One of the ways that we generate coverage for our clients is by piggy-backing off other news stories. In other words, if we hear or read about breaking news that is impacting the tech industry, we find a way to insert our client’s perspective or expertise into the story. To give you an example, the recent news of a massive data breach at Yahoo! – impacting hundreds of millions of users – has caused a flurry of media attention with stories about how this happened, why it took so long to discover, what Yahoo! needs to do next and how this may impact the company’s acquisition by Verizon.
While we still don’t have answers to many of the questions being posed, you can be sure that any ideas we pitch to journalists that are even slightly related to this Yahoo! breach have a good chance of at least being read. One of the things that this process highlighted for me recently was that spokespeople often come to the table unprepared. They respond to questions very honestly but miss the opportunity to talk about their company’s own products or services. A spokesperson coming into an interview needs to have an agenda. It can be as subtle as mentioning a company name or a product that the spokesperson trusts.
The ‘Plus One’ mindset
One of the easiest ways to remember this is to go into every briefing with a ‘Plus One’ mindset. This means that whenever a journalist poses a question about a particular topic, formulate an answer to satisfy the question, but also flesh it out by providing an example from your own experience. This gives extra depth to the story, while also making it more likely that your company or product will be mentioned in the final article.
You have no control over what a journalist does or does not write, but you should remember that doing an interview is an opportunity for you and your company to be mentioned. So having a prepared Plus One response is always a good idea. And don’t forget, making a media interaction look or sound effortless takes a LOT of practice!