April’s #PRPlaybook series is focusing on best practices for preparing a media briefing. A media briefing is an essential part of any publicist’s job. It is an opportunity to showcase our expertise to both the client and the media. Before heading into an interview, you want your client to feel prepared and equipped with all of the tools to have a successful interview that results in positive press coverage and increased brand recognition.
It all starts with a briefing book — think of this as a study guide with all of the information that will ensure the interview process runs smoothly. A briefing book has everything your client needs to know regarding the interview details and the reporter who is conducting the interview. Maintaining relationships with the media is essential and it is important to be prepared and do your research. Find out as much as you can about the reporter and their relationship or any interactions with your client thus far. Include details such as how the interview was secured, the main goal of the interview, what the reporter typically covers and any information regarding their interview style.
If you are able to, coordinate with the reporter ahead of time and request the topics they will cover and any questions they plan to ask. If the reporter does not send questions, read some of their previous articles and try to make educated guesses regarding what they might ask. You can usually gauge what information they’ll want to discover based on the information they typically write about. Including all of this in the briefing book helps you and clients develop thoughtful responses that incorporate key messaging statements. It is always a good idea to anticipate the tough questions and prepare some sample responses that the interviewee can lean on if needed.
Go above and beyond to arm the interviewee with data points, relevant statistics and case studies so that they can quickly reference as needed throughout the interview. Always try to include a few relevant use cases to reference and the accompanying data for those use cases. This is a great way to show results and can sometimes make technical information a bit more digestible for the reporter.
As you sit down with your client and the reporter for the actual interview, recommend that the conversation begin with a brief introduction to the client’s role at the company, followed by an introduction to the company, including what the company does and the types of customers that they work with. Reiterate the goals of the conversation and then it’s time to let go of the reins and let the reporter take the lead. Take a deep breath and feel confident that you did your job to equip your client with all of the tools necessary to hold a successful interview!
That’s how to prepare a media briefing….#bocastyle