Marsha Friedman: Marsha is a prominent business woman, publicity expert, author, radio personality and public speaker. Her company, EMSI Public Relations is a national public relations firm that has specialized in promoting non-fiction and fiction authors for more than 20 years. Among her prominent clients are best selling author of the “Vitamin Bible”, Dr. Earl Mindell, Teamster’s President Jimmy Hoffa Jr., Sergeant's Pet Care Products, Former National Security Advisor Robert McFarlane and the famous Motown Group, the Temptations. She consults individuals and businesses on a daily basis about how to harness the power of publicity.
How to Give a Great Print Media
Interview: Five Tips You Don't Want To Miss Contributed to
Bookpleasures.com by Marsha Friedman
CEO EMSI Public Relations
They really shouldn't be treated the same. That's why I've
written a booklet called 50 Tips to Make You A Great Radio Guest and
a similar piece for TV. Now I am compiling interview tips for working
with print and online journalists (which in many cases can be the
same thing). This will be the first of three articles, so stay tuned
for the others over the next two weeks.
Here are the first five tips:
Be Responsive - In TV and radio, interview times are pre-arranged. However, print and online journalists typically have daily and weekly deadlines. When they call you, they need you right then! In many cases, journalists will reach out to several experts on a news item and then choose the one who is the better interview or whoever responded quickest (or a combination of the two). The more reliably you respond, the more likely they will call on you again.
It's Not About You - Most
journalists are not interested in you, but rather the expert
commentary you can provide. The more you use the words "I"
and "my" the less likely they will use you as a source.
When speaking to a reporter, keep in mind you are speaking to their
audience, so keep your remarks centered on what their audience cares
about and you'll be quoted early and often.
Read Before You Talk - If you get
a call from a publication, take five minutes to go online and read a
few of their stories. Look for their tone and approach, so your tone
and approach will match. Also look for articles they wrote on your
topic, so you can avoid duplicating what someone else said. Finally,
read articles written by the journalist you'll be speaking with.
There is no better way to prepare for a print or online interview
than to read the writings of the reporter interviewing you. You can
discover his or her focus, audience and philosophy. The reporter can
tell if you've read his or her articles through your comments and
will respect you for having made the effort to prepare for them.
Don't Empty Your Notebook - Beat
reporters - journalists who cover a particular topic or industry -
tend to be experts in that field from their time covering it for
their respective publications. They don't need, nor do they want,
your soup-to-nuts take on that topic. They need only a few quotes
and opinions to round out their stories. Answer direct questions
with direct answers, and get to the point quickly. There's no need
to tell the reporter everything you know, emptying your notebook of
all your collected knowledge, in order to have a good interview.
Allowing an interview to devolve into you talking about your total
philosophy on a particular topic or business will result in your
interview landing in the discard pile, and the reporter will likely
seek a comment from your competitor instead.
Be Professional - Reporters don't call you to talk about the weather, last night's TV, your kids, etc. You'd be surprised how many times I've come across people who think a little friendly chit chat can "grease the wheels." If they engage you, that's one thing. It's entirely another if you waste their time with unwanted "schmoozing." Most have deadlines to meet and their time is valuable. Many outlets are working with significantly smaller writing staff than a year ago. Respect their time and they'll respect you.
There's more to a good print interview
and in the next two weeks I will share more tips. If you follow this
advice, you'll discover your interviewers will respond better to you,
use more of the interview in their actual articles and maybe even
call you back for more quotes when they work on other stories. At the
end of the day, these tips will help you be prepared so that when
your name is mentioned in the media, readers will know they are
getting advice from someone who truly knows what he or she is talking
Hope this information is helpful and if you want professional assistance with your PR campaign, please call or email us right away. My partner, Steve Friedman, and I, along with our staff of PR professionals, have been promoting authors for over 20 years and we can help you.
Plus, I think you'll be interested to learn that our fees are performance-based, which simply means that if you pay us to book you on 15 radio interviews in top 100 markets, you get booked on 15 radio interviews in top 100 markets. We have similar fee structures for booking you as a guest on TV and for obtaining editorial coverage in newspapers and magazines. Media is guaranteed with our firm, which is very different from how traditional retainer-based PR firms operate.
Feel free to explore the possibilities with Steve; he can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call him directly at 727-443-7115, ext. 208. We'd love to hear from you!