When I was working at Digg, I was fortunate enough to get five minutes of media training from Christine. As a testament to her, that brief training lodged deeply into my head, and I've found myself repeating it frequently ever since. As I was sharing it again this week, I realized I should probably just write it up!
The three rules for speaking with the media:
- Answer the question you want to be asked. If someone asks a very difficult or challenging question, reframe it into one that you're comfortable answering. Don't accept a question's implicit framing, but instead take the opportunity to frame it yourself. Don't Think of An Elephant is a phenomenal, compact guide to framing issues.
- Stay positive. Negative stories can be very compelling. They are quite risky too! As an interviewee, find a positive framing and stick to it. Especially true when it comes to competitors and controversy.
- Speak in threes. Narrow your message down to three concise points, make them your refrain, and continue to reference back into your three speaking points.
That was it! Concise, compact, and I'm still using and learning from them a decade later.