Industry Association spokespeople are considered subject matter experts by the media and highly sought after for radio and television interviews.
Spokespeople sometimes find it difficult to focus on the key message during a media interview because all the information seems relevant and important. At At That Point we can help guide clients in the creation of their key messages - not only per media interview and topic, but also in the general focus area of their industry - and how to bring them across effectively.
What is a key message?
According to Catriona Pollard, key messages are the core messages you want your target audience to hear and remember. They create meaning and headline the issues you want to discuss. They allow you to control communications, enhance relationships with your target audiences and are an important feature of a PR campaign.
If you are being interviewed, only a small portion of what you say will be remembered by an audience. It is therefore important that the message they remember is the one your organisation wants to bring across. The best way to ensure this is through preparation and being aware of some of the media techniques during an interview.
Repeat the message
When you are in-studio and the presenter starts asking you questions, bring your key message across in most of your answers. Questions may sometimes go off-track as a different part of a story is being explored and sensation is being sought so it is up to you to guide the presenter back to the topic you wish to discuss. Repeat your message throughout the interview without using the same verbatim quote each time. Vary your message but stick to the core.
A soundbite is a short audio or video clip that can be used to bring across your message in television and radio broadcasts. These soundbites needs to be short, prepared and practiced. The more concise the soundbite, the more likely it is that it will be used and in this way the message your professional body organisation wants to bring across, will receive airtime.
Let them know what message you wish to bring across
When we communicate with producers, we let them know in advance who our spokesperson is and which topics they are comfortable discussing. When the interview is linked to a media release, we provide them with questions they can ask the spokesperson and then prepare the spokesperson on how to answer these questions in such a way that their core message comes through strong and clear.
If the interview was requested based on a current affairs topic or a topic not related to a media release we created, we ensure that we get as much information beforehand so we can prepare possible questions and answers that our spokesperson can expect. Again, answers are prepared that brings across the core message.
Remember, as daunting as a television interview can be, you are the expert in your field and through effective communication, proper preparations and a little guidance from us, you are in control of the interview and can lead the discussion towards whatever message you need to bring across.