How do you avoid misrepresentation in the media?
I had a question on my IGTV the other day on tips for newbies to help avoid being misrepresented in the media. This is such a great question, and something I know is a concern for many businesses and entrepreneurs, so I thought I’d share a few thoughts and tips to keep in mind.
Here’s the thing – the media is not a controlled form of communication. You don’t have the final say over the outcome, but there are ways you can manage a media opportunity to maximise your impact and shape the narrative as much as possible.
First up, the big thing is knowing what you’re agreeing to and what they’re looking for, so don’t be afraid to ask questions!
So many of the new-to-PR peeps I speak with get a media opportunity and are then afraid to ask anything more. Asking for as much info as possible is so important, especially when it’s an interview, and especially, especially if it’s live to air.
++Not only does it make it possible for you to appropriately prepare, but just remember, the journo or producer is looking for great content too – so by you having all the info you need, it’s serving them and their audience!++
Find out if there is a specific angle they’re looking for, if there are any particular areas within the topic that they want to focus on, do they want tangible tips and advice, do they want a bigger picture view of an issue. Find out if anyone else is being interviewed or is contributing to the piece and what level of involvement they want from you – as in,
- Will you be asked one quick question as part of a panel discussion,
- Or will you be the sole interviewee in a 20 minute in-depth conversation?
Big difference, right?!?
All these things are super important in helping you prepare for your media op’ in advance, and that’s really the biggest factor in managing any media interview, being prepared.
Get all the information you possibly can and then practice and prepare to give yourself the best chance to shine!
Just remember, no matter how prepared or experienced you are, no matter how many questions you ask and how clear and specific the information is that you receive, ultimately you still don’t have control of the outcome.
Just recently I had a producer assure me that a particular question would be included in a live TV interview, only to have the presenter ‘go rogue’ and ask my spokesperson something different instead.
There are also specific tools and techniques that you can learn through media training to up your interview skills and really allow you to maximise any interview opportunity – if you’ve got any kind of broadcast interview, TV or radio, pre-recorded or live-to-air, media training is absolutely essential (which is something I happen to provide, so shoot me an email if you’re interested!)