Title of Course CE Credit

 Title of Course: Insider’s View: How to Work with the Media CE Credit: 1 Hour (0.1 CEU) Learning Level: Introductory Authors: Susan Mitchell, PhD, RD, FADA & Catherine Christie, PhD, RD, FADA Abstract: The phone rings and you answer it to find your local television reporter calling about the news that just broke on Alzheimer’s disease. She wants you to come down to the station immediately for a quick interview and plans to use your sound bite on tonight’s 11:00 pm news. This is your chance to get in the door. You’ve had an interest for some time in working with the media and taking your health message to the public. However, you have no clue where to start. You did one radio interview but that was a couple of years ago. Isn’t working with television different from working with radio or print, much less the internet environment? Is professional ethics a concern? Do you need to consider potential conflict of interest? The answer to all of these questions is “yes.” There are many important tips for you to know for your segment to go smoothly and to have you come across as the knowledgeable health professional that you are. Utilize seven sure‐fire strategies to build a positive relationship with the media that keeps them coming back to you, the health professional. Learning Objectives: 1.
Name seven strategies for effectively working with the media Distinguish between the potential payoffs and potential pitfalls for each of these seven strategies Understand the role of professional ethics and your profession’s Code of Ethics in media work Learn how conflict of interest applies to work with the media Posttest: You can access the posttest for this course 24/7 from your personal account on our website. We recommend printing the posttest for use while reading the course materials and then submitting online when ready. 1. Login to your account @ www.pdresources.org 2. Go to My Courses 3. Attend course 4. Click view/print/take test link to open test 5. Click print test link in top right corner to print *Please Note: You will no longer be able to download this course pdf once you pass the online posttest. If you would like to save this document, please do so prior to taking your test online. © 2007 Professional Development Resources | www.pdresources.org | 10‐19 Insider’s View | Page 1 of 19 Insider’s View: How to Work with the Media Introduction The phone rings and you answer it to find your local television reporter calling about the news that just broke on Alzheimer’s disease. She wants you to come down to the station immediately for a quick interview and plans to use your sound bite on tonight’s 11:00 pm news. This is your chance to get in the door. You’ve had an interest for some time in working with the media and taking your health message to the public. However, you have no clue where to start. You did one radio interview but that was a couple of years ago. Isn’t working with television different from working with radio or print, much less the Internet environment? Is professional ethics a concern? Do you need to consider potential conflict of interest? The answer to all of these questions is “yes.” There are many important tips for you to know for your segment to go smoothly and to have you come across as the knowledgeable health professional that you are. Utilize these seven sure‐fire strategies to build a positive relationship with the media that keeps them coming back to you, the health professional. Strategy # 1: Determine the Show Details Find out who will conduct the interview and where. It could be the health or medical reporter but depending on the show format, a host or anchor may conduct the interview. A health or medical reporter will have a better knowledge of current medical and health issues. The host or anchor may not be familiar with your topic until the segment is reviewed right before the interview. Health and medical reporters tend to ask more in depth and probing questions related to your area of expertise and will have done their homework in preparing for the interview. It’s not unusual to discuss the segment with a producer first and then with the host or anchor once you arrive for the segment, particularly in television. If at all possible, discuss ahead of time the questions you will be asked and find out how long the segment will last. This information helps you prepare your responses to fit the amount of time allowed. It’s also a good idea to ask about the audience. Who are they? Anything you can find out about their age range, gender, interests or level of knowledge helps you do a better job refining your responses. Whether you provide written comments (print or Internet), taped expert commentary or appear on air live (both radio and television), find out whether you’ll be interviewed alone or with other guests. If you’re to appear with another guest on a live or taped show, ask who the guests are and inquire about their credentials. You want to be the one to decide if you’re comfortable appearing with the guests, particularly if the interview is live and you have different viewpoints and training. What You Need to Know About the Details (Everything You Can!) Television – Potential Payoff Your commentary could be used on several shows from a live interview on a longer format show to a sound bite inserted as part of a segment later in the day. A long format show is longer in the amount of time it airs or runs. Your interview may extend from ten to fifteen minutes up to an hour or more. A sound bit is a brief comment pulled from a longer interview and used within a story to make a point. Members of the media want to work with someone who can talk in sound bites because they make the difference in whether a message comes across succinct and clear. If you can condense your thoughts into tight, well spoken sound bites you will likely be invited back frequently. © 2007 Professional Development Resources | www.pdresources.org | 10‐19 Insider’s View | Page 2 of 19 These sound bites could also be shared with sister stations. Stations want to use their information in as many ways that benefit them as possible. I recently did an interview that aired on one of the 24‐hour news stations and the segment ran six times over a twenty four hour period in one market and then was shared with a sister station in another market. Remember that most people talk in chronological order. They tell stories to their friends keeping the real zinger until the end. The whole story is the set up for the zinger. This is the opposite of what you want to do for the media where it’s important to think and talk journalistically. Talk about your headline or key point(s) first. If the host is good, he or she will follow up with questions that let you talk about the detail or scenarios you want to share. This order allows you to get your point across at the beginning in case the host takes a different direction with the interview. Then at the end of the segment, you can always reiterate your key point which the audience needs to hear twice. Television – Potential Pitfalls The live, multi‐guest situation is potentially an ‘open door’ for controversy and for a litigious situation to develop. It’s the one situation where you cannot know ahead of time what someone will say or how others will react, sometimes in a negative fashion with heated statements. Something that is said in the heat of the moment is often the fodder for a lawsuit. If you are just beginning to work with the media, this would be the last option for your initial interviews. Even those who are well seasoned from working with the media must plan ahead and practice so they are able to keep their cool under pressure‐filled circumstances. A professional colleague of mine ended up in a lawsuit after this type of incident where words were exchanged during a pressure‐filled interview. Radio – Potential Payoff The beauty of radio is the flexibility. You can be live in the studio or on a phone from most anywhere (although the reception with cell phones can vary tremendously). You can have your notes, statistics, and other information right there in front of you to help you stay focused and sound more authoritative. Radio – Potential Pitfalls I did a radio interview via cell phone where the call was dropped in the middle of my comment. Talk about stress. If you are going to do a remote radio interview by cell phone, be sure and get the call‐in number just in case you must call back quickly. Have it right beside you. Make sure the producer has your phone number as well. I would go as far as to recommend that if at all possible, don’t do cell phone interviews. Be aware that if you tape a comment via the phone, it will likely be cut down to fit the amount of time for that segment. So, what you say may or may not come out as you intend. This is all the more reason for you to become proficient at talking in sound bites. They are easier to edit and it helps ensure your comments won't be taken out of context. It’s up to the person editing the segment to decide what gets air time. That being said, it’s important to be concise and plan your talking points ahead and have them in front of you. This reduces the chance for run‐on comments that are brutally edited. © 2007 Professional Development Resources | www.pdresources.org | 10‐19 Insider’s View | Page 3 of 19 Prin
nt – Potenttial Payoff You n
never know w
who’s going to
o print your ccomments. M
Many newspap
pers are owneed by one com
mpany and sh
hare stories both in print and o
online. News providers such as the Asssociated Presss (AP) feed stories all over the country aand world. I interviewed with an AP reporte
er and her sto
ory was pickeed up by overr 15 online neewspapers and magazines including Forbees.com and the Chicagotriibune.com. This means thaat my one intterview was eequivalent to doing over 15
5 interviews witho
out the time commitmentt! Prin
nt – Potenttial Pitfallss It’s very common to respond to
o a reporter’ss questions viia email. Makke sure that your responsee is just as you
u want it to be beefore you sen
nd the email. It may be thee only chancee you have to look it unlesss the reporterr needs clarification on a pointt that you maake. There is aa much better chance thatt local media will let you reead the article ahead of tim
me and it's a good
d thing to ask for that even
n if they say n
no. Reporters tend to edit yyour words to
o fit their word limit. Mostt reporters do a good job of kkeeping your words in context but there ultimately w
will be times when you sayy to yourself. “I didn’t say that.” It’s always aa good idea to
o keep a copyy of your emaail until your ccomments co
ome out in print. Intern
net – Potential Payo
off The Internet reach
hes a global m
market so thee potential for exposure is maximized. A
An Internet fo
ormat can be very similar to the print comm
ments above o
or it can be a pre‐taped au
udio or video podcast that is posted at aa certain timee. A podcast is an audio or videeo broadcast over the Inteernet. Many p
podcasts are p
prerecorded aand posted on a regular baasis. The Interrnet Show thaat I do on WD
DBO.com is prrerecorded an
nd posted fresh weekly. Th
he show is available as streeaming audio
o and in MP3 format for th
hose who want to download the segmeent to an MP3
3 player or to
o their computer. You can also ssubscribe to o
our weekly po
odcast using RSS. Really Siimple Syndicaation (RSS) is a format for sharing and d
distributing Interrnet content ssuch as a pod
dcast. A news aggregator can help you kkeep up with your favoritee podcasts, blogs and other news by cheecking their R
RSS feeds and
d sending the feed (link) to
o your news p
page such as M
My Yahoo. Sincee the Internett is global, askk the host abo
out the demo
ographics of ttheir audiencee and gear yo
our comments to them. I’ve aalso done a livve Internet sh
how where I w
was on the ph
hone speaking to the prod
ducer and ourr comments w
were being broadcast on the Internet via ttext in a questtion and answ
wer format. In
n addition to their AM or FFM station, m
many radio statio
ons broadcast live through
h the Internett via streamin
ng audio. Sincce the Interneet has many vvaried format options be sure and ask how the show/intterview will w
work. Inte
ernet – Pottential Pitffalls Be caareful what yo
ou say and ch
hoose your words wisely. M
Most anyone can post most anything on the Interneet whether or no
ot it is truthfu
ul, accurate, faair or balanceed. Once you post something on the Intternet, it’s haard to take it back or change it. If someeone decides tto take aim at your comments, justified
d or not, he o
or she may no
ot play fair or by the netiq
quette rules aand post a com
mment which
h may be hurttful and/or un
ntrue. Netiqu
uette rules aree like etiquettte rules for the In
nternet. Straategy # 2: D
e What to W
Wear Base
ed on Show
w Format aand Settin
ng Look like the expeert you are. D
Dress professio
onally if you w
want to be taaken seriouslyy. However, p
professional d
doesn’t mean
n without style or flair. Askk about the show format. If time allowss, do a quick Internet search for the staation/show and ssee what you can find out.. Is it a casuall, laid back sh
how? A hard n
news format?? © 200
07 Professional D
Development Reesources | www.pdresources.org | 10‐19 Insider’s View | Page 4
4 of 19 The sshow format should determine what yo
ou wear. Man
ny shows still prefer their h
hosts to be co
onservativelyy dressed in a jackeet or suit. More relaxed shows prefer a more casual style. A jackeet or suit workks great for itt’s easy to atttach a micro
ophone. You need a waistband to attacch the wirelesss battery pacck to as well. So ladies, I teend to favor aa skirt or pantss over a dresss just for this reason. I havve found that stations havee different rules for colorss‐‐some say no red, some no bllack, and som
me no yellow. Ask the perso
on who contaacts you for suggestions. If tim
me allows, watch the show
w and see whaat the anchor or host wearrs. Chan
nge from chan
nnel to chann
nel and noticee how the nattional anchors dresss. This is a goo
od way to kno
ow what colo
ors and fashio
ons are in style. You don’tt want to lookk like a clone but you do w
want to be up
p‐to‐date. You
u want the aaudience to hear what you
u have to say, not commen
nt on what yo
ou wearr. Afterr one of my seegments on aan ABC affiliatte, I had a voiice mail from a viewer who wanteed to know w
who cut my haair and to sayy that the earrrings I woree were too bigg for my outfiit. When you’’re on television every view
wer beco
omes a TV fashion expert o
on what you sshould and sh
hould not weaar. Be awarre of this and don’t take it personally. TThe anchors constantly gett this kind of feedback. Your microphone,, once attached to your jaccket, is off or muted until yyour segm
ment begins. H
However, be ssure this is th
he case particularly if you n
need to makee a restroom stop before yyour segmentt. This happen
ned to a frien
nd of minee who went in
nto the ladies’ restroom an
nd didn’t realize the micro
ophone was o
on. As you can imagine, th
his wasn’t preetty. Whaat You Nee
ed to Know
w About W
What to We
ear Televission – Pote
ential Payo
off Natio
onal shows w
will typically haave a makeup
p artist on sitee to touch up
p your hair and makeup beefore you go o
on the air. This iis also true fo
or the men. Yo
our face mayy be powdered
d particularlyy if you perspiire a lot and tthe lights are extremely brigh
ht and hot (which they usu
ually are). Wh
hen I was on the Today Sho
ow, they also had someone who checkeed your jackeet and ironed it if she felt itt was wrinkleed! Tele
evision – P
Potential Pitfalls me already dreessed compleete with makeeup and ready to go. This is not about vvanity, it’s Local shows expecct you to com
ut sanity. It’s aa big deal for women. Men
n, if you persp
pire heavily take tissues or a handkerch
hief to blot yo
our face. You may want to use aa translucent powder brusshed lightly ovver your facee if you know that you get nervous and perspire. This w
will prevent yyou from having a ‘shine’ o
on camera. uge block of your time. It’s not at all unu
usual to be assked to arrivee one to two h
hours or Media work can cconsume a hu
moree before the sshow. Just reccently I appeaared on a nattional televisio
on show and the arrival tim
me was over two hours ahead of the show
w time to allo
ow for the maakeup artist and a segmentt review with the host. Bring material to read as you w
will likely be ssitting in the ‘‘green’ room for a significaant amount o
of time. The ‘ggreen’ room iis the waitingg room for guestts prior to going on air. I always bring m
my notes to reeview and something interesting to reaad that doesn
n’t take a greatt deal of conccentration. © 200
07 Professional D
Development Reesources | www.pdresources.org | 10‐19 Insider’s View | Page 5 of 19 ITEM DO DON’T Hair Come to the studio with clean, styled hair. Don’t assume a hair stylist will be available. It’s very unlikely unless you are booked on a national show. Makeup Ladies, wear more makeup than normal since the camera tends to make you appear pale. Particularly add a little more blush and lipstick. Define your eyes with color and/or liner to make them ‘pop’ or show up more. Bring makeup to touch up right before the show, particularly if you perspire heavily. Blot your face and powder lightly to keep Don’t assume there will be a makeup professional down the shine. on hand. National shows typically have a makeup artist but not local shows. Men, this includes you too. Blot your face before you go on air and use a translucent face powder if you perspire. Ladies, many makeup lines offer free makeovers by their makeup artists. Check out your favorite department store and make an appointment if you feel an update is needed. Jewelry Don’t wear items such as earrings that dangle or sparkle as they can be distracting to viewers. If you talk with your hands, don’t wear bracelets that will hit against each other and make noise or bang on the desk/counter and create unwanted sound. Wear a watch and one or two jewelry pieces that add flair without distraction. Radio – Potential Payoff You are only seen by the radio staff most of whom dress casually. However, you are the professional and if you want to be perceived as such look the part. No matter where I go or what the interview style is, I always go looking the part….professional with flair. You are the expert…you can always be overdressed but you never want to be underdressed. Radio – Potential Pitfalls Most likely you will be given a set of headphones to wear during your segment if you are in studio. If you catch colds easily, you may want to bring along sanitizing wipes to clean them off as many people wear the headphones throughout the day. The radio personality and producer at my station in Orlando tease me on a regular basis for doing a ‘wipe down’ of the desk, microphone and headphones every time I come into the studio. BUT they now have a large container of sanitizing gel in the control room. Did someone else get the message? Maybe so. © 2007 Professional Development Resources | www.pdresources.org | 10‐19 Insider’s View | Page 6 of 19 Print –– Potential Payoff The rreporter may plan to take a photo for the print piecee. Be sure and ask as this m
may change yyour mind as to what you wantt to wear. It’s also good to know if the p
photo will be in color or bllack and whitte. The type o
of photo influeences what you w
wear. With a black and wh
hite photo, yo
ou only need tto be concern
ned with conttrast. Prin
nt – Potenttial Pitfallss u have a professional photto that you prrefer to use, o
offer to email the photo to
o the reporteer. Sometimess the photos If you
n on location are not as flaattering as the one you maay have. Intern
net – Poten
ntial Payofff Theree are so manyy options with the Interneet. The show m
might be audio or text only or could incclude video. It could also be livve television w
with addition
nal broadcast through the Internet at th
he same time or a video po
odcast. Be sure and ask for th
he details. Inte
ernet – Pottential Pitffalls As mentioned abo
ove, there are
e many Intern
net options th
hat constantlyy change. If th
he show will include video
o, you want to drress for such. Straategy # 3: D
Do Your Ho
omework As a general rule, newly released research o
or hot items in the nationaal news are th
he impetus beehind a news segment idea. The media w
want to work with someon
ne who stays ccurrent and iss prepared fo
or all types of questions. Reemember that reporters and
d anchors are
en’t the health experts…yo
ou are. Their jjob is to invesstigate, find aan exciting angle that the publiic will want to
o tune in and hear about, aand report th
he news. Theyy may alreadyy have piecess of informatio
on that you don’tt agree with aand consider less than evid
dence‐based.. on in a Your job iss to provide aaccurate, timeely informatio
positive, in
nteresting waay instead of as a negativee reply. Members of the mediaa work under tight deadlines and are typically gglad to receivee any assistan
nce. I always aask what informatio
on on the top
pic they alread
dy have and h
how I might provide th
he information they need. On occasion they will offer to faax or email their informatio
on over to yo
ou. Generally though, yo
ou will quicklyy need to cheeck your sources such as journals, n
newspapers, eemail listservves and the In
nternet. The more information you can provide, the greater the chance that the seegment will b
be accurate and evidence‐based. Make sure you h
have the correect name and
d title of the p
person(s) you are working with. N
Nothing comees across lesss profession
nal than callin
ng someone b
by the wrong name. he media is about entertaiinment. Peop
ple tune in beecause they likke the host. Iff you make th
he host look Remeember that th
d, then you look good and will likely be invited back.
© 200
07 Professional D
Development Reesources | www.pdresources.org | 10‐19 Insider’s View | Page 7 of 19 What You Need to Know About Question Preparation Television – Potential Payoff Try to obtain a copy of the segment to review afterwards. As uncomfortable as you may feel listening to or seeing yourself on tape, it’s a great way to find out how you come across, hear how fast your talk, and look at body language. Monitor the number of times you say ‘and’ and ‘umm’. Continue to practice and remove them from your sound bites. Critiquing your own segment can help you improve upcoming interviews so that you become more confident working with the media. Television – Potential Pitfalls You will not have access to notes during your interview so review your material until you know it well. It helps to practice your responses out loud and time yourself with a stopwatch. I do this often. This is a good time to reiterate the importance of learning to speak in sound bites. You’ll be surprised how much you can say in 20‐30 seconds. In the beginning, you may want to record yourself as you practice so you can review your style. Remember to look at the host during the interview, not the camera or monitor. Be sure and smile unless your information is on a topic where smiles would seem inappropriate. You want your body language to give off that you are professional and comfortable, not stiff. When the host welcomes you, return the comment with a statement such as “I’m glad to be here today.” Radio – Potential Payoff The beauty of radio is that you can often have notes in front of you. When I’m doing a radio media tour and will talk to 15 or more radio personalities (hosts) in a row, I always have notes in front of me along with the station’s call letters, the host’s name, and the concise points I want to make. Otherwise, it’s easy to get off track. Another trick is to have a small sign in front of you that says ‘SLOW’. I often do this as it reminds me to slow down and not talk so fast. Radio – Potential Pitfalls Radio stations and their personalities really vary from the NPR style of straight forward news to the ‘morning zoo’ style of anything goes. Stations want interviews that will keep their listeners interested. There are times that getting your message across just doesn’t happen no matter how on target you are. Maybe the radio personality isn’t interested in the subject or their show format is too wacky and wild. I’ve done a few morning zoo interviews where I had to go with the flow. But always keep in mind what you say. You can be fun but you’re still the professional and responsible for your words. During this type of interview, you want to use a media technique called bridging which moves the conversation back on subject so that you can at least get across one sound bit worth of your key message. See Strategy # 4: Practice Bridging for more information. Print – Potential Payoff If you send in responses via email, then you can pull whatever material you need as you respond. © 2007 Professional Development Resources | www.pdresources.org | 10‐19 Insider’s View | Page 8 of 19 Prin
nt – Potenttial Pitfallss If thee interview with the reportter is face to face, you willl need to prep
pare your maaterial so thatt you can answ
wer without notes and be conffident with yo
our responsess. Internet – Poten
ntial Payofff As with a print intterview, you h
have better control of you
ur responses in text. Often the deadlinee for the Interrnet version of a m
magazine or n
newspaper w
will be a day or two out giviing you a little more time tto research in
nformation fo
or your comm
ments. Inte
ernet – Pottential Pitffalls Theree are so manyy variables with the Intern
net. An onlinee magazine orr newspaper iis much like rresponding fo
or a print interview but if th
he show includes audio and/or video, yo
ou must prep
pare accordingly. To prevent being inad
dequately prepared, commu
unication from
m the beginning is the key.. Because you
u may not be fortunate enough to find out everyything you waant to know aand because tthe options vvary so greatlyy, the key to ssuccess with Internet interrviews is to over prepare. Question Preparration Summ
mary Table Me
edium P
Potential Pay
yoff Potenttial Pitfalls TV
V SSegment review can impro
ove your med
dia s
style Practicce, practice as you won’t h
have access to
o notes Radio C
Can use note
s and remind
ders Radio personality issn’t interested in your topic or the show fformat such aas a ‘morningg zoo’ gets too
o wacky Priint A response viia email lets yyou pull mateerial A
and use it to formulate your commentss w your A face to face interview requiress you to know
mation withou
ut notes as in television Intternet Deadlines forr Internet maggazines or shows ora of variablees that could affect how yo
ou respond Pletho
will often be a day or two out giving yo
ou so com
mmunication and preparattion are vital
more respons
se time Straategy # 4: P
Practice Brridging Theree will be timees when you’rre asked quesstions that yo
ou don’t wantt to dwell on and would likke to move th
he interview in another directio
on. A good w
way to move frrom one topic on to anoth
her is to ‘bridgge’ the conveersation. My ccolleague, Ellen Carroll, MS, RD, who has executed maany successful cooking and
d nutrition seggments on th
he Today show
w taught me that w
when someone asks you aa question thaat you’d ratheer not answer, say, “I don’’t know about that (or I do
on’t have information about that) but wh
hat’s really in
nteresting (or exciting) is…..”. Then tell tthem someth
hing you do kn
now and wantt them to kno
ow about. This tactic is also
o great for geetting hosts baack on track w
with the subject matter th
hat you came to talk about. Thiss is called brid
dging. You will find bridgin
ng particularlyy helpful if yo
our topic is co
ontroversial or the reporter/anchor ttries to make it become so
o. © 200
07 Professional D
Development Reesources | www.pdresources.org | 10‐19 Insider’s View | Page 9 of 19 Whaat You Nee
ed to Know
w About B
Bridging Televisiion & Rad
dio – Poten
ntial Payofff Bridgging, if you usse this strateggy well, let’s yyou regain control of an interview so th
hat you have m
more of a chaance for succeess in terms o
of communicaating the inteended messagge to your aud
dience. Tele
evision & R
Radio – Po
otential Pittfalls The m
more controvversial a show
w or the ancho
or is, the morre you may neeed to bridgee the conversaation. Mornin
ng drive radio
o shows are a good examp
ple of where yyou will likely need to use tthe bridging cconcept. On o
one particular morning show
w, there was aa crew of thre
ee, one who w
was the ‘wild card’ and wo
ould say mostt anything. I spent more tim
me trying to bridgge the converrsation that m
morning than I did sharing any type of in
nformation. SSome intervieews, no matteer what you do, aare just like th
hat. Pay close attention to what is beingg said and be ready to brid
dge the conveersation in a d
different direcction. Print –– Potentiaal Payoff Altho
ough you migght not think o
of bridging ass being part o
of a written co
omment, therre are still tim
mes when you
u want to direcct the questio
on asked of yo
ou into a direcction more in
n line with you
ur key message or point th
hat you want to make. Prin
nt – Potenttial Pitfallss Just b
because the rreporter asks you a certain
n question do
oesn’t mean yyou must answ
wer it directlyy if it’s contro
oversial. Manyy people misttakenly feel that they musst answer each question exxactly as askeed of them an
nd do not brid
dge the conversation. You
u do not have to answer an
ny question yyou are uncom
mfortable witth. Instead of saying ‘no co
omment’ use the bridging techniquee to change th
he direction which can come aacross negativvely as if you have something to hide, u
of the conversatio
on. Practice th
his concept reepeatedly wh
hen you prepaare for any interview until you are comfortable with it. For eexample, receently I was do
oing a radio seegment during morning drrive time on ‘ggrillin and chiillin’. The segment was abou
ut food safetyy when grillingg burgers and
d steaks. The radio host jusst happened tto be a vegan
n and didn’t w
want to discu
uss grilling meeat. As we talked about the proper cooking temperaature and starrted to move the discussio
on to marinades, she brrings up grillin
ng portabella mushrooms instead of meat suggestin
ng that then fo
ood safety would not even be an issue. At this point,, I used bridgiing to mentio
on that portab
bella mushroo
oms and otheer vegetabless would be greatt to marinate and proceed
ded on with details of how
w to marinate meat and veggetables safeely. Interne
et – Potential Payofff When I first starteed recording tthe podcasts for our Intern
net Show, I had an outlinee of key talkin
ng points for tthe segment us a more flusshed out scrip
pt. I found thaat an outline gave the producer and mee too much leeeway for thee direction of
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Development Reesources | www.pdresources.org | 10‐19 Insider’s View | Page 10 of 19 Internet – Potential Pitfalls When I’m in the studio recording the podcast for our Internet Show, the producer may ask a question that could take my planned segment in an entirely new direction. I always have to remember to either answer the question briefly or use the bridging concept to quickly move the conversation back to the topic. It's never a wise move to ignore a question, just scoot around it by acknowledging what the host says then use bridging to get back on topic. Bridging Summary Table Medium Potential Payoff Potential Pitfalls TV and Radio You can regain control of an interview that has gotten off track A controversial show may require frequent bridging Print Bridging can be used in written comments to change the direction of the question posed to you. Guests often feel they must answer all questions posed to them or say ‘no comment’ instead is bridging. Internet The use of a script versus outline or key talking points cuts down on the need to bridge. Unplanned questions may take the interview off course if bridging is not used. Strategy # 5: Call Attention to Your “Ah Ha” Moments (Flagging) “Ah ha” moments are the points you want people to go away with or the take home message. I call this information ‘what’s in it for me?’ When I’m putting together comments for the media, no matter what the format, I always ask myself “what’s in it for me?” Why? Because your audience is thinking this and in today’s world where information overload abounds, your message must hit home and be applicable to daily life. This strategy is also known as flagging. For example, “what’s really important for you is…” or “here’s the latest information on…” draws attention to your next bit of information. A good sparkler or “ah ha” moment often becomes a sound bite for the news. Keep it short and focused. Remember to smile; it sends a very positive message even if the audience can’t see you. It will come across in your message delivery. What You Need to Know About Flagging Television, Radio and the Internet (Audio Comments) – Potential Payoff When you use the technique of flagging, people are more likely to remember what you say and want to hear from you again. Remember to make your information interesting, exciting and fun. “What’s in it for me” moments can be emphasized by slowing down your speech and emphasizing your point or by saying “catch this” or “here’s what you need to know.” At the end of our Internet podcast, I always do a wrap up saying “here’s your take home message for today.” If the listeners don’t recall anything else, hopefully they will take away this one concept. Television, Radio and the Internet (Audio Comments) – Potential Pitfalls Communicate your information in easy to understand terms that are applicable in our everyday world or you run the risk of the audience tuning out your “what’s in it for me” moments. Take the technical and make it usable. © 2007 Professional Development Resources | www.pdresources.org | 10‐19 Insider’s View | Page 11 of 19 For example, instead of “consume 25 grams of soy protein per day to reduce your cholesterol” (remember that most of the public doesn’t think in grams and will be clueless what this means to them) try “25 grams of soy protein is recommended daily to help bring down your cholesterol. What does this mean for you and me? One cup or eight ounces of soy milk has about nine grams so about three servings”. Print & Internet – Potential Payoff In print or with text on the Internet, you may use font changes such as bold or underline to make a point or set the text apart by saying something like “here are three easy ways to….” Sometimes I will use a side bar to make a point. Print & Internet – Potential Pitfalls When you use flagging, be sure that your comments are accurate and concise so there is no misinterpretation in the point you are trying to make. “What’s in it for me” Moments or Flagging Summary Table Medium Potential Payoff Potential Pitfalls TV and Radio People will remember what you say and want to hear from you again If your information is too technical, your audience may tune you out Print and the Internet Font changes and side bars can highlight your key messages Potential for misinterpretation of your information if not concise and accurate Strategy # 6: Use Props People learn by both seeing and hearing so utilize props whenever it’s appropriate. Once when talking about what it’s like to carry around five extra pounds, I brought on television a large five‐pound synthetic fat blob that looks very real. You should have seen the faces of the camera crew. Props speak words so that you don’t have to and can kick the entertainment value of your segment up a notch or two. And if you are talking anything about food, bring food to the show hosts/crew for TV and radio. It sounds like a sell out, but food is such a sensual prop that it brings a new dimension to your segment, not to mention that it's sure to get you brownie points with the host and crew. Talking soy protein? Bring in some muffins made with soy milk to show just how delicious soy protein can be. The audience loves the host and will believe the host when he/she oohs and aahs over the bottom line food results. Remember that neither nutrition nor any other profession can exist in a vacuum. And this may by just the ticket to get you invited back a second time. What You Need to Know About Props Television – Potential Payoff Producers love props for they know that viewers prefer them. Offer to bring any props that you feel will be helpful to make your points. Make them interesting and fun. © 2007 Professional Development Resources | www.pdresources.org | 10‐19 Insider’s View | Page 12 of 19 Tele
evision – P
Potential Pitfalls To prrevent a segm
ment that doe
esn’t flow smo
oothly, make sure that a table or countter will be avaailable for your props and that yyou have eassy access to th
hem. Also think about how
w the props w
will look on television. Diffeerent heights and bright, solid colored conttainers work w
well as a geneeral rule. Raadio – Potential Payoff You m
might not think of radio ass a place for p
props but I offten take prop
ps with me. Even though the listener caannot see the p
prop, it’s fun aand entertain
ning to describe what you have in hand and to hear the radio perrsonality desccribe it as well. I once took aan old piece o
of water hosee into the control room forr my segmentt. I used it to d
discuss what your arterries look like w
when they’re clogged and inflexible. I’vve also used b
butter‐flavoreed shorteningg to accomplissh the same thingg which alwayys elicits a lot of feedback. Rad
dio – Poten
ntial Pitfallls Checck with the show producerrs ahead of tim
me and makee sure they arre okay with yyou bringing in props so th
here are no unweelcome surprises. Print &
& Internet –– Potential Payoff A texxt article may include phottos or on the Internet, an aarticle may co
ontain a link tto a site wherre more inforrmation and photos are availab
ble. During a trans fat disccussion on our Internet podcast, I brougght in food labels to discusss. I suggeested to the llisteners to ge
et a label durring the breakk to review with us so thatt the segmentt became more interactive. Makes people wan
nt to come baack for more.
nt & Intern
net – Poten
ntial Pitfalls If you
u provide a lin
nk to a site orr multiple sitees on the Inteernet, make ssure those links or URLs wo
ork and go the page you wantt. Prop
ps Summaryy Table Med
dium Potential P
Payoff Potential Pittfalls TV Producers aand viewers love props; m
makes a segment more interestin
ng Make sure there is spacee for your props with easy access to them. Rad
dio It’s fun and
d entertainingg to describe aa prop Check with tthe producer prior to yourr appearance to get the okkay for props to welcome surp
prises prevent unw
nt and the Inteernet Photos and
d links to additional sites ad
dd more information
n to a segmen
nt Be sure thatt the URLs wo
ork and go to the correct pagees on the Inteernet © 200
07 Professional D
Development Reesources | www.pdresources.org | 10‐19 Insider’s View | Page 13 of 19 Strategy # 7: Send a Thank You Note or Email After the interview, regardless of the medium, send a note or email thanking the reporter for contacting you. Be sure to include a business card in the note or a signature at the bottom of your email so that the reporter can easily contact you again. Let them know you’re available to provide the latest information when they need it. Don’t be surprised when your phone starts to ring regularly. But What If The Media Doesn’t Contact You? You now know the seven best strategies to make your first media interview a success. But what if the media doesn’t contact you? How can you get your foot in the door on your own? Let’s use radio as an example How to Move Your Message via Radio “Every week I’m contacted by four or five nutritionists who have a book or some other message they want on the air”, said the Executive Producer. “In the last few years, the number of calls, faxes and emails I receive has increased tremendously. Most of the information I toss or delete.” So, how do you get your message on the air when everyone else wants to do the same? I had been doing weekly nutrition segments on the ABC affiliate in Orlando for a couple of years when I wanted to expand to radio. I called the station I was interested in to determine who made decisions about what goes on the air. After a few phone calls and voice mails, I finally made contact. The Program Director told me he already had a fitness person providing health information. I said great but you don’t have a nutrition expert and nutrition is really getting hot. I called him every month for eight months. Each time I called I left a message saying that I was still interested in doing a nutrition segment and describing topics that I could offer. Finally, I reached the point where I knew that was it—no more calls. I let it go thinking it was not meant to be. About three months later, I had a call from this same Program Director who left a message saying “Your ship has come in. The guy who does our fitness segment is moving to California. If you’re still interested, call me.” I called back and was offered the chance to try out “on air” for this spot. I still remember what the Program Director told me when he said he would give me a try. “I’m not interested in nutrition. I care about ratings and fun. The day your segments are longer fun is the day you’re out the door.” I’ve been on this same station for over 10 years now. Make It Fun That day I learned a valuable lesson that I’ve never forgotten. Media is about entertainment first and foremost. Your role, besides being prepared with outstanding material is to make your host look good. When the host looks good, you look good and everyone wins. To the media, it’s not necessarily the message—it’s how you deliver it. “Fun” is not typically a word you would think of to describe my scientific training as a registered dietitian nor is it likely to describe your years of training in your health field. Nevertheless, for the majority of radio listeners, entertainment is what makes them stay tuned for more and come back again. The bottom line for radio stations and television stations as well is ratings. So in your mind from the very beginning, think fun and entertainment, not scientific study. I’m not saying to discount your professionalism nor the scientific aspect of your message. Not at all, in fact, my goal from day one with the media has been to provide them with evidence based, scientific, credible information in a way that is both fun and entertaining. I want people to remember the message so they can apply it to their lives and hopefully gain a health benefit not tune me out because I’m boring or my message is boring or both. © 2007 Professional Development Resources | www.pdresources.org | 10‐19 Insider’s View | Page 14 of 19 It’s not only okay to smile and laugh, I insist on it (unless you are discussing a topic where laughter and smiles are not appropriate and you must make this call). Laughter and fun draw people in and make them want to hear what you have to say. The segment becomes more memorable and you are more sought after as a media expert. I’ve done all kinds of things to make the host and audience chuckle. From bringing in my five pound fat blob and talking about it being stuck to your thigh or behind to passing around chocolate scented soap and discussing how some people get their fix by rubbing it on their bodies to wearing hamburger and hotdog hats to discuss obscene portions sizes, most people love it. As you prepare the information for your interview, ask yourself what type of fun/funny prop could enhance your message and make it memorable yet still appropriate. Try These Tips So, how do you get your message on the radio? Try these tips to increase your chances for success: 1. Find out who produces the show you want to be on. Names and contact information are available on most company websites. 2. Come up with several catchy, timely and fun topics to move your message. Be sure these topics will interest their listeners. To do so, you need to know the demographics of the station. Check the website for this type of information. Typically, this information is generated by the sales department and is available to anyone interested in advertising with the station. 3. Fax or email your ideas to this producer. Let them know when you are available and be as flexible as possible. 4. Follow up with an email or phone call. NOTE: Many producers will have a voice mail message telling you exactly how they want to receive segment ideas. Follow their rules or they will most likely delete your message or throw your information in the trash. Remember, many stations need good information to fill airtime. Even if the material is not picked up during their most popular shows, find out if they do public service type shows on the weekends or off hours where you might be a guest. Sometimes, a little extra detective work will pay off and your message will reach the airwaves. You never know where these opportunities may lead. Do You Need Liability Insurance that Includes Media Work? All depends. If you work full time for a company and will represent them to the media, check to see if you are covered under their policy. If you work for yourself, read your professional liability policy to see if covers media work. Some polices cover infrequent interviews while others do not cover media interviews at all. If you make a living working with the media or interview frequently, you may need a separate media policy. Do your homework in this area so you can make the best decision for your situation. The first place to start is with your professional association. Many associations now offer professional liability insurance which covers media work to some degree and may be adequate if you give interviews only occasionally. If you are self employed and media work becomes a major part of your livelihood, you may want to obtain quotes from several insurance companies and then review your options with your attorney. Coverage varies and the coverage you need will depend on the type(s) of media you plan to work with, frequency of interviews, exposure in terms of local versus national audiences, potential for litigation, etc. © 2007 Professional Development Resources | www.pdresources.org | 10‐19 Insider’s View | Page 15 of 19 Professional Ethics and Conflict of Interest Whether or not you choose to work with the media, become familiar with your profession’s Code of Ethics. This code details the accepted practice guidelines for your profession and should direct any work you do, particularly with the media. Here are a few example guidelines from the American Dietetic Association Code of Ethics that speak to the provision of evidence‐based information, bias and conflict of interest in the practice of dietetics. ADA Ethics Code Pertinent Principles The dietetics practitioner practices dietetics based on scientific principles and current information. Unfortunately there are peers in all of our professions who are willing to speak to the media for their “15 minutes of fame” or to make a few extra bucks promoting a product that is not backed up with evidence‐based data. Ultimately this requires them to comprise their ethics. In today’s work environment, ethics can be tested on a regular basis and it’s critical to maintain your integrity and ethical principles even when it means turning away numerous media and work opportunities. And, be sure that you can back up what you say with references from peer reviewed journals or recognized textbooks used by accredited institutions in case someone asks for more information or for your source. The dietetics practitioner presents substantiated information and interprets controversial information without personal bias, recognizing that legitimate differences of opinion exist. From the International Food Information Council, here are some questions to consider when critiquing research: 1. What type of study was conducted? 2. How many people were studied and for what length of time? 3. Is the study published in a peer‐reviewed journal? 4. Do the credentials of the author(s) indicate expertise in the research area? 5. How does this study relate in context to the larger body of evidence on this subject? 6. What are the actual numbers versus relative numbers? If you are commenting on a subject that is controversial, be sure to present both sides of the question and describe the evidence for each even if you have a personal opinion about The dietetics practitioner provides sufficient information to enable clients and others to make their own informed decisions. Some professionals sell books, supplements or other nutritional products as part of their livelihood. If you are in this category, the fact that you are making money from the sale of these products must be disclosed to clients so they can decide whether or not to purchase the products knowing that you have a vested interest in the sale. You should also make available information about equivalent alternative products that may exist. The dietetics practitioner is alert to situations that might cause a conflict of interest or have the appearance of a conflict. The dietetics practitioner provides full disclosure when a real or potential conflict of interest arises. I received an email recently from a grocery chain to provide comments in one of their consumer magazines on a certain supplement topic. Because I consult for another grocery chain, this would be considered a conflict of interest to both parties, not to mention a negative move for my ethical standards and integrity, and so I declined. Conflicts of interest must always be disclosed up front to colleagues, clients and even organizations where you might be asked to speak. In the example above, conflict of interest in selling products to clients was discussed. Other conflicts of interest exist such as serving on a professional committee that is developing a policy regarding the use of nutritional supplements for a particular population when you sell a particular brand of supplement and make money through their sale. You should declare your interest in the products and the decision and should remove yourself from the discussion until the decision is made. © 2007 Professional Development Resources | www.pdresources.org | 10‐19 Insider’s View | Page 16 of 19 The dietetics practitioner promotes or endorses products in a manner that is neither false nor misleading. Numerous times I’ve had the opportunity to promote supplements or other food products making claims that cannot be substantiated by current evidence‐based research. ‘Evidence‐based’ research is the operative word here. Many companies may have one or two studies that were not well conducted nor really pertain to the product and the claims at hand. It’s important when you are considering speaking to the media on behalf of any product that you have thoroughly reviewed the research and that it meets accepted scientific rigor. The use of your name and credentials to promote a product that is not back by science hurts your image as well as the image of your profession and very likely goes against your Code of Ethics. Behavioral Health Professionals Behavioral health professionals who engage in media presentations have ethical obligations that fall into three general categories. First, they must take steps to ensure the privacy and confidentiality of any clients with whom they have worked. This means that if they use anecdotes to illustrate points they are making, they must either employ contrived situations or at least take steps to thoroughly disguise even the most general identity of any person. Second, professionals must be sure that they are operating within the boundaries of their competence. This is an important issue when responding to questions from media personalities who may ask for information or speculation that falls outside the area of the professional’s competence. This also includes accurately representing one’s own qualifications, training and certification. Third, most of the professional codes of ethics require attention to specificity regarding which practices and techniques are supported by scientific evidence and which are either experimental or not supported by scientific studies. Some examples from the APA and NASW codes of ethics follow. APA Ethics Code Pertinent Principles Boundaries of Competence ‐ Psychologists provide services, teach, and conduct research with populations and in areas only within the boundaries of their competence, based on their education, training, supervised experience, consultation, study, or professional experience. Use of Confidential Information for Didactic or Other Purposes ‐ Psychologists do not disclose in their writings, lectures, or other public media, confidential, personally identifiable information concerning their clients/patients, students, research participants, organizational clients, or other recipients of their services that they obtained during the course of their work, unless (1) they take reasonable steps to disguise the person or organization, (2) the person or organization has consented in writing, or (3) there is legal authorization for doing so. Advertising and Other Public Statements: Avoidance of False or Deceptive Statements ‐ Public statements include but are not limited to paid or unpaid advertising, product endorsements, grant applications, licensing applications, other credentialing applications, brochures, printed matter, directory listings, personal resumes or curricula vitae, or comments for use in media such as print or electronic transmission, statements in legal proceedings, lectures and public oral presentations, and published materials. Psychologists do not knowingly make public statements that are false, deceptive, or fraudulent, concerning their research, practice, or other work activities or those of persons or organizations with which they are affiliated. (a) Psychologists do not make false, deceptive, or fraudulent statements concerning (1) their training, experience, or competence; (2) their academic degrees; (3) their credentials; (4) their institutional or association affiliations; (5) their services; (6) the scientific or clinical basis for, or results or degree of success of, their services; (7) their fees; or (8) their publications or research findings © 2007 Professional Development Resources | www.pdresources.org | 10‐19 Insider’s View | Page 17 of 19 Media Presentations ‐ When psychologists provide public advice or comment via print, internet, or other electronic transmission, they take precautions to ensure that statements (1) are based on their professional knowledge, training, or experience in accord with appropriate psychological literature and practice; (2) are otherwise consistent with this Ethics Code; and (3) do not indicate that a professional relationship has been established with the recipient. NASW Ethics Code Pertinent Principles 1.04 Competence (a) Social workers should provide services and represent themselves as competent only within the boundaries of their education, training, license, certification, consultation received, supervised experience, or other relevant professional experience. (b) Social workers should provide services in substantive areas or use intervention techniques or approaches that are new to them only after engaging in appropriate study, training, consultation, and supervision from people who are competent in those interventions or techniques. (c) When generally recognized standards do not exist with respect to an emerging area of practice, social workers should exercise careful judgment and take responsible steps (including appropriate education, research, training, consultation, and supervision) to ensure the competence of their work and to protect clients from harm. 1.07 Privacy and Confidentiality (k) Social workers should protect the confidentiality of clients when responding to requests from members of the media. 4.06 Misrepresentation (a) Social workers should make clear distinctions between statements made and actions engaged in as a private individual and as a representative of the social work profession, a professional social work organization, or the social worker's employing agency. (b) Social workers who speak on behalf of professional social work organizations should accurately represent the official and authorized positions of the organizations. (c) Social workers should ensure that their representations to clients, agencies, and the public of professional qualifications, credentials, education, competence, affiliations, services provided, or results to be achieved are accurate. Social workers should claim only those relevant professional credentials they actually possess and take steps to correct any inaccuracies or misrepresentations of their credentials by others. Your Take Home Message for Today Potential Payoff Potential Pitfalls Working with the media can be fun and enjoyable for you Don’t go into it thinking it’s a piece of cake and requires and a way to showcase your profession in a positive light. no preparation. The media is great way to move your message to the public. Media works requires work and a lot of time or your segments/comments may flop and you’ll likely end up embarrassed. Many of your segments will be successful and the media will contact your more often. A 10 minute podcast typically requires six hours of prep work and can eat up your day. © 2007 Professional Development Resources | www.pdresources.org | 10‐19 Insider’s View | Page 18 of 19 Glossary Angle: the approach used to cover a story Bridging: a technique used during an interview to move the conversation back on subject B‐roll: video (often used in the background) without the reporter’s voiceover Flagging: a technique used to call attention to the take home message or main point(s) of an interview Libel: false or defamatory statements that are broadcast or printed and injure a person’s reputation Key Message: the point(s) you want to get across to your audience News wire: electronic services which provide current and breaking information to the media Pitch: a newsworthy idea or angle on a topic that will hopefully garner the media’s interest for a story or interview Sound bite: a brief comment pulled from a longer broadcast interview and used within a story to make a point Talking points: the key points or messages to make during your interview Tease: a one or two sentence lead to an upcoming story that captures the attention of the listener or viewer so they stay tuned in for the story Online Resources Check with your professional association for media training and media materials. Most professional associations have media guidelines and information specific to their areas of expertise. For example, the American Dietetic Association has a handbook for members entitled: Working with the Media: A Handbook for Members of the American Dietetic Association. The information is geared to dietitians who provide or want to nutrition information to the public via the media. Their handbook is available online to all members and many associations have similar materials. The American Psychological Association has an online brochure entitled: How to Work with the Media: Interview Preparation for the Psychologist Check online at booksellers such as Amazon.com for books on media training. A couple to look at include: Walker TJ. Media Training A‐Z. Media Training Worldwide; 3rd edition 2004 Stewart S. Media Training 101: A Guide to Meeting the Press. Wiley, 2003 Author Biographies Susan Mitchell, PhD, RD, FADA ‐ Thousands of faithful listeners tune in to hear Dr. Mitchell's radio and internet segments on Orlando's AM580 WDBO where she's been the nutrition expert for over 10 years or read her blog on ThirdAge.com. An award‐winning registered dietitian, Dr. Mitchell serves on the health and medical advisory board of Family Circle magazine and is co‐author along with Dr. Christie of three books—Fat is Not Your Fate, I'd Kill for a Cookie and Eat to Stay Young. A reliable source to the media, she has appeared on The Today Show, CNN, the TV Food Network, iVillageLive and the Daily Buzz. Dr. Mitchell is also quoted extensively in Reader's Digest, Time, Redbook, Fitness, and Cooking Light. Catherine Christie, PhD, RD, FADA ‐ Dr. Christie is co‐author along with Dr. Mitchell of three books, Fat is Not Your Fate, I’d Kill for a Cookie, and Eat to Stay Young. A Licensed Nutritionist, Certified Nutrition Specialist and Fellow of the American Dietetic Association, she earned her Ph.D. from Florida State University. Dr. Christie is Nutrition Program Director and MSH/Dietetic Internship Director at the University of North Florida. In her 17 years of clinical practice, Dr. Christie consulted with many facilities and individuals in all areas of medical nutrition therapy. She has given over 1000 seminars to health professionals across the country. For two years, Dr. Christie was the Florida Media Representative for the American Dietetic Association and is often quoted in newspapers and magazines such as USA Today, Reader’s Digest, Cooking Light, New You, Family Circle, Woman’s Day, Cosmopolitan, Glamour, Child, Women’s World, Jacksonville Magazine, and Shape Cooks. © 2007 Professional Development Resources | www.pdresources.org | 10‐19 Insider’s View | Page 19 of 19