Media Preparedness (4) – Insight into The #1 Rule

communication2In interviews, always remember The #1 Rule: “You are delivering a message, not answering questions.”


Messaging takes work. Practicing takes time.

  • Know what your messages are
  • Begin where you want
  • Consistently deliver messages
  • Assertively bring the message into the interview
  • Do not merely reply to questions; answer them, but move to your messages
  • Repeat, repeat, and repeat


What are messages?

  • Key points that need to be stressed in an interview
  • A point you want the audience to know and remember
  • Answer why the issue/program/policy is important
  • Answer what it will accomplish in ‘the real world’ – will it matter to your father or spouse??
  • (Consider whether it adds a new ‘angle’ to a current news story)


Deliver Messages in Quotes and Sound Bites

  • Most of the time your interview will be reduced to a five to ten second sound bite in a television or radio news item, or a one to three line quote in a newspaper or magazine.
  • Obviously you cannot force the reporter to quote you in a helpful way instead of a harmful way. All you can do is encourage the reporter to use a quote or sound bite that reinforces your message.
  • The key to getting your message across in the news item is to prepare a couple of irresistibly quotable quotes and be sure to get them across in the interview.
  • And, repeat, repeat and repeat.

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