Dealing with fear and apprehension one may have in engaging with a reporter
is important as discussed in the previous post, but having a purpose is critical too. In fact, having purpose can take a lot of that hesitancy away and provide a foundation for confidence. So here are four good reasons that can provide you with that purpose and hopefully some confidence in agreeing and maybe even pitching an interview idea to a reporter.
“…having purpose can take a lot of that hesitancy away.”
1. Be an expert. This can be a chance for you to shine as an industry or field expert. There are all sorts of benefits to that. If you are a business owner and you have a unique perspective to an emerging issue, that can add tremendous value in the reporter’s eyes and you are seen as being a go-to-guy…an insider who knows what’s really going on.
2. Answer questions you know are out there. Take for example the reasons why gasoline prices go up so quickly, yet seem to come down so slowly. But experts in the industry or the world economy could give a plausible explanation that’s not smoke and mirrors and makes sense as it relates to supply and demand or even geopolitical circumstances.
3. The exposure to your business. Offering an opinion or explanation related to an issue positions you and your business as a leader in your field. A story regarding how excessive rains will affect seasonal allergens can be explained by a local ear, nose, and throat doctor or allergist. They can tell you how similar weather patterns in past years have played out, giving a pollen or allergen forecast of sorts. That can add a lot of value to their practice because they are seen as a leader in the field.
4. Set the record straight. This seems to be one that I’ve personally dealt with a lot myself being an organization spokesperson. When the media goes out and gets an accusatory interview from someone about your business or maybe just an issue that is important to you that’s flawed or just flat out wrong, staying silent can compound the damage. If it’s not challenged, the assumption is it’s true. When you decide to challenge with good, solid, and verifiable information, your credibility can soar…while the accuser’s can sour.
Coming up next time, when it’s the best time to just issue a written statement versus agreeing to a television interview. They both serve a purpose.
Steve Linscomb worked in the news media for 28 years. He currently serves as an official spokesperson for a public school district in the San Antonio metro area and is a freelance writer.