Being a spokesperson is one of my greatest passions in life. I LOVE communicating. Put me in front of a radio mic or TV camera any day. I’ll eat up the opportunity! Yum, yum, yum, yum.
In my role as Head of Media for Cancer Council - our stories averaged 35-40 syndicated TV appearances every week, along with daily radio interviews.
Over my five years in the role, I was put through the paces and can recommend the following five sure-fire ways to become a standout spokesperson. Implement them today! No delay!
1. Pick up your phone.
It’s simple, but it needs to be said. ALWAYS be available. Answer your phone whenever it rings. Set up email alerts. Journalists often have a small window of time to record an interview or book in a cross or live chat. If they’re delayed in reaching you, they may well fit the spot reserved for you in the line-up. Trust me, it’s happened to me. A lot. Lesson learned.
2. Prep & practice makes perfect.
I always take the necessary time to prepare and practice. Find what works for you - is it helpful to write down and memorise your key messages and answers to potential interview questions? I often shut my office door and walk through my lines as if in a real-live press conference, to make sure I nail my grabs for the real thing. Don’t be afraid or intimidated by practice - it makes perfect.
3. Wear your wardrobe well.
I was often the best-dressed person in my office - always accused of dressing up for the daily work grind. Day in, day out. But I can tell you I was never embarrassed when a last-minute TV crew rolled up for coverage with minutes to spare! A couple of practicals - consider the sweat factor, don’t wear stripes or small patterns on camera & always powder-up before facing the bright lights.
4. Control the interview.
The interview is your opportunity to share your story, to get your message across, to deliver your statement. Don’t let it be hijacked by questions about other issues, or another agenda from the media. Be confident, stand your ground, know your lines and don’t be swayed to comment otherwise.
5. Watch & listen back.
It may be painful, but it’s one of the only ways to learn. Take the opportunity to watch your TV interviews back and listen in to your radio chats. You’ll learn about your speaking patterns, body language tendencies and areas for improvement. Don’t be hard on yourself - but do take the time to watch and listen to yourself, it makes a world of difference.
Don’t be content with being an average spokesperson - be the best. Put in the time and effort to develop the skills to being a standout spokesperson - you won’t regret it.
*If this blog post helped, drop me a line at email@example.com to say hi! You can also grab a free copy of my Personal PR Planner, tried and tested internationally for over a decade. It will upscale your media coverage: guaranteed!
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