Do you know what your key messages are? Can you say them right now? In his book, The Media Training Bible: 101 Things You Absolutely, Positively Need To Know Before Your Next Interview, Brad Phillips explains a practical way of sharing your key messages in multiple ways during a media interview. He explains that for every key message you should prepare a story, a statistic and a sound bite – practicing each one so that they flow off your tongue easily. We agree.
A key message is a crucial piece of information that you want to share during an interview. Before you speak to a reporter, you should take a moment to prepare no more than three key messages. Think about what you would like the reporter’s audience to know about you or your company when they see the story. When you speak to the reporter, it is your job to share your key messages in the framework of their questions.
Preparing a sound bite, statistic and story for each key message is a smart way to give yourself different ways to share each message while driving home your point. For example, say you were tasked with sharing news of the grand opening of your company’s new store. You have an interview scheduled with a reporter and you would really like to let her know that your customers can improve their shopping experience with a new smart phone app that can deliver coupons and special offers to their mobile device while locating inventory with the tap of a finger.
Your key message would be: We’re helping our customers get the best value by giving them easy to use digital coupons and they won’t have to wander the aisles looking for a product because their phone can tell them which shelf it’s on. (We think this would be a really cool feature, btw, and would love to help you publicize it if you are about to unveil it.)
Preparing a statistic, sound bite and story will allow you multiple ways of sharing the news with the reporter – making it more likely the information will appear in the article. See below for examples of each.
Statistic: We know that nearly 80 per cent of customers have smart phones, but only about 15 per cent use coupons. Our app will make it easier for more people to save money when they shop.
Story: Just this morning, I was talking with a mom right here in the store. She had three young kids with her and was doing her shopping for the week. She saw our sign advertising the new app and scoffed at it. One of our clerks said he could probably save her at least five dollars with the app if she gave it a try. I ran into her at the checkout and she had saved more than 10 that day.
Sound Bite: Our new app gives every customer with a smart phone the benefits of a dedicated coupon cutter while speeding up their whole shopping experience.
During the interview, transition to your story, statistic or sound bite within the framework of the reporter’s questions. Practicing each example until it rolls off your tongue will go a long way in ensuring you get your message out during your interview, and you are able to confidently answer question in a way the benefits your business.