Mastering the Media

A guest post from Todd Brabender:

Todd BrabenderAs a former TV newsman and a current PR professional, I have been on both sides of the media interview game. There are a few tricks of the trade that I do when talking to the media for a client which will make the reporter’s job easier and most likely translate into a better PR placement.

A few basic tips I follow:

Respond promptly.  When a campaign pitch generates a media response, I respond as promptly as possible. I know that if they don’t get what they want from me quickly, they WON’T wait – they WILL move on to another source.

"State facts, not fireworks."  I like to keep superlatives to a minimum. I simply state the specific benefits of the product matter-of-factly. The product won’t need “BEST EVER” or "NUMBER 1" claims to come out in a positive light.

Speak in sentences, not phrases.  I articulate answers in the following manner:

Subject – Verb – Object – Reason

Example: "We (subject) are launching (verb) this new product (object) to give consumers a healthy new option in beverages (reason)."

This helps me give answers that are straightforward and easily understood. Beginning sentences with phrases, tends to make answers seem drawn out, disjointed and most times unresponsive.

"Echo-answer" the main questions.
If a reporter asks : “What’s so great about this new product?” – I paraphrase the answer: “The great thing about our product is…” That quote is much more likely to be used because that answer can stand on its own without needing a “set-up” sentence in the article.

Speak to the interviewer, not to the medium.
I try not to get blinded by the "stage lights."Whether I am speaking to the editor of a small town weekly newspaper or Oprah, I consider the reporter just a single person in my extensive targeted audience.

Todd Brabender is president of Spread the News Public Relations, Inc.  He was featured in the Wall Street Journal:  Are Your Clients Happy Now, Mr. Brabender?

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  1. Thnx for the post Anne! Glad you liked my article and hope it proves beneficial to all Handshake readers.

    I’m happy to provide a free PR/Media Exposure Consultation to any Handshakers who are considering implementing a PR campaign for their businesses.

    Please fill out the consultation form on the website:

    Thnx again!

    Todd Brabender
    Spread The News PR, Inc.
    Generating media exposure for
    innovative products, services and experts.
    LinkedIn Profile:

    Spread The News PR’s Wall Street Journal Front Page Feature:

  2. Never underestimate the power of well-formed English.

  3. I am a HUGE fan of well-formed English. 🙂

    Thanks for your comment, Jim!

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