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Thursday, 2nd May 2013 at 10:50am
This piece has been written by Samantha Dawe, The Think Tank's PR Director.
Working with the press can be a great way to get stories about your products and your organisation across. But before you leap in for a chat take a few minutes to think through what you are going to say.
Using the press effectively to get your point across is a skill. In most cases, you only get one go at this in an interview, so you need to get it right first time when you are speaking to journalists directly.Whether you’re speaking at a planned face-to-face interview, a quick chat catch up at an industry event or a short briefing over the telephone, you will be in the spotlight. Here’s a short memory-refresher on the dos and don’ts of dealing with a press interview.
Prepare, prepare, prepare
Wherever possible build in time to do some preparation before you meet the journalist. Read the publication they are writing for. Ideally find out what the journalist wants to cover in advance so you can be ready with the right sort of information for them. If you don’t know this in advance, ask them when you meet or speak to check. This will also give you time to collect your thoughts. Have you had some media training? It’s worth it if you are in any type of marketing role.
Know your facts and figures
Remember you can talk to a journalist about any information that has already been announced, and bringing in other examples as context can often help illustrate a point. Again, have facts and figures to hand (be prepared wherever possible) so you can refer to them.
Try to speak in short sentences and repeat key points that convey your view. This helps to minimise the risk of being quoted inaccurately. Resist the temptation to go on and on about your favourite theme unless this is the only subject to be covered in the interview.
Raise points that you feel may be of interest
The journalist may have done some preparation but you are also able to raise points on a subject too. Make sure they that are relevant to the journalist’s train of thought; showing them you are trying to give them as much information as you can is usually perceived as helpful as long as you don’t go overboard.
Bring in how you see the industry or your sector developing, if appropriate. This sort of insight also shows that you and your company are continuing to keep track and responding to change. Don’t speculate though unless you are happy to see your speculations in print.
Don’t talk about areas you don’t know about
Don’t make forecasts about products, markets or sales, unless the information has been agreed beforehand and you can produce the data to back it up. If you don’t know much about a subject, say so. And wherever possible get someone in your company to speak to the journalist who is an expert.
And don’t be derogatory about the competition; it’s unprofessional. Just give factual information to the journalist, and let them make their own comparisons. Talking too much about the competition actually helps to sell it, so you may want to avoid that.
Don’t be evasive
If you don’t know something (see point 1 above) or you feel you need to get more information in front of you, say you will find out for the journalist and get back to them; check the deadline they are working on. This can also be used to ‘buy some time’ while you formulate an appropriate response to a tricky question. But if you promise further information, make sure it is followed up, even if it is to say that you need more time.
Use colourful phrases with care
Avoid the use of particularly colourful phrases unless you are absolutely sure you want them used. Otherwise, they may appear out of context or as headlines. A sub-editor may well select the juiciest quote from a journalist’s copy just for this purpose: “Widget Ltd’s Marketing Director Paul Smith says that they are murdering the competition”. Enough said.
Don’t go “Off-the record” unless you are really, really confident
This can be a dangerous trap – you are giving information ‘off-the-record’ for a journalist’s guidance, they should not publish it under any circumstances.
You have to tell the journalist the information is ‘off-the-record’ before you give them the information. The phrase should not be used retrospectively.
You should then say when the information you are discussing is ‘back on the record’ that means they can write up what you are saying.
A general rule of thumb is not using ‘off-the-record’ at all. In exceptional circumstances with a journalist that can really be trusted and you know – for example a trade press journalist you are in regular touch with and you know writes in a fair and informed way, and above all will respect this convention, you might be OK. But why chance it?
A Director I knew went ‘off the record’ with a journalist to say that he expected the privately-owned company he worked for would be floated in the next six months. It was a great story and appeared in print. You can imagine the fall out that happened when it was published.
This piece was written as part of The Think Tank's sponsorship of the PR Section of B2B Marketing's Knowledge Bank, and forms part of a series of guides, blog posts, case studies and a white papers.
Friday, 15th February 2013 at 9:39am
Called "Handy Prices", the campaign will see the DIY business lower the prices of hundreds of products, predominately those used on a more regular basis, and keep them at this new lower price, permanently.
The campaign is the first piece of work completed for them by Karmarama since their appointment last year, and may come as a surprise to some as they are without a Marketing Director since the departure of Katherine Paterson in October, the spot being covered in the iterim by brand director David Hutchinson.
The campaign will run on TV, radio and print. The TV ad is shown below, the most notable thing is the lack of products in this ad, so it will be interesting to see how this approach works for them. Take a look for yourself and let us know what you think.
Friday, 8th February 2013 at 2:55pm
To celebrate 55 years, Lego has created a tumblr account called "55 years of the brick".
They've released 55 simple but effective print adverts, asking you to guesswhich song, band, movie or book the poster represents using the tag line "imagine a...".
See if you can guess what the ads represent - there are a few challenging ones.
The Lego posting has a lot of advertising around it, which can be annoying, but you can view them all at Gizmodo here without the ads.
Friday, 18th January 2013 at 10:57am
2013 marks the 100th Anniversary of the iconic Formica® brand, best known for high pressure laminates. The product was developed in USA in 1913 as a replacement for the mineral product 'Mica' and thus was called 'Formica'. Did you know that laminate is made from paper? Many people don't.
The Think Tank has worked with Formica in the UK and across EMEA for the past 10 years providing a range of marketing services including PR and as a part of the 100 years celebrations we have been working to raise the profile of the brand and its history through the media and yesterday saw a great article published in The Guardian Newspaper - both online and in print.
Formica® laminate is an iconic product that is used all around us in our everyday lives and, judging by the fantastic comments posted on the Guardian website, many people have very fond memories of the brand. One of the pictures featured takes us right back to when The Think Tank was based in Soho and used to frequent the Piccadilly Cafe - we remember it well.
The article, titled 'Shiny, happy households: Formica turns 100', is written by Oliver Wainwright and looks at the history of the brand, and how it has developed and been used over the years.
To find out more about the history of this iconic brand click here and read the full article or alternatively click here to see 'Formica: our century-old laminate love affair – in pictures', also published on the Guardian website.
You can also click below to view the article in PDF form.
Shiny, happy households_...pdf
Shiny, happy households_...pdf (957 kb)
Sunday, 21st October 2012 at 8:42am
Sunday, 21st October 2012 at 8:08am
Not the monsters you would want to meet on a night out!
See the ad below:
Drambuie's 'Extraordinary Bar' cinema commercial, written by Sell! Sell!, directed by Chino Moya and produced through HSI.
Sunday, 7th October 2012 at 3:25pm
There was a great article in the FT’s Inside Business section written by the paper’s media editor, Andrew Edgcliffe-Johnson. Describing how newsrooms have shrunk, he looks at how services such as PR Newswire (owned by UBM plc) are responding and how it sees its future being driven by digital syndication, social media and search engine optimisation.
As we have commented before in our blog, a rethink has started for press releases as multimedia content to help feed the growing number and variety of news outlets online. Edgcliffe-Johnson argues that “search and social media trends suggest corporate content will only grow”.
So not only do we now need to be aware of the fact that the majority of news is ‘broken’ online, but also that how we package up that news into deeper content will increasingly make a difference. This will have an impact not only in how this might be facilitated both client and agency side, but also that the content must be credible and ‘watchable’.
There will be a need of closer integration of advertising, digital marketing, PR and investor relations concludes Edgcliffe-Johnson.
See the article in the FT here (registration required).
Sunday, 15th July 2012 at 8:10am
This was part of a campaign with the the message, "Sometimes it's not easy to stop."
It's a curious one, connecting the addictive pleasure of popping bubble wrap with the potential tragedy of braking hard with poor tires instead of Goodyear's ultra-grips but quite fun anyway.
See the video below:
Monday, 18th June 2012 at 8:40am
Tobyboo was involved in the School for Creative Startups and they have both been featured in an article called 'How to turn a lightbulb into cash' in the Independent newspaper last week.
The article looks at how Doug Richard, the founder of the school, is helping creative types to understand the business part of their enterprises.
A good read - see more here.
Photography copyright Independent
Wednesday, 9th May 2012 at 8:15pm
This hard hitting press campaign for the Canadian Journalists for Free Expression highlights the plight of correspondents working overseas and the risks they take to bring us the real news.
They were created by agency Juniper Park in Toronto, Canada
Wednesday, 14th December 2011 at 1:56am
This award-winning interior design studio specializes in creating distinctive, fresh and contemporary designs for the interiors of hotels, bars, restaurants and for retail spaces.
The B3 Designers team has currently been working on a number of projects including some exciting new ‘eateries’ in the Selfridges store in Manchester… watch this space for more news.
Tuesday, 22nd November 2011 at 11:01am
This prestigious show that is held in Russia, Germany and Turkey showcases products and services supplied to the furniture industry. The first ZOW Moscow show was held in 2004 and each year usually receives around 15,000 visitors.
Formica Group is exhibiting vibrant colourways, intriguing textures and unique designs from the TopLine and Doorline collections, which bring a complete offering to the kitchen and furniture segment. Delegates can visit stand D3, Pavilion 7, Hall 2 from 21st - 25th November 2011 can discover how the Formica Group continues to evolve.
Please click here to see more about the new collections.
Saturday, 15th October 2011 at 7:39am
See more of the new showroom on Contemporist
Photography by Luke Hayes
Tuesday, 26th July 2011 at 11:34am
Working closely with the home, lifestyle and kitchen trade press, and TV programmes, we have achieved a huge amount of coverage and continue to position the brand as thought leader in the industry.
Tactics have included product placements and makeovers, regular press releases, advice and how to tips, installation guides, themes, trends and comment pieces.
Click here to find out more.
Tuesday, 7th June 2011 at 8:20am
SmartGlass™ International is a key supplier to the healthcare, hospitality, and commercial sectors and is unique in that it only manufactures SmartGlass and is completely dedicated to this sector. With a track record in supplying blue chip and bespoke clients worldwide, it asked The Think Tank to undertake a PR project to raise its profile in the UK and Middle East.
Read more here
Wednesday, 13th April 2011 at 7:25am
Monday, 6th December 2010 at 2:45am
We are looking for an experienced PR Account Manager for a hands-on role which will involve media relations and events support in the UK and Europe. This position is initially for six-months but will be reviewed. Knowledge of working within the b2b sector and preferably the built environment is preferred. Would you appreciate an opportunity to work with a team that likes to achieve great results? Please email your CV and a brief covering letter to Samantha Dawe, Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org.