It’s getting harder every day to be an effective media spokesperson. Newspaper reporters, broadcasters and online media have access to more and better investigative tools, plus, social media has made it almost impossible to hide behind your words.
Spokespeople can’t just show up anymore. You need a plan. It’s up to you as a spokesperson to be able to back up what you say with proof and not leave reporters wondering. Look for others to help back up the argument to your story, ideally specialists who will give your position credibility, but who do not have any connection to you.
It’s also important to not speak over anyone’s head just to sound wiser. Be concise when talking to a reporter and simplify your message. Even though it has to sound like the words are spontaneously rolling off your tongue, the reality is that you need to know exactly what you’re talking about and precisely what you want to say. The secret is to know your information inside out and backwards so you can relax and think clearly.
5 communication tips from Jeff Ansell to help you be a better spokesperson.
- Know what you want to say prior to media interviews
- Support your messages with facts
- Quote third party experts to support your case
- Use short, clear sentences
- Sound conversational