What the C-Suite and Basketball Have In Common: Media Training and PR Tips from Central Florida Media Mashup
- Posted by Poston Communications
- On June 13, 2019
- Florida Public Relations Association, FPRA, media relations, media training, Orlando, PR, PR tactics, public relations
Members of Poston Communications’ Orlando team recently gathered insight on the latest trends in crisis communications, social media, pitching stories, event management and influencing strategies from reporters, editors, producers and PR pros at the Central Florida Media Mashup, co-hosted by the Orlando chapters of the Florida Public Relations Association and the Public Relations Society of America.
The ABCs of Media Interviews
Joel Glass, chief communications officer of the Orlando Magic, and Joel Staley, founder and senior
consultant of JCS Communications, shared a glimpse into the world of training professional basketball players and business executives to deal with the media.
The CEO of a financial company and a pro basketball player interact with different reporters and media outlets – likely addressing wildly different topics. However, the presenters identified similar components of effective media training in both situations:
In media interviews, the question is not nearly as important as the answer.
Glass and Staley shared that the best way to get your key messages across is to remember your ABCs:
- Acknowledge the question: Let the interviewer know you’ve heard and understand the question – take your time to fully think through your answer. Nerves and the urge to respond quickly tend to undermine a well-thought-out reply.
- Bridge to what you want to say: Connect the question with one of your key message points. This helps if you are familiar with the ins and outs of what you’d like to discuss so that you can direct the interview regardless of the question.
- Contribute (state your key messages): Stay aligned with your key message points to prevent the discussion from derailing into something you’re not prepared to cover.
Understanding the Current Media Environment
A common theme throughout the Media Mashup event was the importance of understanding the current climate of the media. This is important to keep in mind not only when preparing for a media interview but when pitching journalists. Due to shirking newsrooms, there are more than six PR professionals to every one journalist. They’re not hurting for sources, so you need to be aware of how to make your story and source stand out from the rest.
During the speed networking session, members of local print and broadcast media emphasized patience when waiting for responses and promptness when information is requested of sources. Additionally, while journalists used to cover a single beat extensively, now many cover a wide range of issues and topics. PR pros should be ready and able to explain the importance of the story they are pitching and help the reporter build that story with pertinent information.
Mary Bryant Fleming is an account executive at Poston Communications, based in Orlando.