A key part in setting up a media relations program is selecting a spokesperson(s) to be the public face of your organisation when the media calls. This is a very important job and most agencies, businesses or not for profits identify the CEO, Chairperson or person responsible for communications to fill this role.
Irrespective of the choice, your spokesperson(s) should:
- Know the topic you are presenting to the media.
- Be able to speak with authority about what your organization does and answer general as well as specific questions.
- Be well-groomed and dress suitably.
- Uses plain language and speak clearly and simply.
- Be continually contactable by mobile or cell phone.
- Be reasonably flexible about when and where to be interviewed.
- Be available by phone or email for any follow-up questions after the interview.
Journalists do not expect not for profits or smaller businesses to have well trained media spokespersons, but they do expect them to be represent your organization, provide information and be able to tell a good story.
Training in media interview skills is not really necessary unless your issue is controversial, you plan to talk to the media often or your spokespersons are not comfortable performing this important job. If so consider investing in professional media training for your spokespersons because good media coverage is so important to the future health of your organisation.