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Photo courtesy of Tempe Chamber of Commerce

Photo courtesy of Tempe Chamber of Commerce

Yesterday, Kelly and I spent our lunchtime learning “How to Attract and Influence the Media” from BottomLine Media Coaching’s veteran, award-winning journalists, Jodie Heisner and Jeff Heisner. The focus was on how we could make our clients newsworthy, earn them more media coverage and teach them how to represent themselves to reporters. This lunchtime learning forum was part of a monthly initiative hosted by the Tempe Chamber of Commerce on teaching how to solve common business problems.

There were many takeaways during the event, but the biggest takeaway for me was something Jodie said in answering a person’s question about how to get a pitch picked up by a reporter. She said, “Tell the story through a real person.” This is something always to remember when crafting a pitch. People connect to real, personal stories because it’s more memorable. Find that unique, funny aspect that you can use to tell a story. That’s what reporters are looking to cover.

In addition to that, there were some other good tips and tricks to know when going in front of the camera. Abbie in our office is a media training dynamo, but I’ve yet to see her in action, so getting this first-person media training education was fascinating. Among the most interesting of my learnings: women should always wear bright blue and/or red. As it turns out, these two colors are the most versatile and look good on screen. Women should also wear more makeup than they normally would, but should never try out a new hairstyle, as Jodie jokingly said. For men, it’s most important to make sure your shirts fit in the shoulders. Too often do men wear shirts where the shoulders are too long, which makes them look like they’re slouching. Appearances are important when taking the stage!

This was a helpful media training course that Kelly and I were both happy we attended. Media coaching is important for PR pros, especially if you have that client who is camera shy. Being able to give them the confidence to give an interview, whether for TV, radio or print will allow for more opportunities.

Shelby Ray
Shelby Ray
A former HMA Public Relations employee.

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