By Gerard Braud
Before every media training class I teach, I ask the PR team to provide me with their existing key messages. Most are word vomit.
Many public relations people “vomit” every word they can, every cliché they can, and every statistic they can onto the page they submit to me. As you might guess, I have to do major key message re-writes before every media training class.
While teaching interview skills in a media training class, a participating executive provided expert insight to the lesson I was teaching.
“So you don’t want us to word vomit everything we know in a media interview, right?” he asked.
That isn’t how I would have phrased it, but now that I think about it, many spokespeople, and the public relations people who write the key messages for the spokespeople, are guilty of “word vomit.”
When a spokesperson is being interviewed, more is less. You must help them fight the urge to say everything they know about the company or organization.
The more you say to a reporter, the more you subject yourself to editing that you may not like.
It may not be pretty, but today’s media training expert advice is:
- Avoid word vomit when you write your key messages.
- Avoid word vomit when you are speaking to a reporter in a media interview.
If someone read your key messages right now, would they think, “Ugh. Too much information!”?
If you need help finding the perfect way to write your key messages, check out my “Kick-Butt Key Message” writing program.
Crisis communications and media training expert Gerard Braud, CSP, Fellow IEC is based in New Orleans. Organizations on five continents have relied on him to write their crisis communications plans and to train their spokespeople. He is the author of “Don’t Talk to the Media Until…”
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