Getting your voice heard in the media: Helping Industry Communicate
Media and Communications Training is so much more than just being able to deliver an effective live or recorded interview for print or broadcast; its about understanding the delicate subtly of your responses so that you create a hybrid between the editorial and the commercial. Making sure you promote your campaign, initiative or project while at the same time ensuring that you are genuinely embracing the reporter’s question to articulate your message.
Most media and communications theory involves setting out a clear framework for preparing the key messages, core themes or big ideas – and following that with a method of directing the reporter towards your narrative. Which is fine. And can work. Sometimes.
But what it doesn’t recognise is the need for the interviewee in a modern media setting to offer an additional dimension to their media performance that isn’t solely based on the landing of key messages. The CoComms communication model recognises that being able to articulate your intention is one thing, but managing to balance an editorial component to your media positioning, as well as understanding your own commercial and marketing needs, is another area altogether.
Or to put it another way: if you appear in the media, make sure there is something in it for you. But not just ‘an opportunity’ or a ‘puff’ – there is no guarantee an audience in the third decade of the twenty-first century will buy your position, unless they feel it is being said with authentic equanimity. Their evaluation of your performance in the media, with customers, clients and stakeholders creates much greater traction if there’s value added by you which doesn’t then obscure your own commercial or marketing demands.
In a sense, it’s about giving something away for free in order that your audience buy the rest of the story. Digital marketing suggests offering free intellectual property in exchange that potential customers eventually buy the entire product. It’s the ’read the first chapter free on Amazon’ principle.
The same thing needs to be applied to external communication exchanges: you will create much greater appeal if there is insight and profundity in your responses. Only then can you hit them with your actual raison d’etre.