Issue #832 July 5, 2013
Publisher: Joan Stewart
“Tips, Tricks and Tools for Free Publicity”
In This Issue
- How to Fact-check Journalists
- Don’t Answer “What If” Questions
- Publicity Shortcuts
- Hound Video of the Week
This Weekend in the Hound House:
Products I Love: Trader Joe’s Golden Roasted Milled Flax Seed. I’m sneaking some into the gluten-free Carrot Banana Muffins I’m making this weekend.
1. How to Fact-check Journalists
Journalists love to correct politicians, business owners and other newsmakers by performing “fact checks” and pointing out inaccurate statements.
Some newspapers even have weekly features that check the facts about someone in the news.
Have you ever considered fact-checking journalists who treat you unfairly?
That’s what Walmart did recently after a columnist for The New York Times wrote a scathing opinion piece spanking the retailer for low wages, part-time contracts and other alleged sins that he said have resulted in “public disdain for the company.”
That same day, Walmart responded by fact-checking the entire column, making comments in red, and posting it to their blog.
It was a clever way to fight back, and the chain received publicity galore for the response. But the dustup didn’t end there.
Read about what happened next, and join the conversation by explaining whether you’d be so bold as to fact-check a journalist publicly if you felt mistreated. All the details are at my blog.
If you agree to media coverage, understand all the things you can do before, during and after an interview to make the story as fair and accurate as possible. I explain them all in “Special Report #1: How to Keep the Media from Making a Mess of Your Story.” You can grab it for $15. It will help level the playing field and make you more confident going into the interview.
2. Don’t Answer “What If” Questions
During media interviews, especially those that occur during a bad-news situation, journalists love to ask questions that start with the words “what if”:
“What if the awning that fell off your building had injured a pedestrian?”
“What if your employees go on strike tomorrow? How will you handle it?”
“What if you lose the lawsuit they filed against you?”
Never answer “what if” questions, or any questions that ask you to speculate about anything. Simply say, “I’m not going to speculate about that.”
If you do, they can quote you directly but use only part of your answer. This has happened many times on TV when reporters extract a three-second sound bite that sounds the exact opposite of what you really said.
Not knowing what kinds of questions reporters usually ask, especially the trick questions they have up their sleeves, can leave you stammering, stuttering and blabbing answers that make you sound angry, defensive or confused.
Some questions that sound like trick questions really aren’t. For example, “Can you prove that?” isn’t a trick question. It’s a way for the journalist to dig deeper for more details and a more accurate story.
“Special Report #2: Questions You Can Expect Reporters to Ask During an Interview (Including Nasty, Hostile Ones)” not only lists the questions, it explains how to answer them all. I worked in a newsroom for 22 years and I taught reporters all the trips for loosening lips. Grab the report it for only $15.
3. Publicity Shortcuts
Now that you know how to do damage control and how to answer difficult questions, it’s time to grab some publicity.
Wouldn’t it be great if you could just snap your fingers and instantly have a producer from a national TV show or writer from a major magazine decide to interview you?
While getting big-time publicity isn’t that easy, the truth is most people make it a lot harder for themselves than it needs to be.
You can secure major media coverage much more quickly when you know how to put a few simple pieces together.
Find out how on a free training telephone seminar on Thursday, July 10, at your choice of two times. You’ll hear Steve Harrison interview six special guests with real world experience to share. Register for the telephone seminar on “5 Proven Shortcuts to Landing Your First (or Next) Major Media Appearance FAST.”
The call is free and I earn a commission if you buy anything from Steve.
4. Hound Video of the Week
It’s Maymo vs. the Robot Spider. The dog looks a little frightened, but wait until you see what happens at the end! Don’t read the comments or it’ll ruin the surprise.
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