Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Where Do I Look? Media Presentation Tips for Scaredy Cats

Where Do I Look? Media Presentation Tips for Scaredy Cats

By Thomas Murrell MBA, CSP International Business Speaker

The most common question I'm asked in practical media training sessions is, "Where do you look when doing a TV or video interview?"

My answer, "Look at the journalist or person asking the questions because they are the storyteller."

Only look at the camera if you are the host of the show or looking at the interviewer via a satellite hookup or prerecord.

This is the most common mistake novice media performers make.

Over my 30 year career, here's my media presentation tips for scaredy cats.

1. Look at the Journalist.
They are the storyteller not you.
You are the one with the important information and they are the one linking it all together and telling the story.

2. Don't Look At the Camera.
The camera is made of glass and steel and won't smile back!

3. Only Look at the Camera if it is a Remote Interview.
This is usually when it is not face to face such as a satellite hook-up or remote interview via a second camera.

4. Ask the Journalist to Repeat the Question.
Use this technique if you need more time to think, didn't hear the questions properly or didn't understand the question.

5. Radio Notes.
If it is a radio interview have notes in front of you but don't rustle them.

6. Memory Hooks for TV.
For TV you will have to commit your key messages and points to memory.
Use memory hooks - such as alliteration to make them more memorable.

7. Use Quotable Quotes More than Once.
You should have spent time prior to the TV interview working on your sound bite, news grab or quotable quote.
Don't be afraid to use it in the TV interview a number of times.
The editors and producers will choose the best one so give them options.

8. Get the Quote Out Early
Get your quote out early in the interview because you never know when the interview may have to wrap up.
The first question is nearly always a broad open question from the journalist.

9. Avoid Visual Distractions
This can be a fly, car driving past or someone trying to do a photo-bomb.
For TV interviews in a studio or in the field a monitor can very distracting so get it turned off or turned away where you can't see it.
There is nothing more distracting than seeing yourself on the screen while trying to do an interview.
For live radio interviews always turn the radio off because often there will be a seven second delay and this is really confusing for listeners.

10. Always Remember Everything is "On The Record"
You've packed up and everything is turned off and then you make a comment thinking the interview is over.

This can become the headline if you're not careful and disciplined.

Everything is on the record when talking to a journalist.

Want to know more and practice in a safe friendly environment? Please consider:
Tuesday November 12th 2013, HLB Mann Judd, L4, 130 Stirling Street, Perth Australia, Australia
Winning the Media Game
Numbers are strictly limited so book here.

Thomas Woodford added:

Hello Tom

Thanks for the recent cast on interview techniques.  It's great to be able to look at your material through the prism of psychology.

What I have noticed is the importance of background in an interview.

For example if I am going to confirm a theory to an interviewer,  who is challenging the science,  I will choose an academic backdrop e.g., library books  on shelves. 

If the theory is old and needs reinforcing an old style book case and books is best. 

If it's ground breaking technology then IKEA and clean-edged,  smooth but strong back drop office is good.

Crisis backdrops and anything to do with giving a united stance always has a person in the back nodding.

I wouldn't let an interviewer choose the background in my domain or my office  because its all in the rehearsal.  There's nothing wrong with setting up a camera at your office,  watch the footage with an objective friend. 

Also have a swag of different outdoor locations you look good in.  If reporters ring for a doorstop deflect them to an outdoor location you have been before.  If you feel good in a location it will come across.

At the office experimenting with backdrops can make a difference and then dictate terms when the reporter arrives in the nicest possible way  e.g., sparkling water and lemon in a tall glass a comfortable place to wait for the talent,  who arrives just after appointment time.

 Greeting reporters unprepared and waiting while they set up just leads to unnecessary talk.  A walk on to the set is best when they are ready.

Conduct the interview and walk off leaving them to pack up.

You're right; whatever you do don't look at the camera.

 Kind regards

Thomas Woodford (BBA), (Grad. Dip. Ed), (MRE).

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Mining is an undervalued success story

Mining is an undervalued success story according to Graduate Management Association AGM and Twilight   guest speaker Emeritus Professor Andre Morkel . 

Pictured with Graduate Management Association Patron Dr Michael Chaney, guest speaker Emeritus Professor Andre Morkel and GMA Councilor Keith Rappa.

How to Write a Press Release Course Perth October 22 2013

Media release writing training Perth feedback from delegates (pictured). Content included how to write a media release, how to pitch a press release, how to write authored articles, how to write an article for a trade magazine.

Newsletter article writing training for the Perth course was another focus.

"I liked the use of real media releases to illustrate poor communication. Challenging case studies that took me out of my comfort zone and made me think differently."
David Healy, Supervisor Corporate and Audit Services HLB Mann Judd Perth

"Lots of excellent information which is easy to take away and apply in practice."
Leslee Hall, Marketing and Communications Officer WA Farmers, Perth

"I liked the case studies that we did were real - helps to put it in context."
Michelle King, Marketing Manager, BE Projects, Perth

"Great tips and knowledge of how to structure media releases and authored articles."
David Prescott, Supervisor Business Advisory Services HLB Mann Judd Perth

The next how to write a press release course in Perth is on Tuesday December 10th 2013.

The how to write an article for a trade magazine course in Perth will be kept to small numbers and feature a 90-day follow-up editing mentor program.

Book here.

Wednesday, October 09, 2013


The 10 Secrets of Writing and Pitching Winning Media Releases

The 10 Secrets of Writing and Pitching Winning Media Releases

By Thomas Murrell MBA, CSP International Business Speaker

I'm often asked, “How do you get so much media coverage for your clients?”

My answer, “Because I've worked in the media for nearly 30 years and I know the rules of the game.”

Also because there are many stories, many angles, and many opportunities for unpaid media coverage.

Small business owners and larger companies often blindly begin their capital raising program, new project or marketing campaign with little or no regard for the steps and the process of getting media.

They don't understand the link between media coverage and the secret formula that visibility + credibility = profitability.

They don't understand that PR can create leverage and momentum prior to launching a new product, project or capital raising effort.

Why? Because they are so focused internally and on paid advertising, mandates or roadshows that they do not see the external PR opportunities.

Over my 30 year career, a lot has changed in the media.

We've seen the rise of social media and content marketing.

To be successful, not just as a one off but constantly, you need to get inside the mind of media relations professionals.

How they target media channels, how they understand news values, how they know media cycles and deadlines,  and when and how to pitch.

They essentially think like a journalist.

A journalists favorite question is “So what who cares?”

Be able to provide a compelling answer to this that is of interest to their audiences and you’ll have greater success.
So here are the 10 Secrets of Writing and Pitching Winning Media Releases.

**1. Plan and Clearly title it a 'News Release' or 'Media Release'**

Avoid calling it a 'Press Release' - this just gets electronic and social media offside.

Plan and aim for a clear direct transmission of the message.

**2. Date the release**

Timeliness and immediacy are critical news values.

Make key points. Use short sentences and paragraphs.

Minimum waffle, maximum everyday language.

Positive and active words and phrases.

**3. Use letterhead**

This provides credibility. 

**4. Keep to one page**

Journalists are unlikely to read past a page. A second page can often get lost on the fax. If you need to provide more information for a complex subject use a 'Fact Sheet' or 'Media Backgrounder'.

**5. Use a title to grab the attention of the journalist. **

Keep this to one line and no more than 5 words. Less is best.

**6. Have Structure. **

Remember it is a stylized piece of writing following a set formula.

The formula is the essence of your story/news in the first sentence - it must grab the reader (news editor).

Often there is little difference between a release and published story. Read the paper to see how a reporter does it.

Here is the secret formula based on a pyramid model.

**7. Use quotable quotes from the spokesperson. **

These provide credibility, emotional connection and color.

**8. Put the most important information first**

Again journalists are time poor and you want to get their attention within the first line?

**9. Call to Action**

What do you want audiences to do after reading your media release?

**10.    Always include a contact number**

Often known as a "boilerplate" and comes after ENDS or ### which means this is where the public information finishes.

Office and mobile, email, skype, social media and website address so the journalist can get more details if interested.

Want to know more? Please consider:

**Tuesday October 22nd 2013, HLB Mann Judd, L4, 130 Stirling Street, Perth Australia** __Writing and Pitching Winning Media Releases__
[* Numbers limited so book here].

The University of Western Australia Business School's MBA 40th anniversary Dinner!

How to Sell A Family Business with Robyn Ahern

How do you sell a family business with multiple owners and stakeholders?

Former CEO of the Aherns retail empire in Perth and MBA Graduate Robyn Ahern explains how in this podcast.

She was a guest speaker at a Graduate Management Association Up Close and Personal Lunch.

Click here to listen...