As the founder of a startup, you are the face of your company. Understanding how to best represent your business in the media is extremely important. It’s not only important to know your product or service, but it is essential to properly prepare for interviews and presentations with the news media.
You’re probably thinking, “I created my company, so I can answer any and all questions that pertain to it.”
While this may be true, can you answer unpredictable questions in a manner that presents your company in the best light possible? Can you convince a reporter that your company will be the “next big thing” in your industry? Unless you prepare before the time comes, the answer to both questions will probably be, “no.”
One moment of publicity can make or break your startup. And it’s often difficult to admit that we aren’t always the best salespeople or publicists for our companies, because we created them. As a result, I developed a list of activities that you can practice to become a better media guest and tell a more memorable and relevant story about your company.
1. Identify key messages that you would like to convey to the public about your company.
2. Decipher embarrassing, awkward or negative issues associated with your company or industry and prepare an honest, confident and suitable response.
3. Practice your talking points, over and over and over again.
4. Ask your biggest skeptic to poke holes in your presentations.
5. Practice fake interviews over the phone, in person and via webcam.
6. Find creative ways to involve integral team members in an interview or publicity opportunity.
7. Contact an industry leader and ask for advice on how to handle negative perceptions or stigmas that the media already has about your industry.
8. Identify locations or settings that demonstrate positive qualities of your company culture and business environment.
These simple tips can help you strengthen your communication skills and develop comfort and confidence when talking to reporters. How do you create the perfect media message? Let me know in the comments below.
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