Introduction to Media Training SURFPAC Public Affairs May 2014
GROUND WE’LL COVER • Why talk to the media • News and news making • Preparing for an interview • Messages • Interview Techniques
WHY TALK TO THE MEDIA? • Should be seen as an opportunity • We want ownership of the issue • Funding, Recruiting, National Will, Sailor Morale
WHY TALK TO THE MEDIA? “The media are not an optional add-on to a modern operation -- today, dealing with the media is key to any operational success.” -- Dr. Jamie Shea NATO Chief of Information “I would no sooner do a media interview without preparing than fly a combat mission over Baghdad without preparing.” -- Gen. Dick Hawley former COMACC
News Pegs Suspense Proximity Immediacy Conflict Emotion Consequence Oddity Prominence Progress Sex WHAT’S NEWS?
TYPES OF INTERVIEWS • On the record -- “Mr. Smith said…” • Background -- “a Department of the Navy official said...” • Deep background -- “a lawyer said...” • Off the record -- “………..” • Know and understand interaction
TYPES OF INTERVIEWS • Morning Show • Edited Interview • Remote Interview • Confrontational Interview • Press Conference
RESPONDING TO QUESTIONS • Look at the person who asks the question • Respond to question with messages -- Answer + Message = Response • Limit response to a maximum of 60 seconds -- Be succinct; Don’t use jargon • Know facts and figures • Don’t speculate
MEDIA TIPS • Tell the Truth • Be Yourself • Don’t Argue; Rise above the Fray • “No Comment” is not a response • If you don’t know, just say so • Correct and Protect the Record • Keep up with the news • Know the Rules of Engagement • Use Public Affairs Guidance and Personnel
Be patient - pause and think about what you want to say Think in sound bites Don’t repeat a negative Stay in your lane Always consider yourself “on the record” Avoid Navy jargon and acronyms Dress appropriately Know your messages …MORE MEDIA TIPS
PREPARING FOR AN INTERVIEW • Dress and appearance • Eye and Hand movements • Facial expressions • Posture • Voice tone • Relaxation tips • Number one mistake on camera is lack of energy!
PREPARING FOR AN INTERVIEW • Know the media • Knowledge level, style, interest areas • Publication audience, format • Know your audience • Internal, external • Local, regional, national, international • Know your messages • Prepare in advance • Practice in advance
DEVELOP MESSAGES • Messages are key bits of information you want your audience to know (10 - 20 sec soundbite) • Decide on the headline you want & practice out loud • Write your messages down to better evaluate them -- Must be short, memorable and relevant • Accuracy • Brevity • Clarity • Repeat, your messages often!
MESSAGES: THE SANDWICH The Message Sandwich • State your message • Support your position -- Explanation, Facts, Description, Rationale • Restate your message “Nike shoes are the best. They have been scientifically engineered for comfort and traction, and have set the standard for running shoes that are always in fashion. No shoes are better than Nike.”
MESSAGES: THE HOOK • “Hook” the reporter and audience • Technique used to influence the questions you will be asked • Before the interview begins “hook” the reporter with your key messages • Make your point and drive the agenda; force interviewer to follow your lead “And that’s just one possibility…” “We’ve done something no other organization has ever done.”
MESSAGES: THE BRIDGE “Bridging” to key messages • Technique used to move from what the reporter wants to discuss to what you want to discuss • Don’t wait for the “right” question • Deal with the question honestly, then logically bridge to your message. “Yes... (Response) ... “let me explain…” (Bridge to message) “… is a good point, but the real issue is…”
MESSAGES: THE FLAG • “Flag” what people should remember • Technique used to emphasize your messages with the audience • Verbal highlight, foot stomp, • Use voice and gestures to telegraph messages “What you really need to know is…” “If you remember one thing today it should be. . . .”
AVOID MEDIA TRAPS • Barrage of questions • Answer the one you want to answer • Comparisons with others • Length of answers • Negative words or phrases • Don’t repeat negatives • Promises • Repeat statement, but still not as a promise • Speculation • Don’t speculate unless you thought it in advance
Things to Remember Rule #1 – Stay in your lane • Biographical information (Where you are from, family info, etc.) • Your job(s) on the ship • Size of crew • General mission of the ship • Life on board the ship • Navy life in general • Ports visited, etc. (No future operational info) • Why did you join the Navy? • Personal and professional Navy goals • Advice for young people about joining the Navy
Things to Remember Rule #2 – Avoid negative topics • How many ships should the Navy purchase? • Which variant of LCS is better? • Why is yourship always broken? • Is the LCS program a waste of money? • Etc.
GROUND WE’VE COVERED • Why talk to the media • News and news making • Preparing for an interview • Messages • Interview Techniques
“Public sentiment is everything. With public sentiment, nothing can fail; without it, nothing can succeed.” Conclusion -- Abraham Lincoln