Sales, Public Relations, & News Media

Clayton Shold, founder of interviewed me about the dynamic between the sales process, public relations, and news media.

It’s an interesting relationship that many people usually gloss over. We talked about the challenging process of being interviewed by a reporter, and I described it as being an all too often stilted, scheming, awkward, conniving, and manipulative experience. It’s the reason many people hate to talk to reporters, even people who have nothing to hide, or at least they thought so until they see the interview in print or on television.

News media interviews affect sales. Do it right and sales flourish. Do it wrong and they plummet, sometimes along with a company’s share price.

Smart sales people realise that doing an interview is not like a regular conversation. They also know it is a skill they can learn and improve upon.

Clayton asked me how media interview skills equate to sales success.

I told him it’s all about trust.

Anyone being interviewed, whether to address a crisis situation or to talk about a new product launch needs to be trusted. Not only by the reporter, but by the people who follow the reporter.

People have to be able to believe in you when you speak. You have to know how to deal with the tough issues as well as promote the positive aspects of your product.

From a sales prospective, it’s all about building relationships. Many of the techniques and strategies I outline in my book, When the Headline Is YOU, also apply to sales.

People have to trust you.

Clayton asked me to share a few tips with his audience about dealing effectively with reporters, and I covered things like honesty, and that it always has to be about the customer. It’s important to listen to your client and acknowledge their skepticism and deal with it effectively. You have to be a good listener.

I shared a number of tips that everyone, including less experienced as well as advanced sales people would find helpful.

You can listen to the podcast here.


I’m speaking in New York City to the IABC
at the American National Standards Institute

I’ll address the pitfalls of following the message as mantra approach, and also outline proven strategies for enhancing credibility with reporters and stakeholders.

My presentation will also show attendees how to craft bad news messages that emphasize practical action.

 Please join me on May 17 – you do not need to be an IABC member to attend.

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