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In the fast-moving world of corporate PR, we pride ourselves on being able to spot a media star in the making. Once identified, our attention turns to nurturing their talent at the same time as helping to generate the right opportunities to allow them to shine!n

In many corporate organisations, media stars in the making are commonly discovered in middle management. They tend to be ambitious individuals who have a genuine interest in their industry and the role it plays in society. As well as helping them to stand out within their organisations, supporting the PR effort by stepping up for media interviews can also increase their personal professional profile – it’s a win-win for all.

To hone their skills, media stars should consider these five top tips:

Three is the magic number

When it comes to giving media interviews, the old adage ‘fail to prepare and prepare to fail’ is true. To prepare, interviewees should aim to prepare no more than three key messages, each one backed up by anecdotes or illustrative examples. There is usually one top-line message and you should aim to get this across at an early stage in the interview.

Use the ‘so what’ test

Skilled media stars know they must appeal to their audience. This doesn’t mean you have to crack jokes or be entertaining, but it does mean you have to be interesting and relevant. If you’re unsure whether your messages pass the ‘so what’ test, why not try them on someone else – a colleague or intermediary you trust for example.

Practice makes perfect

With an interview opportunity secured and a clear brief on what is required, the media star should be prepared to practise their skills. Why not ask your PR to do a mock interview over the phone and practise your delivery out loud, or try it out in front of the mirror? The latter can be useful if you are preparing for TV interviews, where it is important to look engaged and ready to respond, even in between questions.

Be interesting

To become a broadcast media star, you must aim to be interesting (never boring)! As well as checking your messages pass the ‘so what’ test, you should make sure your tone of voice is varied and avoid speaking too quickly. Varying the tone and pace of your delivery, while emphasising key words will help you to get your messages across. On TV, facial animation and expression goes a long way too.

Watch the news

Media stars in ascendance, share one thing in common – they all watch the news. You can learn a lot just by observing how others deliver a memorable media interview – both in terms of its content and delivery. Try guessing what the interviewee’s messages are when watching or listening to news reports – if you can tell, then they have done a good job. Consider their delivery too, is there anything in their body language or style of delivery that you could start to use in your own?

By following these simple tips, you’ll soon find yourself at the top of the media tree.


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