by Emily Gilbride
When the media wants to frame a story and add context, they turn to experts for third-party insight to either add another layer of thought or endorse opinions. Just like businesses that need to make critical decisions or solve any problems, interviewers turn to an expert to steer them in the right direction.
In PR, there are few assets more valuable than having a good media spokesperson. Your reputation could depend on a company or representative who can deliver quick, incisive comments about a breaking news story and deep insights about a company move. For some organisations, the CEO or founder is the best spokesperson due to broad-based knowledge and their profile. Yet CEOs aren’t always available for interviews, and depending on a company’s size, they might only be appropriate for specific opportunities.
At Hot Tin Roof we help identify the key spokespeople for our clients. Having visibility as an expert can bring many benefits for your business, and can help boost your own individual profile. Recognised experts can attract new business, help build a stronger brand, and positively impact your organisation’s reputation.
So how do we do it at Hot Tin Roof?
Start with key topics, then expand
It’s important to understand that companies are not limited to only one type of story. However, when stepping out into the media spotlight for the first time it’s best to establish yourself as the go-to expert for particular areas of expertise. Having the peace of mind and clarity on one topic alone will not only help establish yourself as a spokesperson but will build up your credibility and confidence to be approached on similar topics in the future.
Start with small outlets and build spokespeople
Many client teams are eager to speak to the media about their company. In terms of broadcast media, it can build up a ‘reel’ of great interviews and gives the spokesperson a good shot at speaking in media terms before approaching bigger outlets like national radio and television. It’s a further opportunity for PR’s to point out when someone is best fit for the opportunity and ensure your company’s key messages and expertise are highlighted and conveyed clearly to any journalist.
Many of our clients work in technology, science and innovation. It is common that companies use highly specialised professionals as their spokesperson, and that they will use industry terminologies and concepts. At Hot Tin Roof we guide our clients’ spokesperson to answer questions with accessible language and are always ready to help them to ‘uncomplicate’ their content. This is vital when seeking to bring the press closer to the company and showcase their expertise.
Finally, it comes down to relationships. The saying ‘it’s not what you know, it’s who you know’ is important when it comes to positioning yourself as an expert. Many organisations won’t have the products or services that are front-line news focus all the time. This is where relationships with the media are key as you can deliver your industry insights and position yourself as a well-informed, experienced and well-versed professional. When you devote your time and energy to creating relationships that earn you the opportunity to be seen, that’s what’s going to influence your position in the media.
In PR, having a good spokesperson is key to the success of a communications strategy in a business. The more accessible, informative and professional the interviewee, the more likely it is that they will be called on with new opportunities for interviews and media appearances.. We can help you pick the right person. Get in touch with us today at [email protected].