I have highlighted how to prepare for a media interview a few times on this site and on my YouTube Channel and wanted to drill down on a major mistake that people make when they undertake a media interview.
Many people get very excited about the possibility of being featured by the press, particularly popular mainstream media outlets with, what is often perceived as having, wide reach. There is a reason why I have mentioned perceived here – but I will come back to this point further on in this piece. The excitement is justified and often quickly dampened by nerves or fear which is why preparation is essential – there are plenty of videos, blogs and courses that you can find which can help you with your media training needs. As an entrepreneur or professional who has been invited to speak on behalf of a business brand or for your expertise & personal brand – media training is essential.
But once you have undertaken media training or at least prepped for your interview what is the biggest mistake you can make when you undertake a media interview?
Not understanding the media itself. Undertaking an interview without understanding the dynamics and layers of media that exist means that you are not only limiting the impact of your message but you’re also misunderstanding the strategic value of media placements as a whole.
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The PESO (Paid Earned Shared Owned) model illustrates the broad scope of the media. It’s not as simple as simply being featured on something and leaving it to chance or anticipating that because a platform has a large following or is well known that it will immediately make a difference to your reputation and brand positioning. There is a perception that being featured on a big media platform like the BBC or CNN for example will automatically reach your core audience but if you do not understand the media or understand the people you want to reach (customers/clients/stakeholders) then being featured by one of these media outlets will have little impact on your long term goals. By understanding different types of media and aligning your media relations strategy with your overall business strategy you might find that it makes more sense to focus your efforts on niche, targeted media or in fact building your owned media catalogue of content. If you don’t understand how earned media overlaps with shared media you might find that you’re not taking into consideration how your words (audio/written) will be shared or how you can share your interview/feature for your own content creation purposes. Media exposure is great but it is really only as good as your strategy otherwise it is an ego-driven exercise for vanity metrics.
PR tip of the day: When it comes to media relations think about the audiences you want to reach when positioning yourself to the media. It’s great for vanity metrics if you get a mainstream media placement but if who you want to reach isn’t getting the message what’s the point?
— Ronke Lawal (@ronkelawal) July 15, 2020
So remember that understanding the media is just as, if not more important than getting featured in the media itself.
You can order my eGuide on how to prepare for a media interview here.