Do you have an appointed media spokesperson? An important part of every business’ public relations strategy is to assign a media spokesperson. This person should feel comfortable speaking in front of the media and be able to build your company’s profile and protect its reputation.
Here are a few things you should consider when choosing a media spokesperson.
Knowledge of the business and its key messages
One of the most important skills in PR is knowing what the company’s key messages are and being able to tie them into an interview, regardless of the questions being asked. The spokesperson should have a strong knowledge of the company’s background and the issues that a journalist may raise. They should also have a confidence to answer the questions while sticking to the PR strategy.
Don’t necessarily choose the CEO
In many cases the CEO is the best person you can use in the media because they know the business well and have final say on all issues. However if the CEO is not media friendly, they could end up doing more harm than good.
If the CEO has a nervous or shy disposition or if they come across as un-trustworthy, they may not be the best person to represent your business. Another executive who is more confident and likeable is definitely worth considering.
Well presented and well spoken
It doesn’t matter how knowledgeable a member of staff is, if they can’t string a sentence together for radio or look presentable on camera, then they shouldn’t be your spokesperson.
It might sound harsh and it’s certainly not all about appearances, however in reality this person represents your company and you need to consider how you want the audience to perceive your brand.
Know the importance of media
Your spokesperson doesn’t need an extensive knowledge of public relations but they should understand the power of the media and the value of good publicity for your business. If your spokesperson views PR as a waste of time they will not project the best image and may not convey the right message to the media.
You want your spokesperson to be approachable and available where possible so they can engage with the media when required. This will help build your brand and protect your company’s reputation.
Media training for your spokesperson
Many people get nervous when approached by the media, which is why it is essential for your spokesperson to be prepared for a media interview in advance.
Learning how to answer questions, convey your key messages and stay in control of an interview is an incredibly valuable skill. Your spokesperson should participate in media training such as an intensive one day workshop or even a half hour briefing with a PR consultant before the interview- the difference is definitely noticeable.
The right spokesperson for your business can help to build your businesses reputation and ensure your key messages are delivered to the public.