In today’s 24-hour news cycle and fast-paced media culture – one in which a quote, interview or television segment can go viral in a matter of seconds – it’s more important than ever for spokespeople to deliver clear, accurate and concise messaging to the media on behalf of the brand or service they represent. The difference between a properly trained spokesperson and one who lacks the guidance from our media training “toolbox” can have a serious impact on your brand’s credibility. Therefore, it’s imperative that brands invest in proper media training for the talent they choose to represent them. In this issue of The 511, Hunter PR’s National Media Relations Department will share the five things you need to know about media training.

 

Singer & spokesperson Ciara nails an interview on the Grammy Awards red carpet.

ENGAGE AUDIENCES THROUGH STORYTELLING INSTEAD OF OVER-PROMOTION

It is the media’s job to deliver engaging information and content to its readers or viewers. While a brand spokesperson is paid to promote a product or service, that is usually not the reason media books a spokesperson for an interview. Rather, he or she is “media friendly” and an expert who can impart knowledge, tips or advice about a specific topic, trend or breaking news story. In the case of celebrity spokespeople, the press often want to know what’s going on in their personal lives and about high profile projects they’re working on. When a spokesperson is trained to mention a brand organically as part of a larger story – such as this Hallmark Home & Family segment secured by Hunter PR's National Media Relations department, in which World Cup Soccer Champ Brandi Chastain shares her soccer tips for moms, including Dole Fruit Squish'ems – the media will respond much more positively than if the talent blurts out a product plug that seems forced or out of context.

EQUIP SPOKESPEOPLE WITH APPROVED DISCLOSURE LANGUAGE


According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) guidelines, all spokespeople, celebrities and bloggers are required to proactively and clearly state when they receive payment for endorsing products or services, whether on air, in an article/blog post or on social media. Providing spokespeople with an easily digestible phrase that connects them to the brand or product can make such disclosures feel natural and organic, as heard here when Kevin and Danielle disclose their partnership with Dreft on Fox & Friends. Examples of disclosures in a media interview setting include:

  • “I’ve been working with Brand X to develop summer recipes.”
  • “I partnered with Brand Y to help women look and feel their best this summer.”
By teaching your spokesperson how to disclose, you can make sure the needs and requirements of the FTC, your client, the media and your talent are met.




THE THREE P’S: PITCH, PACE AND PROJECTION

Accurately conveying client key messages is a central aspect of media training, and its value is substantially increased when your spokespeople master the Three P’s – pitch, pace and projection – to ensure that your messages resonate. You should hold mock interviews with your spokespeople during a media training session to fine-tune proper inflection, pacing and amplification. Conveying messages with a monotonous voice will prevent the audience from recalling your key messages, as will speaking too quickly or too slowly. It’s important to teach spokespeople how to vary their voices by sharing techniques to alter pitch and volume when emphasizing particular topics of importance or interest.





For more information on Hunter PR’s National Media Relations Department, click here, and for an expanded list of the most useful media training tips, check out the latest post from our Hunterpreter blog.

Hunter PR's National Media Relations Department serves the agency’s client roster by fostering strong relationships with top broadcast, print and online media. In addition to securing news placements, setting up high profile interviews and executing television segments, the department provides media strategy and counsel for clients’ public relations programs and offers in-house media training services for client spokespeople.


MASTER THE ART OF BRIDGING TO ENSURE YOUR BRAND MESSAGE IS INCLUDED

One of the most valuable media training tips is teaching spokespeople how to “bridge” the conversation. Reporters or television hosts may surprise the interviewee with unexpected questions; specific language will help your spokesperson bridge back to the topic he/she wants to discuss. Simple transitions like “I would like to emphasize …” can be enough to steer the conversation back to its original purpose. Additionally, spokespeople should be equipped with approved language when approached by media with questions they may not have a response to or don’t feel comfortable answering. It’s clear that Hilary Clinton was trained on how to bridge back in this hilarious interview on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. Be sure to arm your spokespeople with transitional phrases, such as “I am not personally involved with that aspect, but what’s important to remember is…” so that the conversation can proceed smoothly.

BUILD YOUR STORY BEYOND THE MENTION WITH SOUND BITES


It can be tricky not to sound robotic when trying to convey a brand’s key messages. But instead of reciting facts about a company, product or program, it is best to make an analogy, ask a rhetorical question or add emotion to your message. With Americans’ frayed attention span, these “sound bites” should be around seven seconds in length. Readers and viewers will respond more positively to responses that are humanized and captivating (versus a boring, factual reply). The more sound bites media have to choose from, the better content they will have to package together the final story, as evidenced in this interview that Hunter PR’s National Media Relations department booked on ABC’s The View surrounding Debra Messing’s allergy relief with Zyrtec. Spokespeople who are well versed in giving effective sound bites tend to be good interviewees in general and give the media a reason to want to interview them again in the future.

Example:  So how did you enter this contest?

  “I created a bouquet and submitted a photo in the Fantastic Flowers Photo Contest.”
”Flowers are universally beautiful and, as a small flower shop owner, I’ve always loved how unique each arrangement can be. So when I heard about the Fantastic Flowers Photo Contest, I thought it would be fun to enter by utilizing my skills to create a bouquet that perfectly describes myself.”







has a roster of specialists with a wealth of experience in creating and executing customized marketing communications programs that integrate tactics across traditional media relations, social and digital media, multi-cultural marketing, events and integrations.  Our knowledge in these areas is wide and deep, and leveraged by our account teams in service to our clients.

For more information about Hunter PR Contact:

Samara Farber Mormar
Business Development
smormar@hunterpr.com


Specialized Service Practice Leaders:

Social and Digital Media
Donetta Allen
dallen@hunterpr.com

Hispanic Strategies and Solutions
Annette Gonzalez-Malkin
agonzalez@hunterpr.com

Entertainment and Integrations
Samantha Turtle
sturtle@hunterpr.com

National Media
Sandy Bustamante
Sbustamante@hunterpr.com

Measurement
Melissa Todisco
mtodisco@hunterpr.com


www.hunterpr.com