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Can I Quote You on That? 5 Quotes to Better Hone Your Own Quotability

Have you ever wondered why certain reporters and media outlets tend to quote the same individuals time and time again? There are numerous reasons, but a key one lies in quotability. “A quotation in a speech, article or book is like a rifle in the hands of an infantryman. It speaks with authority.” – Brendan Behan, Irish poet In other words, landing a quote in a reputable media outlet provides a business with immediate credibility and authority. If you’re quoted by a reporter, it shows readers, viewers and potential customers that you’re someone whose opinion matters. It establishes your reputation as a thought leader in your industry or field. To enhance your chances of being quoted by the media, it is critical to work on becoming quotable —...

9 Things You'll Never Hear a Reporter Say

Understanding how journalists think and act plays a critical role in media outreach efforts and becoming a go-to source. The first step toward this understanding entails learning how journalists operate and why they say the things they do — or in some cases, what you’ll never hear them say: "I'll take your word for it." No, they really won’t. A healthy sense of skepticism is an inherently reporter trait succinctly summed up in the journalistic adage, “If your mother says she loves you, check it out.” Be ready to back up any claims you make about your business. The more specific, the better. It’s easy to say business is good — but how good? Becoming a go-to source is a matter of building trust, and one way...

What not to say during a media interview

A media interview is a lot like a date. It’s where you begin the process of building a relationship — only with a reporter instead of a would-be beau or bae. Like dating, the success of a media interview is as much about what you say as it is about what you don’t say. While it is important to be honest and open while staying on message and providing valuable insight for a journalist, there are some things you want to steer clear of during an interview. Can I review your article before it publishes? A journalist’s job is to provide fair and objective news coverage. Allowing any source to review an article prior to publication would put that objectivity at risk. While some journalists at certain...

The Newsworthiness Sweet Spot

Newsworthy is a word that means different things to different people. But simply put, it means something of interest. But of interest to whom? Therein lies the struggle for businesses when trying to land media coverage. Every business has a story to tell, but the truth is not everything that’s of interest to a business is of interest to a journalist. But there is a way to bridge this gap. To do so, it comes down to identifying stories of interest inside your business that also meet the specific needs of journalists. The Newsworthy Sweet Spot When it comes to landing media coverage, there are two types of outlets: mass media (New York Times, Arizona Republic, NPR, Fox News, etc.) and trade media (Nation’s Restaurant News, Modern Healthcare,...

An experienced media spokesperson will be the first to admit that interviews with journalists aren’t always easy. When reporters try to get to the bottom of a story, they might ask some difficult, untargeted or premature questions. A journalist could be confrontational, unprepared or perhaps the conversation simply goes on a tangent. Regardless, a spokesperson might not want or know how to respond to questions in a way that’s beneficial to their organization and maintains credibility. So how can spokespeople participate in a media interview, without seeming uncommunicative or uninformed? These are the situations that skilled PR professionals recognize as an opportunity to make organizational messages land with an impact – it just requires the right kind of delivery. The classic block-and-bridge technique can steer the conversation toward more favorable, and often mutually beneficial, topics. Spokespeople regularly use this...

Picture this: You sit down with a journalist from the local paper or news site. The journalist has done their research, they seem interested in the topic you’re discussing, and they listen intently. You have provided detailed and accurate responses. You’re feeling confident — this has been a breeze! But it isn’t over quite yet — before the conversation wraps up, the journalist has one last question. Almost always, this remaining question is something along the lines of, “Is there anything else you would like to add?” “Is there anything else you would like to add?” represents a moment every source should listen for. It is a pivotal point in an interview. Don’t brush it off: This question represents one last opportunity to succinctly summarize...

Media relations is a central component of a public relations campaign. Educated and savvy sources can determine just how successful that campaign is – they can bolster it by providing thoughtful and timely insights during an interview, or they drive it into the ground with impractical demands and a one-sided perspective. The most effective reporter-source relationships are symbiotic. The reporter gets advice, background and expertise that’s critical for churning out an objective and credible story. The source gets third-party validation of his/her expertise, as well as broadened awareness of a brand, service or product. To foster this symbiotic relationship and become a go-to resource, sources need to come to the table with realistic expectations and take care to understand the reporter’s point of view. As a source,...

In order to conduct media outreach effectively, it’s essential to build meaningful relationships with reporters. As with any relationship, there is a give-and-take aspect. You shouldn’t ignore the reporter’s interests and needs as you seek to accomplish your own goals. Journalists are just as busy, if not busier, than you are. They also receive hundreds of emails each day from companies looking for coverage, the majority of which are untargeted and self-serving. Reporters have become more vocal about the habits that get on their nerves when working with sources and inexperienced PR teams. The following issues tend to be universal: Not respecting their time Media relations is a two-way street. Respecting a reporter’s time is a key building block for strong media relationships. Reporters work on tight deadlines and...