Media training: how to avoid being misquoted - pr
I often begin my media instruction sessions by asking members of the consultation to raise their hands if they've been interviewed by the media. Just about all of the hands in the room go up. I then ask them to keep their hands up if they've ever been misquoted. Not only do almost all of the hands hang about up, but the as a rule nod their heads vigorously, followed by laughter.
Being misquoted is one of the main plagues for any spokesperson. It can cause deep anxiety for the interviewee, who has to guiltily clarify to her colleagues that she didn't in fact say what the reporter claimed she did.
A ex- colleague from California, a well-respected scientist, a moment ago e-mailed me the subsequent note about an condition that appeared in one of the main newspapers in the United States.
"Don't know if you saw it, but the paper did a write up of our work last week. The body of the story was fine, but the essayist attributed some speech marks to me that never came from my mouth and had some horrific mechanical errors. So what do you do?"
There's good news and bad news here. The bad news is that you can never assurance that the reporter will get your quote absolutely right. Journalists, being business to human flaws, will intermittently get it wrong. But the good news is that you have a lot more be in charge of than you think - and can exponentially become more intense the odds that the reporter will get your story right.
Here are four ways to bring down your risk of being misquoted:
1) Give Them the Facts: Let's face it - the more you say, the more you stray. A lot of spokespeople get misquoted for the reason that they say too much. As an alternative of expenses most of your interviews given that the media with endless background, write a one or two page fact sheet which lays out the basic facts for them.
Providing a reporter with a on paper fact sheet accomplishes numerous things. Most importantly, it allows you to tell the reporter what the story means for the duration of your interview as an alternative of illuminating him what the story is. By doing so, your quote will confine your construal of the facts as a substitute of raw facts devoid of context.
It also saves you time, since you don't have to describe the basics of the story to each reporter who calls. Finally, for the reason that you've said less and again and again emphasized the consequence of the story, you've given the reporter more opportunities not only to get your quote right, but to make it meaningful.
2) Click, Clack, Repeat: If you're charitable a phone interview, pay attention for the sound of typing on the other end - you'll hear it when you say amazing that machinations the reporter. That's your cue to slow down, make sure the reporter has time to capture every word, and duplicate what you've just said.
The same is true at some stage in an in-person interview when a reporter is scribbling notes in a notepad. When you see her scribbling, slow down and repeat!
3) Click, Clack, Send: Some newspapers allow their interviewees to act in response to questions over e-mail. If you're fortunate a sufficient amount to have a reporter agree to an e-mail interview, you will have total charge of your words. Just be sure to have a colleague check your answer for accidental meanings and phrases that can be taken out of context.
Although you can use e-mail interviews occasionally, you doubtless shouldn't rely on them all the time. Your goal is to build long-term relationships with newspapers - and that's a touch develop accomplished over the phone or in person.
4) Now, What Did I Just Say: Though newspapers are under no obligation to read your quotation marks back to you, many of them will. If you don't like the way you said something, they may not adjustment it - but if you misspoke and said a little factually inaccurate, they will. You be supposed to ask them to read back your quotation marks for the duration of the interview, not afterwards.
You can also offer to help the reporter fact check the completed story. If you don't like the way the reporter framed the story, she will be dodgy to alteration it. But if she has independently gotten a fact wrong, she will about all the time acceptable it.
Brad Phillips is the creator and head of Phillips Media Relations. He was formerly a journalist for ABC News and CNN, and headed the media relations area for the agree with main environmental group in the world.
For more in a row and to sign up for free monthly media relations and media instruction e-tips, visit http://www. PhillipsMediaRelations. com
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