your skin tone and body type look like on the set. Alternatively, if you will be fed in via satellite, take a look at how studio interviewees tend to look.

Skirts and Dresses vs. Pants
If you won’t be seen from the waist up, this need not be a consideration. However, if you may be interviewed in a setting in which your whole body will be visible, consider the angle you will be filmed from and take skirt length and other outfit contours into consideration.

Beyond looking your best, use the time before your interview to make sure that your voice is ready. Spend time hydrating to ensure that your mouth will not make “dry sounds” every time you talk. Exercise your jaw muscles by doing singers or actors warm-ups to loosen up your mouth and prepare you to jump right into speaking smoothly. As you do more and more television appearances, review your tape until you find an aesthetic combination that really works for you.

In Summary: Grooming Yourself For Interviews
● Dress for the occasion.
● Be aware of the conditions you might expect in a media studio and think through wardrobe choices that will have your body feeling cool and comfortable.
● Understand how the camera will alter your appearance in terms of altering your appearance in weight, age, and coloring.
● Overcompensate for these factors by choosing clothing, makeup and accessories wisely.

 

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Chapter 13: Conclusions

There are many things to consider when thinking about dealing with the media, but your newfound consciousness of the biggest considerations has placed you in a space of power. By thinking these things through ahead of time, you now have an understanding not only of all the steps that should be taken to prepare for media interviews, but also peace of mind knowing that, if you take the initiative to do the work ahead of time, you can walk confidently into a broad set of media situations.

But doing the work isn’t all easy. To have an intellectual understanding of how things work is one thing, yet to become truly proficient takes not only time and practice, but also perspective and feedback. To the extent that your experience as the interviewee will always differ from the experience of the audience, leveraging the input of somebody who can sit in the audience role may be key.

If we reduce the teachings of this book into a list of skills that require mastery we end up with a list like this, skills that can be practiced in everyday life but that must come together cohesively in an interview or on the air:
¥ Telling your story briefly and powerfully
¥ Improvisation
¥ Memorization
¥ Steering conversations with difficult people
¥ Gently correcting people who misstate facts
¥ Maintaining grace under pressure
¥ Taking the high road in conversations with a person who is taking the low road

Now that you’ve read an overview, not only of these considerations, but of the opportunities that can expand your reach even further, you may be wondering: does it make sense to hire a professional?

Doing It Yourself
Executing your own media training is possible, but be prepared for the amount of time it will take, and the technology involved in doing it correctly. You will not only want to film yourself, but do so under many different conditions, and review the tapes. While it’s true that nobody can practice it for you, the difference between the feedback you receive from your own judgment or alongside an untrained person versus with a trained person will be vast.

On your own, it will be difficult to see yourself in real time, to practice a conversation with another person who is serving you truly random questions, and the lack of randomness will put you at a deficit. If you work with another person—perhaps a spouse or a co-worker—you may also be at a slight disadvantage. This person is used to you and may be blind to which of your personal traits are helping or hurting your interviews, may have incentives not to say anything that could hurt your feelings, or may lack the training to simulate the kinds of things that could come up in a media interview environment. The practice is valuable, and will make you better, but may not be the most robust. You or people you know may have too many blind spots to be good proxies for the public at large.

Hiring a Media Consultant
A media consultant offers several advantages—not only is his only objective to make you a better media interviewee, he has the real world experience to help you. He has been a high-profile interviewee, and, beyond his own war stories, has specific knowledge around best practices. He has been in—and seen—many interview situations. This means that his every word of advice has the ability to catapult you into a higher echelon of interviewee. He is somebody who can assess your strengths and weaknesses and develop a program that teaches you how to use your best skills to achieve your goals in interview situations. And he can get you where you want to be faster, and with more polish, than anyone else.

Working With Me
As somebody who has been interviewed across all major media, appearing in Forbes, Entrepreneur, Mashable, TechCrunch, Inc. and on Fox News to name a few, I have shared my knowledge with scores of business leaders who were looking to be more successful under the media spotlight. Years spent as a top marketer have left me with sharp intuition for public reactions and popular behavior in the face of certain information. My practice is about working with individuals to ingrain solid best practices and skills that will serve them in numerous media situations, while also helping them recognize personal strengths that will show them how to use their unique skills to attain individual success.

Conclusion
The best defense is a good offense. Half of being successful in media situations is always having a plan. Companies and individuals that not only have a plan, but that proactively work on positive reputation by participating positively in media have an edge. And now you do, too.