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Posts Tagged "press releases"

After a Media Interview

By on Apr 28, 2015 in News | 0 comments

If you think your work is over once you’ve given a media interview, think again. A few perfect touches after the interview can ensure you make the most out of your media exposure and position you perfectly for future interviews. Follow up: Don’t forget to follow-up after the interview, especially if you promised to send additional information during the interview. Send a note or email and use this opportunity to say thank you and briefly reiterate any points you want to make clear. This is also the time you can briefly add in a point or two you might have forgotten, and let the journalist know you are available should they need additional information. Always let them know you are willing to further assist in this or any future story. While you may not hear back from the journalist, they won’t forget the gesture, and it leaves the door open for future contact. Share: Make sure to keep watch for the news segment or story to run. When it’s available, use this as another opportunity to keep your network informed. Post the link on your website and social media pages as well as include the coverage in your most recent press kit. If it’s a really compelling piece, send an email newsletter with the link and additional thoughts and comments on the story that’s relevant to your readership. Get Social: If you aren’t already, make sure you follow the journalist and the news outlet on Twitter and Facebook if their professional pages are available. Twitter is a great way to connect with journalists. Evaluate: The only way you’ll get better at media interviews is to really evaluate how you do from interview to interview. Remember what you did well and think about how you could improve upon areas that need improvement. Were you prepared? Could you have provided better research or information from your industry or organization? Were there questions you stumbled over or ones that should have been easier for you to answer? It’s okay, good media interviews take practice for even the most seasoned professional. Evaluate and keep...

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Success During a Media Interview

By on Mar 4, 2015 in News | 0 comments

There are several things during the interview that you can do to ensure that your message remains clear and you have a good successful interview. The most important thing to remember is to stay calm and be as articulate as possible. Answer each question honestly: While giving a media interview you should never use the phrase “no comment.” You must be truthful in your responses and answer each question or you will seem evasive. If there is a legitimate or pending legal reason for not answering a question, simply state that you cannot answer it and give the reason. If you do not know an answer, don’t make something up. Simply state that you will need to look up the information so you can provide the most factual data. Ask if you can email the information after the interview. Avoid Jargon: There is nothing worse when reading copy than trying to decipher industry jargon and acronyms. Neither have any place in a media interview. If your audience has to figure out what you’re talking about then they aren’t paying attention to your message. Speak clearly and plainly so a wide audience will be able to understand. Be Engaging: The more you can show interest and passion for the subject the more engaged you will seem. It’s okay to use stories and anecdotes to illustrate and simplify your points. These can make for good copy as well. Also remember that the journalist probably does not know as much as you about the topic so you should try to educate and provide information in an informative and engaging way. Control & Redirect: There can always be an uncomfortable question or two so be ready to redirect. Answer the question but follow it up with the redirect. “Yes, but the other thing to consider is…..” “What we really discovered is…..” “The lesson we learned…..” “Another important fact is…..” Emphasize key points: You’ll be saying a lot during the interview but to make sure your main points are made indicate through your words what’s most important. “The key point is….” “The most important thing to remember is…..” “What’s critical at this time….” “Our biggest impact has been…..” Nothing is Off the Record: This...

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Before a Media Interview

By on Feb 18, 2015 in News | 0 comments

For even the most seasoned professionals, media interviews can be stressful. Will I say the right thing? Will I know all the answers? What if they ask something I don’t know or have all the facts about? What if I’m misquoted? For many business and nonprofit leaders, the stress of the media interview can be a reason to turn down the opportunity. But a good interview is one of the most effective tools in your public relations arsenal. And if you are prepared, it can ease the stress and make for a more effective interview. Here are a few ways to prep for an effective media interview: Questions: Don’t be afraid to ask the journalist questions before the interview takes place so you can prepare in advance. Try to find out what information or research would be helpful to them, what their angle on the story will be and anyone else they might be interviewing for their story. Some journalists are even willing to email their questions ahead of time so you can prepare. Don’t forget to research the journalist and see the other stories they have written. Research: Make sure you know your subject and any current available research – both research you support and research you may be opposed to or may be controversial. Make sure you are well-versed in both. Have facts and figures and any other relevant data available during the interview so it’s an easy reference for you. In addition, make sure you prepare and have on hand any company fact sheets and backgrounders. Practice: If you have not received the journalist’s questions ahead of the interview, prepare your own Q&A of potential questions. Don’t forget to include some difficult or challenging questions a journalist may ask so you can practice how to answer in the most positive way. Even consider asking a co-worker to practice interviewing you so you can see how your responses sound to someone else. This also helps you refine your responses. Sound bites: Sometimes the simplest answers are best. Practice and hone your messages to a few key points. Creating simplified quotable key messages will help ensure your information comes across correctly and your words aren’t misconstrued. If you...

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Learning AP Style

By on Feb 4, 2015 in News | 0 comments

When writing a press release, style is important. Press releases are typically written in the Associated Press (AP) style format based on the most updated AP Style Guide. (Take a look here for the most updated version.) One small mistake won’t cost you but it’s important to try to stay as close to AP style as possible when writing. And it’s important to take a look at updates as AP style can change over time. The following are some AP Style rules you should follow: State Names Spell out state names in the body of stories. You will still use abbreviations in datelines, photo captions, lists, etc. Months & Dates Only abbreviate Jan., Feb., Aug., Sept., Oct., Nov., and Dec. when using it with a specific date. (Feb. 5, 2015) Spell out the months when they stand alone or are combined with a year. February 2015 Numbers Write out the numbers one through nine and use numerals for numbers 10 and higher. Professional Titles Do not capitalize job titles unless they immediately precede someone’s name. (Mayor Sam Smith vs. Sam Smith, mayor of Austin, Texas) Titles Newspapers and magazines are capitalized, not italicized. Books, movies, TV shows, works of art, etc., use quotation marks around them. Academic Degrees There is an apostrophe in the word “bachelor’s” and in “master’s,” (the proper names are Bachelor of Arts/Science and Master of Arts/Science) and an AA is called an “associate degree.” Percent Write out the word “percent” instead of using the “%” sign. Farther vs. Further When referring to a physical distance, use “farther”. When referring to an extension of time or degree, use...

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Developing a Press Kit

By on Oct 15, 2014 in News | 0 comments

A press kit should provide the media with the necessary background information about the organization in a simple, concise and user-friendly way. Done well, a press kit will educate journalists and provide the basics about the organization, its leadership and experts, services and issues it supports. Press kits can be used in a variety of ways, including supplying media-ready contacts and background information about the organization, highlighting social issues, services and programs available at the organization and offering the organization’s leadership as experts in the field. While there is no set standard of what to include in a press kit, the kit should be tailored to the audience and venue for distribution. Most organizations have a digital press kit available instead of a printed kit. These are the most commonly requested and utilized. Your press kit should be available for download on the news page of your website. The following are elements that should be included in a press kit: About Us – At the start of the press kit and placed on letterhead, should be up-to-date information that describes the organization and what it does as well as any relevant current information. Background -This section of the press kit is typically two to three pages in length and contains the background of the organization, its history and future direction. This should be written in third person and be media ready. Remember to update this section often with recent accomplishments. Fact Sheets/ Research – Fact sheets can provide more comprehensive, detailed information about the organization, including information about its mission, programs and services. Fact sheets also are useful for highlighting particular research, social issues and advocacy work relevant to the organization. Expert Bios – To position staff leadership as experts in the field, include one-page bios of the CEO, top level management and subject-area experts at the organization. Bios should be on letterhead and contain the individual’s name, title, history with the organization and basic information. Bios could also contain relevant quotes and a photo. Lead Release – If there is a current announcement or event, the lead press release can contain this information and should be the first element a journalist sees. Recent newsletter or brochure – Include...

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