Media training your client, broadcasting in HD, and more

How can I prepare my client for an extremely important media interview?

Media training
How can I prepare my client for an extremely important media interview?

When it comes to media training, it's important to remember that the stakes are always high, says Jess Todtfeld, president of Media Training Worldwide.

“You always want to help the client get the exact messages they've decided on... into the story,” he says.

Because of this, interview rehearsal with a video camera is crucial. Whether it's TV, print, radio, or new media, clients need to see themselves the way everyone else sees them.

“This can be done with a home video camera, or even with the video feature on most digital still cameras,” Todtfeld says.

Just like it wouldn't be a good idea to tell clients you plan to “wing it” in terms of getting media attention, clients need to know that “winging it” is never the plan that will be used.

Broadcasting in HD
For stations broadcasting in HD, should I be sending my PSA in HD?

“HD stations are saying that they are not expecting PSAs in HD, nor do HD PSAs have a competitive edge over analog,” says Annette Minkalis, SVP at WestGlen Communications. Because HD stations still air mostly analog programming – generally it's just news and some network shows in HD – and since most commercial spots are still in analog, analog PSAs actually provide better continuity right now.

Additionally, given the high cost of HD tapes, stations say they're sensitive to a nonprofit's financial constraints, and it might be years before HD tapes will be preferred or required, Minkalis says.

If you are thinking of sending HD tapes, the tricky part will be knowing which HD format each station prefers, she adds. From WestGlen's survey, three-quarters are taking DVCPro-HD and the balance HD-Cam.

Reducing friction
How can we reduce friction when pitching the media?

There seems to be an increasing divide between the media and publicists, says Eric Hill, president and chief strategy officer of MyMediaInfo.

“While building their media lists, PR practitioners should make use of tools that provide insight into journalists and reporters,” Hill says. “Such as quick links to previously written articles... and their choice of communication.”

The ease of mass e-mail distribution has created the new “mini-spam” to thousands of journalists and bloggers. This has driven some journalists to blacklist not only publicists, but also entire agencies, Hill points out.

“The key is to do your homework, rely on credible resources, and target the journalists that truly care about the content of your release,” Hill says.

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