Only those adept at answering questions are of interest to the media. Do you know your expert opinions and can you articulate them clearly? A great way to improve is by interviewing yourself.
Previously, I wrote about media perceptions of experts. Are you doing public speaking? Are you presenting events or have you written any books? These are some of the ways media judge you.
This article is about getting your opinions flowing. If you’re an expert, what do people expect you to know about? Yes, you know everything there is to know about doing the work. But media are interested in wider issues and expert opinions, not how you do your job every day.
If I was going to speak to media about you; I’d interview you first. I want to hear you talk on a variety of subjects, so I know what your strengths and interests are. I want to know where you and your business sit in the industry. I want to be able to paint a bigger picture of you.
I’m going to share some of the questions I ask my clients when preparing media campaigns. If you want to play a public role and have been looking for a place to start, try asking yourself these questions. Some answers will come easily; others take time to develop. Work through them. It’s worth the effort. The opinions and commentary you develop from these questions can be used for media pitches, blogs, newsletters, public presentations or anywhere else you have an audience. And they’ll help you define your point of difference; critical for all our businesses.
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Industry trend questions:
- What are the major trends in your industry and how is that affecting the industry and customers?
- What is driving these changes?
- Are there international trends? Has the local market kept up?
- Do these trends have wider social implications? (This is important for mainstream media)
- What is your opinion of the trends and how is your business responding?
- If you had to name something which will completely change the way your industry works in the next ten years; what would it be?
Specialist or trade media will be interested in the niche picture of how the industry is changing and your business’s role or response. If you’re aiming for mainstream media, you’ll need to discuss wider social trends and how society (or a section of it) is affected. Have there been recent legislative changes? Is Australia leading the world with a major breakthrough. Are customers creating the trend or is it industry-driven? Is the change demographically driven?
Be sure to look for ideas which matter and themes with broad interest. You know when you’re at a dinner party and everyone stops to hear one person tell a story. What’s your story? Here are some more questions to get those expert opinions really flowing.
Burning issue questions:
- If there’s one thing people should know about my industry what would it be?
- What is the public perception of that issue and what is really happening? How are people affected?
- What is the burning issue for my industry right now? How is my business addressing it?
If you want to become a go-to person for media, these questions are valuable. Practice using your new opinions and commentary with clients and peers. See if people’s ears prick up – then you’ll know you’re onto something.