Media Training Tips For Small Businesses

By Hanah Cho
The Dallas Morning News.

You’ve snagged a TV interview to talk about your small business. Now what? Former television reporter Ramona Logan offers media training tips for entrepreneurs.

Logan is president of Dallas-based public relations firm Image Advantage. She is a former award-winning anchor and reporter for KXAS-TV (NBC5).

Take time to talk to the reporter
Reporters don’t like for you to ask, “What are you going to ask me?” However, if they are a general assignment reporter, it may be in their best interest to talk to you beforehand for background. You can pretty much figure out what they will ask you if you talk about the topic for a while.

Decide on the main points
Figure out what’s most important to get across in the interview and the best way to explain it so most people will understand you the first time. Most TV news stories are just a minute and a half long, so your answers need to be concise. Also, make it memorable so a TV reporter would want to use what you say in the story. Start with your best quote and then go into details.

Be confident in your knowledge as an expert
Most reporters write on a different topic every day. Unless they are a beat reporter covering your industry, the reporter does not know more than you. If you have been in the business five or 10 years, be confident in your knowledge of industry trends and current events.

Be truthful
If you cannot be completely truthful in the interview, don’t do the interview. The last thing you want is for an erroneous quote to come back to haunt you. If you don’t know the answer to a question, don’t fake it. Tell the reporter you will need to check those details and get back to them.

Forget about the camera
Remember, you are just having a conversation. Forget about the camera. Look at the reporter and have a conversation. If they just send a photographer, pretend the camera is a friend. If you naturally talk with your hands, that’s OK, just keep them low, not in your face. Remember that your facial expression needs to match your message.

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