Effective Media Interviews

Last week we shared tips for how to make Effective Media Pitches. Our series concludes this week, below the photo, with tips for how to get the most out of media coverage once you land the interview.

Media Pitch -  Extending the Coverage

Excellent example of "Extending the Coverage"

  • Be yourself. It’s okay to be nervous, but always be authentic. The media’s BS-meter is pretty honed so just be yourself.
  • Prep your key messages in advance of the interview. Draft and practice at least three (3) “money quotes” that you’ll deliver in a conversational manner with the reporter. Some guidelines for your final “money quotes” that get used include:
      • Speak to an issue that relates to reader life or life experience, e.g. “A rise in home mortgage rates means that it will take you longer to sell your home.”
      • Use a metaphor to make your point, e.g. “the road was an ice rink.”
      • Be visually descriptive, e.g. instead of saying “medical emergency,” say “leg severed at the knee.”
      • Share “insider information” that is surprising or a revelation, e.g. “An elephant is killed every 15 minutes. And now, one expert predicts that within 12 years, elephants will be extinct.”
      • Share a usable tip, e.g. “Save your wet iPhone by putting it in a bowl of rice for 12 hours to absorb all the moisture.”
      • Keep it realistic. Avoid “you may already be a millionaire” hyperbole statements.
      • Avoid jargon and acronyms at all costs.
  • Manage the interview through your answers. Bridge questions asked by the reporter to make the key points or to deliver your “money quotes.”
  • Extend your media coverage. Have your media distribution kit or checklist ready to go *in advance* of press coverage. The original run of your story is only half the pay-off for your hard work. Once your story runs here’s what you do:
    • Post the story on your web home page, media page, Facebook, Twitter, and Blog (with accompanying photos, captions, and key quotes)
    • Post a “As seen in USA Today” with the media logo on the bottom of your homepage and definitely on your “About” page
    • Share the article in your next newsletter
    • Give your major donors a heads up the day the article runs
    • Use the logo, article, quote, as credibility on your key web pages. Post one of your “money quotes” on your landing/donation page–but not with a link to the article. A link might cannibalize traffic off your donation page.

Media coverage is worth it’s weight in gold for credibility and publicizing your mission. These tips will make pitching the media and getting media placement easier (not easy) and more effective.