Most cyber security experts are terrible at speaking to media.
They either don’t know the rules of the game or they make common mistakes and reporters never call them back for another interview.
The good news is that very few people start out as naturals on camera speaking with a reporter. Most of the experts you see being interviewed on TV have been training for that moment.
Before your spokespeople ever go on TV, focused practice can quickly get them up to speed on the jiu jitsu of an interview. Even just a few hours of media training can make a dramatic difference in how someone appears on camera. Here’s how to get started.
CHOOSE THE RIGHT SPOKESPERSON FOR THE RIGHT MEDIA
Before you get started with media training, you need to choose the right spokespeople, which will depend on your goal.
- If you’re looking for the New York Times or CNN, you need someone who can talk at a 30,000-foot level about how an attack or topic impacts a business, family, or person.
- If you’re targeting the trades, you want someone who can get into the weeds and explain the technical details.
THE 4 MOST IMPORTANT THINGS TO REMEMBER ABOUT MEDIA INTERVIEWS
No matter what media you’re going after, keep in mind a few ground rules:
- Forget sales and lead gen. Media coverage is about gaining third-party credibility to establish thought leadership. Save the sales pitch for further down the funnel.
- Charisma counts and can be learned. Expertise isn’t enough. You have to be compelling. Luckily, anyone can learn this with focused practice.
- Sound bites matter. The media love short, punchy sound bites. Develop some for your spokespeople before each interview to increase the impact of your media coverage.
- A great example is Chris Pirillo’s famous one-liner about passwords: “Passwords are like underwear. Don’t let people see it, change it very often, and you shouldn’t share it with strangers.”
- Authenticity is key, but it’s also a delicate balance. Use the advice above when on camera, but don’t forget what it is that made you a hacker and respected security researcher in the first place — that first-hand knowledge of threats and vulnerabilities is what sets the truly great spokespeople apart.
Some spokespeople are naturals at speaking to the media. But anyone can be trained through practice and preparation.
If you want to brush up on your interviewing skills or train from scratch, contact us today.