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(Non-Partisan) Media Tips Courtesy Of #ELECTION2016

The election is only days away (but who’s counting?)

This year’s Presidential race has been among the most contentious and divisive in recent history. You are either with her or him and there is no middle ground.

One thing we can all agree on is that the media did play a very large role in this year’s election cycle. The way in which both candidates engaged and interacted with the media can teach us a lot about what we should and should not do next time we score that big interview or TV spot.

Don’t Bait
Chastising the media does you no good. If you don’t like what they are saying about you, don’t say anything at all … unless what they are saying is 100% patently untrue and you are willing and able to take legal action. Along the same lines, don’t make it personal and hit back below the belt. This behavior will come back and bite you in one fashion or another. By contrast, if you like what a reporter or blogger is saying about you or your specialty, drop him or her a line and let them know. Flattery may not get you everywhere but it will likely earn you top billing in that reporters go-to source Rolodex.

Do Come Prepared
There is no such thing as being overprepared for an interview. If you are underprepared, it will show, your quotes will likely not make the cut, and there won’t be a next time. Know the topic beforehand and have some talking points at the ready. Don’t agree to an interview on a subject that you don’t know well. Be candid with the reporter and say this is outside of your comfort zone. He or she will remember that and will call you again. If you try to come across like you know something you don’t, any reporter or blogger will see right through you – and they won’t call you again.

Do Be Transparent
Fact checkers may be a dying breed, but the Twitterverse is far less forgiving than any that I have ever worked for or with. If you said it or did it, there is probably some digital record and it can and will be used against you – likely with a catchy hashtag. If you once denounced a certain procedure or technology (silicone-filled breast implants, for example) but are now a fan, make sure you clarify and explain this sudden change. Also let the reporter know about any ties you have to the manufacturer including whether you paid for the device when discussing the game-changing benefits of a new technology. If you make a reporter look stupid, they will likely strike back and the pen is mightier than the sword.

Do Check Your Facts
If you misspeak, someone will call you out on it – maybe even your toughest competitor. If you say rhinoplasty was the No. 1 surgery performed in women in 2016, be sure that it’s true. A good policy is to quote solid data from a reputable organization and credit them; such as the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery or the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

Don’t Pivot
If you are being interviewed about Topic A, don’t try to turn it over to topic B. It never works. Need help with your practice marketing? Have a question we can answer? Reach out Anne@wendylewisco.com

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