How to Put Your Best Foot Forward in a Media Interview
With Internet, email, social media inundating readers with a constant barrage of information, it gets harder for businesses to promote their message through the media. So how do you make a good impression?
Photo credit: USFWS Pacific Southwest Region
Tell A Story
Every business owner has a reason why they decided to go into business. Everyone has read the story of the burned out corporate executive who completely changed his or her lifestyle by becoming an entrepreneur. Some stories are highly emotional, but they don’t have to be. Maybe you did it for your children. Maybe you did it because there were no jobs available in your field. Whatever it was, be open about it. Your story tells your customer who you are and helps you make a personal connection with the reader.
Your type of business can also be inspired by a story. I once read an article about a company that changes commercial light bulbs. Sounds dull, right? However, the owner talked about how he was sitting in a busy diner at lunch time when a poorly dressed man came in, set up his ladder right in front of the one till and went to work oblivious of the harried cashier and the long lines forming behind him. The owner decided he would bring customer service back to the job by finding out when his employees should arrive to cause the least disruption to the business, providing his team with clean uniforms and ensuring professional service. The next time I heard his company name, the story came back to me. He had successfully branded his company as being customer-service oriented.
If it helps, write down your personal story and practice saying it. Don’t hand your interviewer the piece of paper. He or she will probably rather engage you in conversation. You may find the interview process brings up other unique selling points that the reporter can include in the story.
Most importantly, relax and have fun. The reporter wouldn’t be there if something about your business hadn’t attracted the interest of the publication. This is your chance to let the rest of the world know about how great your business really is!
The second of two articles by Shella Gardezi, offering business owners expert advice about how to put their best foot forward in media interviews. Shella has written business profiles for newspapers and magazines and is currently the owner of BCBusinessBeat.com, an online publication focusing on small business in British Columbia.