In PR, Your Persona Matters
It’s a PR person’s worst nightmare. You spend months pitching your great story and company to the media. Finally, an interview is arranged. You’ve presented your client as an expert on the topic who is articulate and approachable – a friendly source the reporter will want to talk to again and again.
All is set and arranged. But when you follow up on how the interview went, you find out your client was rude, acted inconvenienced to do the interview, was unwilling to answer questions, unknowledgeable or worst yet, late or a no-show.
All your efforts of promoting the great company and its story have been lost. Your reputation as a credible PR person also suffers.
In PR, your public persona does matter. It’s a representation of your company. Having a good message is not enough. Who you are and how you deliver it counts.
Here are five easy tips to remember when conducting interviews with the media:
- Be on time – If it’s a phone interview or sit down meeting, call or arrive early. It shows you’re interested and ready.
- Be aware of phone quality – Call on a phone with good audio quality. Generally, try to avoid using cell phones where the reception might not be good. Don’t let phone static or a dropped call prevent your important message points from coming across.
- Be prepared – Know the name of the reporter, publication, general topics and purpose of the interview. A good PR person will prep you in advance with background on the writer, publication, key talking points, topics to avoid and different techniques to steer the conversation in your direction.
- Realize appearances are important too – You are a brand ambassador of your company. Present yourself professionally in the image you want your company to convey.
- Show appreciation – Be appreciative of the time the media gives you. Don’t make it seem like you’re too busy for them and it’s a favor. Thank the reporter for the interview and thank them again when the story comes out.
The way you act in an interview will be remembered. The news media has limited time. They want – and deserve – the time spent to be with sources who make their jobs easier, have the right information, are articulate, knowledgeable, quotable, and yes, who are nice.