Who better to tell your story than you? It’s imperative that you provide reporters with positive, appealing words, images and meanings that will make them want to quote you. “Sound bites” might seem like a cliché, but they are the punctuation points in every good news or feature story. Here are a few tips to keep in mind.
- Keep your comments short, simple and to the point. When former First Lady Michelle Obama was asked about success, she said, “Success isn’t about how your life looks to others. It’s about how it feels to you.” Being concise also helps ensure that an editor won’t omit your best statements. You won’t be quoted in entirety in most stories, but all that you say should highlight your key points.
- Avoid overloading the reporter. Providing useful background info to support your comments is important, but don’t try to educate reporters with tons of background materials. State your primary point, provide an example/background, and then your primary point (quote).
- Create lasting image that make sense to the average person. A powerful anecdote can give your story emotional appeal. For example, “Our Vocational Services Program prepares clients to secure and maintain jobs. Here’s a letter from one of our clients who recently began a new job as a teacher.”
- Avoid using jargon and acronyms. These words will only confuse reporters and distance you from the reader.
- Beware of being led into a sensational quote. For example, if a reporter asks if a situation is “explosive, ” “a real disaster” or “out of control,” don’t respond with any of those words in your answer. Instead, respond with positive words.
An interview is a great tool to position your organization for success. Need a comprehensive media strategy? Let’s talk.
(Image: Mediengestalter on Pixabay)