If you’re a specialist in your field, then sharing your expertise in media interviews may seem like a daunting, time-consuming and frustrating activity.
Journalists are after all fickle, and can arrange an interview then “stand you down” if another story comes in. They expect you to be available at the drop of a hat. They can take up lots of time. They can misquote you, or simplify the points you make so much that they don’t make sense at all.
That said, doing interviews, whether it be with specialist journals, the national press or television and radio, can bring major benefits for the organisation you work for.
It increases the awareness of your organisation. And in general clients and organisations prefer to work with bodies and companies with a high profile.
If you are a private company, this will help you win more business. If you are a not for profit organisation, this can help win grants, tenders and donations, and will spread the word about the field in which you work.
It increases your organisation’s influence among stakeholders, and can help to influence government policy. How likely are ministers to take account of the views of your organisation if there is not a groundswell of opinion in your favour because nobody knows about them? If you are campaigning or lobbying for something, then you are far more likely to be successful if your voice is heard in the media.
It lends you credibility. After all, if the media is interested in the points you have to make, what you have to say must be of value.
4. Encourages discussion and debate
It gets your message across about important issues and encourages discussion about them. Take for example the debate about the badger cull. If the received opinion is in favour of the cull, and no-one steps up with an alternative view, then that cull is more likely to go ahead. If you have strong views about why it should not go ahead and don’t air your views, then there will be no discussion.
Next week, we’ll look at what journalists are looking for in a media expert.
In the meantime, if you’d like help preparing for interviews, contact us to find out about our media training courses on 020 8332 6200 or firstname.lastname@example.org.