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The Media Mantra: Prepare, Prepare, Prepare

» Introduction
When it comes to effective PR, preparation is the key. Don't unleash the power of the media until you're prepared to control it.
» Step 1
Because our company is known to the media as a resource, we continually receive calls from print and electronic media looking for story ideas. These calls usually come when the media is on a deadline and need something – now! In those situations, the appropriate client has to be ready to move in a flash, which means he or she has to be prepared and ready to go. Although media placement usually takes some time, there are also those instances that a press release immediately hits the jackpot. We have emailed a press release on a client at 9 a.m. and have had that client doing a live TV interview at noon that same day. You have to be ready. Remember; don't unleash the power of the media until you're prepared to control it. Public relations can be tricky because you have to be both patient and prepared. If you're not prepared to do an interview, it could turn out to be a dismal experience. You can end up feeling depressed and embarrassed, the media will feel cheated, and you will have wasted an incredible opportunity.
» Step 2
So prepare. Review the image you want to convey - small town and friendly, authoritative, professional, humorous, avant-garde, formal and business-like - whatever. But make sure that your image matches your personality. If you are basically shy and retiring, don't try to come off like a rock star. It ain't gonna work. You may have to learn to project more and become a bit more forceful with your responses, but those are simply tools you learn to utilize when needed. Keep your voice modulated. Be dynamic, but not frenzied. Your mission here is not to alter your personality, but to enhance it. Have both your information and your delivery ready to go. That way, when the media does respond, you'll be ready.

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