Do standard media training techniques apply to social media opportunities, such as Web videos?
“[They do] apply, but with a few minor tweaks,” says Jess Todtfeld, president of Media Training Worldwide.
The Web offers clients many opportunities. A video on a newspaper's Web site or an interview with a blogger could lead to a call from Good Morning America.
“Make sure your client hones information down to three core messages and creates interesting sound bites in advance,” he adds. “Clients need to look and sound ready, whether they talk to a little guy or a big guy.”
They also have to work on their question-answering skills, Todtfeld advises, because it's easy to lose control and talk about topics they didn't plan on discussing.
“Remember, what happens on the Internet stays on the Internet,” he notes, “so it's very important to properly train first.”
How do I best develop and pitch radio actualities?
Radio actualities, which are sound bites distributed to radio stations, communicate and target a client's message in a highly efficient way. There are a number of factors to consider when creating and pitching them, says John Irving, MD at Strauss Radio Strategies.
“The sound bite should not exceed 15 seconds, but, if possible, should reference the city or locality of the radio outlet pitched,” he advises. “By doing so, stations do not feel they are receiving a generic actuality.”
The actuality should be conversational in tone and not sound as if the spokesperson is reading from a script, Irving adds. Radio stations' newsrooms that produce their own newscasts are the best to pitch because they can still control the writing of the story.
“Provide stations with two to four sound bites so they have a few choices,” he suggests. “And include a press release or advisory so the newsroom has the necessary background to write the story.”
Do all audiences respond well to social media?
“Anyone who has a passion for a subject responds well to social media,” says Paolina Milana, VP of marketing at Marketwire. “They want to talk and share ideas.”
People tend to gather around a shared interest or a common cause, she explains. That's why niche social networks do so well with those wanting to connect.
“It could be new parents, people suffering from an illness, media personalities, teachers, quilters, even corporate CEOs,” notes Milana.
Any engaging activity that invites comment and generates passionate responses will attract a group. First, do your homework and find the more appropriate communities, and then “live among them” and participate.
“It's not the tools; it's the communication,” she emphasizes. “There are so many viable social communities online that strategizing to work within these established communities makes a great deal of sense.”