What’s the secret to being a great media spokesperson?
1. You need to be authentic.
2. You need to be an expert on the topic.
3. You need to tell the truth!
It’s that simple.
When it comes time to talk to a journalist hopefully you will have prepared. You will have constructed 3 or 4 key messages that will help get your point across succinctly and effectively. Then, once the interview starts, you should feel confident enough to really trust yourself to speak from the heart. Your key messages should just roll off the tongue and you should believe in what you’re saying.
If you are authentic your audience is more likely to engage with you. Whilst they may not agree, if they trust you then it follows that they will listen and consider your point of view.
But beware of spinning the truth. Audiences are more media savvy than ever and can detect a tall story from a mile away.
If you’ve made a mistake often the best way of minimizing more damage is by simply admitting the error and apologizing. But apologize properly. Don’t just utter the words. Say “I’m sorry” like you really mean it.
As a great example of what NOT to do, take a look at the clip below, which features the former CEO of BP. Note that this was just one of several media PR disasters that ultimately cost him his job.