Media training: exposing reporter tricks -- three tactics intended to get you - pr
A reporter's job is to get the most correct and attractive story he or she can. Whether journalists make you look good or bad in the course of action is minor to them - their allegiance is to their story, and their goal is to draw the most dramatic speech marks doable from you.
This is not to advocate that you must view every come across with the media as adversarial. In fact, most interviews are quite straightforward. But a good journalist will try to steer you "off message. " He or she will use well-established tricks of the trade to get you to say effects you didn't be determined to say, and some of those belongings might prove awkward when you see them in the newspaper the next day.
By conscious some of the tricks of the exposure trade, you can avow charge of the interview and get the quotation marks you want. Below are three ways to avoid declining into a reporter's trap:
1) Never Duplicate a Bad Ask in Your Come back with -- It commonly starts innocently enough. A journalist will tell you that as his or her questions will not be built-in in the story, you be supposed to fulfil the questions in accomplish sentences.
For example, if a reporter asks, 'Are you happy with the come to of donations your company established this year?" he or she would ask you to key by saying, "Our association is contented with the digit of donations we've conventional this year. " It makes absolute sense, and is a legitimate way of conducting an interview.
But occasionally, a reporter will ask a denial difficulty devoid of warning. You have to break the rules here, and fulfil the distrust as a positive.
For example, if a reporter asks you, "Is it true that your club has committed fraud?" you maybe don't want your quote the next day to say, "It isn't true that our association committed fraud. " Such a quote links your company to the word "fraud," an connection you'd maybe fairly not make.
Assuming, of course, that your big business did not commit fraud, you must come back with that cast doubt on in a assured manner, such as, "In our 35 years of business, we have continually taken great pains to guarantee that our commerce operates inside the word and atmosphere of the law. We have operated morally in this case, as we strive to in all of our dealings. "
2) Shhhhh! -- At some point in most interviews, journalists will ask a steady course of questions and you will counter them. No surprises there. But bring to mind the goal of the journalist - he or she wants to steer you off communication in order to bring out a more attention-grabbing response.
Sometimes, after you bring to a close answering the reporter's question, the reporter will just sit there, as if he or she wants you to carry on speaking. The silence as a rule flusters the interviewee, who tries to entertain his or her interviewer by communication again - and commonly strays far off implication in the process. Don't fall into this trap! If you find manually in a "reportorial stare down," austerely ask whether the reporter has an added distrust and move on.
3) Don't Believe the Reporter Knows What He Says He Knows -- For this one, I'll turn it over to Eric Nalder, an exploratory reporter for the respected San Jose Mercury News. In his article, "The Art of the Interview," Nalder writes, "Play like you know. Ask the allowed why he fired the whistle-blower instead than asking whether he did the deed. The difficulty presumes you before now know even if you don't have it confirmed. They'll start clearing up moderately than denying. "
In other words, by declining into this trap, you may be the being who confirms a depressing story about your own organization. If the reporter has made a false assumption, speak up. If not, don't help the journalist authorize it except you've made a conscious abundance to do so.
Brad Phillips is the come to grief and head of Phillips Media Relations (http://www. PhillipsMediaRelations. com). He was formerly a journalist for ABC News and CNN, and also headed the media relations administrative area for the be with biggest environmental group in the world.
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