Are people interested in what you’re saying?

People waste a lot of time in the media and that’s true of the professionals as well. So, we find, the BBC pays people a lot. And the new news site, Unherd, kicked off last week with a deep dive into the news industry. But if you’re not a journalist do you care?

Maybe you do in the first instance as you pay your TV license fee, but I have to ask how important the second of those things is to anyone not involved. I’d love to be mistaken but it looks a lot like journalists writing about journalists to me. And now I’m doing it.

I have always advised my media training delegates to consider the audience above all else. And that doesn’t mean the journalist in front of them.

Take aim, fire

All too often I find people have gone for an interview because the opportunity presents itself, then they’re surprised when they answer all the journalist’s questions but the sales don’t come in. This is often because they’ve ended up allowing the journalist to take full control and, if they’re honest, they didn’t start with a proper objective anyway.

Here’s how it works at best. You or a PR specialist assess your objectives. Never mind which papers or websites you want to appear in – you consider what you want to achieve. It may be mind share, it may be sales, it may be investment, it may be something else. Nonetheless, you assess what it is that you’re trying to do.

Then you look at readerships. At this stage a few things will become clear: a computer company is not going to get investment from the end user press any more than a smartwatch company is going to sell loads of cheap watches to the readers of the Financial Times.

So you start to match your target readership/viewership/whatever to your objectives. Only after that do you start to look at pitching to journalists, bloggers or whoever – and when you go in, you use some of the techniques described in this blog and in my media training sessions to steer the topic to whatever is going to make your objective happen.

There are no guarantees of course – but if you have an objective and a few techniques, at least you can say whether or not it’s worked.

Do you need help with your media engagement? Click here to email me or fill in the form below and we’ll talk.

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