Is the “PC” platform being thrown-out by non-political players?

So, it’s not often or ever, for me at least, to see a political candidate rhyme a speech and throw out F-bombs. Yet, it doesn’t really matter if it has not been the norm, it’s what people are talking about today.

It’s what Kid Rock has done and it’s not anything we should dismiss.  Kid Rock Blog DMG

Kid Rock is getting exactly what he wants – the publicity and a larger platform.

I have been in the communications business for more than 20 years including in the media, public relations, and marketing. I have covered political candidates and worked for them.

If the Trump Presidency has taught us anything, it should be that conventional campaigns and careful communication are not always what wins the election. There is a new playbook in town and it’s being written by non-political players.

It’s not that I would agree with tawdry tweets or profane political messaging to position oneself in a race, but we must take note of what’s happening.

People inside and outside this country dismissed Donald Trump and now he has the most powerful title in the world – or at least the title that was once believed to be the most powerful one in the world. I guess it depends now on who you ask.

I have written political speeches and managed messages. I have strategized on delivering those messages – the timing, the words and the platforms. Never once did I write in poem or include offensive four-letter words and today it seems to be the buzz.

The thing is, Trump spoke to a large enough constituency to win the highest seat in this country and Kid Rock touts the possibility of presidency as he teases his run for U.S. Senate.

The world is changing. Personal platforms are dominating and public figures are trending on Twitter with their own political messaging.

The non “politically correct” is resonating with the masses.

Anytime I have coached clients on media relations, I stress the importance of authenticity. Perhaps that is what clicks with so many.  We might not agree with Kid Rock’s delivery and Donald Trump’s social media messages but we can at least surmise that many follow, because they see the authenticity in both. They are both being themselves, and it doesn’t matter who likes it or not.  Trump Blog DMG

It’s not about being politically correct anymore. It’s about being one’s self.  In fact, I have to believe part of their playbook is throwing “PC” out the window.

We can’t ignore them or downplay them; we all have to figure out how to work with them and the people who follow them.

I am taking note not just as a citizen who votes, but as a communications strategist, media coach and content creator.

As I peruse social media and see all these posts about Kid Rock, and all the negativity, I can’t help but wonder if just by being himself – Kid Rock – he will win that seat in in D.C. and we will have to add Senator to his name. We have to stop scratching our heads and posting our disdain. We need to pay attention to what is going on.  We have to ask why do these messages seem to work? Why are people not only listening, but acting?

Perhaps, the “PC” world that we have created as a society is not how people want leaders to communicate. Maybe we rethink those carefully crafted messages, because clearly the political platforms are being built by the non-political players.

10 Questions you need to ask yourself before creating website content

It amazes me how many web designers that I talk with create websites for clients who have no content.  So, you realize your company needs a website or an updated one but you have only thought out the design and not the messages.  As content creators, we focus on all platforms, including websites, and are often referred to by web designers to write content. We create written landing pages to entire websites.  Over the years, we have created the top 10 questions people need to ask before we create the website content.
  1. What is my message? You need to first ask yourself why are you creating a website. Is it just to have one?  What do you want that website to communicate?
  2. Who cares?  My news editor asked me that question when we talked about what news stories should go on the air. You need to know your own audience. Who are you trying to reach? What do you want them to do? What do they care about?
    D&B Grocers DMG Newsletter

    DMG has helped D & B Grocers Wholesale Inc. in keeping their website current.

  3. How will I keep the site current? Nothing is worse than a static website. You must keep the content fluid and updated. This is where a blog page comes in handy.  You can also add vlogs and podcasts.  This helps with SEO’s and other marketing campaigns.
  4. How can I re-purpose my content? At DMG, we are always talking to clients about re-purposing content.  There are many platforms to send messages, including social media, which should be used to drive traffic to your site. You can also use the content in digital marketing campaigns. Your web content should be the main content that you create and from there you can re-purpose it for other uses.
  5. What am I offering my clients/customers or potential ones? Many of us are offering services or products that solve problems. Does your website content convey that message?
  6. What is my story? You need to know your own story before others will care about your business or service. What sets you apart? Why are you in the business?
  7. What images help tell my story? People love photos and these photos can be repurposed on social media sites. Images can include graphics, charts and other images.
  8. Who are my competitors? Any time I work with clients on websites, we go to websites of their competitors and evaluate what they like and don’t like about each one.  This is like getting three bids when hiring someone. You should look at three different website that are in your industry.
    DMG has also helped ECRC in minimizing the amount of tabs on their website.

    DMG has also helped ECRC in minimizing the amount of tabs on their website.

  9. How many tabs do I want on the home page? You need to know what are your main offerings and main messages. What will be tabs and what will be sub-tabs. I have run into this issue numerous times when clients don’t know what they want as main tabs.
  10. What images and content do I want on my home page? This is imperative. They say don’t judge a book by its cover? Your entire website could be judged by its homepage.  You have seconds to grabs someone’s attention.  Your homepage sends an important message that will either entice someone to click on tabs or click off your website.

Don’t Hijack the Reporter’s Story

I get it. It’s your story and perhaps you even pitched it but don’t try to take over what the reporter is writing. I realize the importance of controlling your message. I consult clients on this all the time.  It can be done without irritating the reporter doing the story.

20170816_180030This is most important when a media outlet reaches out to you. If someone calls to use you in the article or news story or even write an entire story about you or your company, first be grateful; that’s assuming it’s a positive story. If you are battling a crisis, that is another issue entirely.

For the purpose of this article, let’s assume it’s a positive piece. As a journalist, I have reached out to numerous people over the years to write about them or include them in a story. Nothing irritates me more than when that person or their PR person tries to hijack my story. I am all for offering ideas or angles and often when I interview people, I learn things that make the story that much better but don’t try to control the story. Not only will the reporter ditch it, he or she may never contact you again.

If you are about to be interviewed, remember some important rules.

  1. Don’t ever ask a reporter to read the story before it goes to print. Another PR person I was working with on a joint story that I happened to have pitched, asked that of a veteran writer from a prominent publication and he emailed back, basically calling her out on her ignorance. I privately apologized for her, mainly because I was the one who pitched the story idea.
  2. Don’t insist on meeting in person. Reporters are extremely busy and are doing much more than they ever have done in the past. They have little time. If they ask for a phone interview or want to email questions, comply with their request. Don’t insist on the reporter coming to your office or you to them.
  3. Offer suggestions, don’t demand. Reporters appreciate ideas or suggestions but don’t start telling him how to write his story or report the story.  Most reporters know what they are doing; they don’t need you to explain their job to them. Often, what you may think is story, no one else does.
  4.  Support your information with facts.  If you make a claim, support it with data and facts. Don’t just make a statement and assume a reporter will believe you.  You can offer opinions but don’t state fact without backing it up. Don’t make the story about your opinion.  The reporter already has an idea of how he or she wants to tell the story. Your opinions will be included but they won’t be the entire story.
  5. If you don’t write, don’t correct. I have had various people over the years who think they can write, correct my work. They don’t know AP style writing and sometimes don’t even have a firm grasp on basic grammar. Unless you are finding a typo or correcting inaccurate information, don’t demand a rewrite or correct the reporter’s style of writing.  You should know their style before you agreed to the interview.  Writing is a skill. There is a reason people major in journalism.  Respect the profession and the writer.Mackinac-Policy-Conference

Mackinac Policy Conference recap written by Vanessa Denha-Garmo can be found in the Chaldean News.

When You Don’t Know Your Own Story!

It often amazes me when I start talking to people and potential clients and I hear these impactful stories that they don’t realize are stories.  I start to ask a series of questions as I would as a reporter and often what surfaces are stories that have not been told.

The reason so many people don’t know they have a story to tell or stories, is because no one has asked them the right questions. When meeting with potential consultants, you need to pay attention to the questions they ask and if they identify a story about your or your company that you have never thought about prior.

In fact, I won’t take a client on if after the first meeting I can’t find a good story or one that hasn’t been told before. In fact, I prefer to only take on clients who have several stories to tell to various audiences or at least to a targeted one.

Some stories tie into current events such as the 50-year anniversary of the 1967 Riots. Our client, AFPD has many members who lived through that time in the city of Detroit and had businesses that were effected by the riots. We shared their stories on their own platforms and with the general media.

You can hear an interview with Frank Beckmann on WJR. Click here to listen to the interview!

cn0717_01 (1)

Sometimes stories happened that are unexpected. We had to stop everything we were doing at the Chaldean News mid-June after ICE detained dozens of Chaldeans who were set to be deported to Iraq. It was a story we didn’t plan on but one we had to tell at the Chaldean News. The monthly publication is its own platform and so is the CN social media pages, but we also shared the story with other media.  We wore our content creators hat and our PR hat with that story.

You need to ask: what is going on in the world today the pertains to what you have going on?

You can often tie into different events or piggy back current news stories.

In order to know what is news or identify a news story, you must pay attention to the news.

Are you reading, watching and listening to news outlets?

What is the media reporting on today?

This includes following them on social media.

Anytime you are giving back to the community, there is a story to be told. One client started a shoe donation program with various gyms and didn’t tell us about it at first but we quickly realized its story potential, so we shared it and media picked it up.

So, why is it important to know your own story? If you don’t know your own story, no one else will!

What’s Your Story?

Mackinac-Policy-Conference

Putting Your Best Face Forward

The Mackinac Policy Conference creates the environment to Naturally Network

By the mere nature of my career, I have had to learn an important skill – how to network. Over the years, I created a workshop on the very subject called Naturally Networking.  It is now part of my consulting practice. The best place to test your networking skill is at the Detroit Regional Chamber Mackinac Policy Conference.

I started attending this annual event in the mid-90s as a reporter and have interviewed many leaders in politics and business over the years. Since 2010, I have attended as both the Co-publisher of the Chaldean News and as the Founder of Denha Media Group. I have had the pleasure of creating life-long colleagues and friends who I have met at the conference including some clients.

One client, Westland Mayor William R. Wild calls the Mackinac Policy Conference my Super Bowl.

Wearing the Chaldean News hat, I pen this column about the Detroit Regional Chamber’s Annual Conference, but not about what happened during the conference. That’s been reported already. For the purpose of this piece, I wanted to share some networking suggestions from some of Metro-Detroit’s talent.

“This conference is a gathering of 1600 people or more of Michigan’s top leadership and it is a great learning experience with great thought leadership we bring in from all parts of the country,” said Sandy Baruah, president and CEO of the Detroit Regional Chamber. “We bring in a dozen of thought leaders and it is a tremendous learning opportunity. That is why we broadcast it live on DPTV, so we can open it up to everyone.”

Sometimes the art of networking is creating a buzz before your get to the island, which Westland Mayor William Wild has done for several years. He has strategically placed billboards on I 75 just so conference goers can get a glimpse of his message before they hit the ferry docks. billboard

This year he also brought along buttons with the message “My City Matters” to piggy back on his billboard message of “Your City Matters.” His messaging was about revenue sharing from the state and how cities are negatively impacted economically by the revenue sharing formula.

The messaging created the conversation on the island.

This year, I wanted to elaborate on the art of networking and find out what style of networking other people at the conference have used over the years. They share their approaches below.

“Networking is an important opportunity to meet people. It allows you to learn about other people and other industries and advance your initiatives and allows other to collaborate. It is a win for everyone, from a personal, profession and business perspective. Networking at this conference is where partnerships get formed.  I don’t have a specific technique per se but I listen a lot and ask a lot of questions and get very engaged. It lends for very meaningful conversations. We connect with all kinds of people in various industries including, academia and government and of course manufacturing.”  – Christine Longroy, automotive industry manager with SME

“When I am networking, I am always trying to figure out what the other person’s needs are and within my rolodex I try to figure out if there is a connection. There is a book called, “Love is the Killer APP” and it talks about sharing your network with no barriers and no protection and with that you strengthen your network. If I hadn’t done that kind of networking over the years, I would not have job that I have today” –  Melanie Duquesnel, president and CEO of the Better Business Bureau.

 

“The thing about networking is that there is performance to it. You are trying to engage people the best that you can. I try to come up with current event topics, business topics and a series of questions that keep people talking about their business. From that, I usually find something in common that carries on a conversation but the key thing is don’t hard sell anyone. Just get to know them, especially in an environment like the Policy Conference.” –  Dan West, president and CEO of the Livonia Chamber of Commerce.

 

“My own personal style is getting up close and personal. I don’t talk about religion. I don’t talk about politics. I try to get to a common ground. When you are networking with people from a business standpoint, it is sometimes hard to connect. If you are in finance and I am in PR, what do we have in common? But, if we both have kids or live in the same community, that shows common ground and we can move the conversation along.” – Michelle Gilbert, VP of Public Relations and Social Media for Comcast.

“It’s all about supporting each other. We try to communicate with as many people as we can and find commonalties and find ways to support each other.  We have to tell our story.”  Saad Abbo, chairman of the Chaldean American Chamber of Commerce and Founder of U.S Ice.

 

“Networking is about being open to new discussions and ideas that benefit our community.” – Paul Jonna, board member of the Chaldean American Chamber of Commerce and Attorney with Taubman Company.

“I believe that networking is one of the most important skills that anyone can have in life. I approach networking like I approach everything. I must be myself in conversations. I must be a good listener and show that I care very much about the person who I am talking with and the Detroit Regional Chamber Mackinac Policy Conferece is one of the state’s signature and premier networking events. It is an opportunity to meet people you may never be able to meet and it is an opportunity to fortify relationships. It brings us together as community so we can have a conversation about the issues important to our state.” – Lena Epstein, Trump Campaign Chair for Michigan and Candidate for U.S. Senate.

 

“I have never been accused of being an introvert. When you come from a Lebanese and Syrian family, you tend to be very outgoing; you want to meet new people, you want to talk to new people. It is the way I have been raised and how I have always approached this event. This is a unique opportunity to have so many people from so many different important businesses, industries, community services and nonprofits coming together. You are just learning about them and they are learning about you and whatever group you represent.” – Geralyn Lasher, senior deputy director for External Relations and Communications for the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. 

 

“Networking for me has always been about creating relationships. Need to consider what you want to achieve, your purpose for networking — is it for professional growth and opportunities or for acquiring new business, and what relationships you want to nurture or grow. Networking for me has been about connecting people to Children’s Hospital of Michigan and the amazing work we do. I determine the events and activities that will put me in touch with those I want to meet. I have been active in professional groups that align with my personal goals and that accelerate the networking process. — Midwest Chapter of the American College of Healthcare Executives, Inforum, Leadership Detroit/Detroit Chamber for example work the room — be yourself — find common interests and purposes. Be strategic and active with social media to make and nurture the connections you need – LinkedIn, Twitter for example. Don’t simply build your network to build your network; we have so little time, with lots of things competing for our attention, make networking work for you. Be yourself and have a few good stories in your pocket to break the ice.” – Luanne Thomas Ewald, president of DMC’s Children’s Hospital of Michigan

Advertising the Message

Your advertisements should tell your story.
Ads can be created for traditional platforms such as radio, TV, print publications, billboards and they can also be created for social media and other internet marketing platforms.
You can also create marketing materials that tell your story or at least tease it.
The success of those ads will depend on your content.

What messages are you delivering to your potential customers and clients?

Sounding the Message
Radio is still a powerful way to deliver a message. Personalizing the ad with the voice of the client instead of a professional can be very effective. Tailoring to the specific radio audience is essential. Running Right Heating and Cooling did just that in this radio ad that airs on Ave Maria Catholic Radio.
The Power of the Pen  DMG PEN
We recently purchased pens to hand out to potential customers that not only had our website
on them but we posed a question: What’s your story?

We wanted to not only get people thinking about their own story but further inquire about what we do at Denha Media Group.

Print It  York ad

Despite what some people may believe, print media is not dead especially when it comes to ethnic markets and   targeted audiences.

Depending on the size, print ads can include content and images that market your service or product.

 

Billboards and Buttons

Whether  it is a drive-by message or a pass-out piece or give-a-way, there are various ways to market yourself and this includes campaigns, communities and people.

You can pose one question or make one sound statement that prompts people to react or take action. Who doesn’t know the “Got Milk?” question? You can play off of notable campaigns for your own projects. Years ago, a client did just that when he purchased three billboards in northern Michigan where drivers would see on their way to the annual Mackinac Policy Conference hosted by the Detroit Regional Chamber. member of the media even took photos and tweeted about it. One billboard said “Got Vision?” The second billboard said “Got Leadership?” and the third said “Got Regional Cooperation?”

Working with DMG, our client – the City of Westland and Mayor Wild – created the message “Cities Matter” as part of an on-going campaign. The message was placed on buttons and billboards and shared once again with the Mackinac Policy Conference attendees.
untitled  billboard

 

Telling your story should be part of your advertising and marketing campaign. people want to know who you are and what you do.

Are You Telling Stories?

We told a lot of stories this past month but unlike something children would say, they were all true.

There are many ways to tell a story and various platforms to deliver that story. One of the first things we do in strategy is to identify the story.

What makes a story?

 

An Event

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIs there an event or opening of some kind? This past month our client, the Chaldean Cultural Center Museum opened to the public. It had been more than a decade in the making and today people can visit the museum inside Shenandoah Country Club. More than a dozen media outlets covered the opening of the Cultural Center and Museum.  Below are links to some of the media coverage.

http://www.theoaklandpress.com/arts-and-entertainment/20170425/chaldean-cultural-center-museum-opens-in-west-bloomfield

http://www.hometownlife.com/story/news/local/farmington/2017/04/27/chaldean-center-museum-opens-public/100961264/

http://detroit.cbslocal.com/video/category/news/3659264-michigan-matters-muskegon-museum-of-art-chaldean-cultural-center/

 

A Speech20170425_193108

Some clients deliver speeches like the State of a City. Denha Media Group helped produce a behind the scenes video of the event that will air on the show In the W on WLND. Also, we helped pitch the delivery of the speech and contents of the speech to the media. Each part can be broken down into its own story.

 

An Award

We helped tell three distinct stories in videos for the Chaldean American Chamber of Commerce Annual Awards dinner. They bestowed awards for the Business Person of the Year, the Humanitarian of the Year and a Special Recognition Piece. All three videos can be seen on the Denha Media TV channel on YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/user/DENHAMEDIA

 

A ShowInvitation to Sisterhood pic

Each month we produce Catholic programs that air around the globe. These programs are commissioned by Mar Toma Productions and can be seen on YouTube on the Mar Toma Productions Channel. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCC2Ecg_ZK1-uKPBC6ie9ubA/featured


A News Event

The Michigan Liquor Control Commission was going to rescind the half mile rule for liquor licenses. Our client the AFPD, fought back and took the story to the media. The MLCC reconsidered and the half mile rule is still in place. They are now following proper protocols to get a rule changed. Below is some media coverage about the story.

http://www.detroitnews.com/story/news/local/michigan/2017/03/24/liquor-locations/99596794/

http://www.theoaklandpress.com/article/OP/20130303/NEWS/303039953

 

A Town Hall Meeting

Hosting Town Hall meetings for some groups is an effective way to engage a targeted audience. The Michigan Statewide Independent Living Council (MiSILC) has been doing just that these past several weeks. They are traveling around the state meeting with people with disabilities on a fact gathering and listening tour. They are learning much about the needs of the constituency and the media is taking notice. http://www.miningjournal.net/news/front-page-news/2017/04/state-agency-collects-input-for-policy-plan/

 

A Performance

The Detroit Skating Club is a premier skating club that has churned out many champion skaters including Olympic medalists. They host a top notch Ice Show every year. We help them use social media to share what’s happening at DSC and to promote the annual Ice Show. This year it is called Skating in Color. https://www.facebook.com/detroitSkatingClub/?ref=bookmarks

 

These are just a few samples of how to tell and deliver a story. There are many platforms you can use. It’s all about whom you are trying to reach and what you want them to know! We are also tell our own stories. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram. It is Denha Media Group!

Factoring in the Fall of Bill O’Reilly

Strategically Speaking: A Blog by Denha Media Group

It’s a blow to conservative media and of course a communication crisis for both Fox News and the talk show host himself.

Can you come back from this crisis?billoreilly

At the very least, Bill O’Reilly owes his long-time loyal followers his side of the story.  Knowing all too well the dynamics of crisis communication, there is most likely a tug of war game going on between lawyers and crisis communication professionals – what to say and what not to say.

The reason this situation becomes more complicated and more damaging for this news outlet, than perhaps another public figure and a different organization, is because of the content they share and the platform they have built – conservative talk.

When you look at the fall of O’Reilly, you have to factor in his public persona.

O’Reilly not only takes on liberal politicians and the liberal side of his own industry, he has penned books on past presidents taking the conservative look on politicians and has even written a book about Jesus Christ.

If the allegations are true, it’s hypocrisy at its worst.

How can you claim to be a conservative Christian and be accused of creating a hostile work environment which includes sexually harassing women?

This is beyond a communication crisis; it is an issue at the core of a human being and one where a moral compass was not used.

Bill O’Reilly needs to factor in his own issues and Fox News needs to take a deep look at why, just months apart, two of the most powerful people in their network have been accused of similar harassments.

The allegations against O’Reilly follow litigation and news coverage involving women claim they were harassed by and/or retaliated against by former CEO Roger Ailes.

There is also the issue of a cover-up.

O’Reilly allegedly paid settlements to women in exchange for their silence. The cover up is always worse than the crime and as this Christian believes, the truth always comes out as it did in this case.

This crisis is not unlike the allegations brought against Mr. All-American, TV Dad, Bill Cosby.  When high-profile personalities display a wholesome persona in their careers, the public expects them to reflect that same image in their personal lives.  And when they don’t, it only adds fuel to an already roaring fire.

When you look at the O’Reilly situation, it’s a deeper problem than another crisis involving sexual harassment. Fox News didn’t decide to let him go until advertisers pulled out.

So, factor in that this became a money issue and not just a moral one. Also consider that he was given a $25 million dollar parting gift.

When you look at turning around this problem, there is much to factor in  —  the man, the image he portrayed, the network he represented, and how they handled this crisis.

Vanessa Denha Garmo is a communication strategist and Founder of Denha Media Group.

Strategizing with Trump

Strategically Speaking: A Blog by Denha Media Group

We have all heard the question: If you could go out to lunch with anyone who would it be?

With my own little twist on it, I would want to be asked: If I could have my dream client today, who would it be?

Not for any political reasons but for my love of strategy, there is no president I would want to work for more than President Trump. I have closely watched this tango he has engaged in with the media for years now, and the two have been in a full embrace since he announced his run for the presidency.

As a communications consultant, there have been many moments I have to believe he is just not heeding the advice of his team. There are things any strategist would recommend not to Tweet. I often wonder, what is going on in that war room of the President, his communications team, and executive staff?

Do I believe there have been media biases against him? Absolutely! There will always be those who dislike him regardless of what he does, or problems he solves. In other instances, he has given reason for the ruckus. He contributed to the circus we all watched leading up to Election Day.

I certainly would not encourage him to respond to anything Rosie O’Donnell would have to say. He has been sparring with her for years but now as the President, you would think it would stop and by him. It doesn’t matter that she and other celebrities are Tweeting in conversation about Trump and Sean Spicer.

He is the President and people expect him to act Presidential.

I have never declared myself as part of any political party. I never will. As a reporter, I have covered many political campaigns and have interviewed many elected officials. As a communications strategist, I have worked for a few. There are good and bad on both sides. There are the talented and the clueless on both sides. There are people who are true public servants and others who only have a personal or political agenda on both sides. I have seen many sides to the political story – enough to know that I need to vote for the person – not the party.

Trump is the perfect point for that case. It was not long ago he looked more like a Democrat than a Republican.

Despite some of my conservative views on some issues, I have had great respect for some political leaders who I have disagreed with on major issues because I saw their dedication and authenticity.

That is what is expected of a public figure or a person for that matter — to be authentic.

I like to believe my media training has given me the ability to be as unbiased as humanly possible. I like to examine and evaluate. I like to ask questions and assess for myself what is going on. My experiences as a journalist have given me a skillset that would do all of us good come Election Day. Don’t just vote for someone because he is part of a party and don’t hate him for the same reasons.

I don’t think in this case with President Trump we can truly gauge what’s going on without being that proverbial fly on the wall or part of the team. If I had the opportunity to consult with the President, I would borrow the Jay Leno question posed to Hugh Grant in 1995, which would apply to so many situations today — what the hell were you thinking?

I would love to ask questions of him and of his communications team. He has had successful moments and some painful ones to watch. I would love to know the thought process in cases when things went so wrong? I am still trying to figure out what he was thinking when he decided to be so divisive in his inaugural speech.

The lack of consistency and his combative delivery is worth a strategy session itself.

If I had a dream project today – it would be to strategize with Trump.

Minding the Media

Do you have a story to tell?

Media relationships are instrumental when securing an interview, but the key is really having a story to tell. The first thing we do with our clients is to identify their stories. Once you know your stories, we then help our clients figure out how to tell them and to whom. There really is not a one-size fits all approach to media messages.

Not all reporters are going to care about the same story. The way you deliver a message to the media may not be the same way you tell your story to other audiences, such as clients or customers.
When we begin media training with our clients, we put our reporter hats on and start asking questions.
Some questions you need to answer:

1. Who is the intended audience?
2. What messages do you want to deliver?
3. What is your ideal outcome?
4. Why should this audience care about this message?
5. What are the top three key thoughts you want to convey?
6. What are the benefits to what you offer?

Once you answer those questions, we begin to train our clients on how to be interviewed. We offer tips for radio, TV and print interviews. Our team has more than 50 years of experienced combined in the media industry and has gathered useful tips for our clients. Below are a few of the dozens we share during our media training sessions.

1. Ask yourself questions you think the reporter or talk show host might ask, including…
-Who
-What
-Where
-When
-How
-Why

2. Don’t just answer questions. Tell listeners something you want them to know, something they wouldn’t know unless they were tuned in, with the promise of more of the same when they buy the product or come see you!

3. Have three key brief messages. In radio and TV, sometimes the host opens the door, while other times you have to answer a question and segue to a key message. A compelling message will have the host asking for more.

4. Be informative and entertaining without promoting yourself, product or service.

5. Don’t slide into industry talk, jargon or acronyms that few know about.

6. Have a conversation if possible with the host (reporter). Remember, it’s about two people talking, and never talk down to your audience.

We offer complimentary media training overviews for local Chambers that could be up to one hour.

Our professional media training workshops consists of: 2-hour, half-day and full-day professional media training for CEOs, managers, communication departments and companies.

If you are interested, email info@denhamedia.com and in the subject line write, Media Training. If you want to find out more about our services, go to www.denhamedia.com.

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