Why journalists need you to be great storytellers

In Media Training by Steve Hemsley

Being able to tell a story during an interview with a journalist is crucial to engage with the reporter and ensure your messages are conveyed effectively.

Not only does talking about real-life client or customer examples or case studies make your interview more interesting and engaging, it tells the journalist that you are someone they should talk to more often.

As a working journalist for more than 25 years and a media trainer for 10 years I have valuable ‘Black Book’ of contacts. I will put ‘stars’ next to the names of people I have interviewed.

Someone’s ability to tell a great story usually earns them an extra star. Others are earned if someone understands my audience so that what they say is 100% relevant and – ahem – they meet my deadlines. These are the people I will go to for comment again and again.

One big tip I give clients I media train to help them be more creative and interesting is to focus less on WHAT their company does and to talk more about WHY and HOW they do it.

This is what the journalist and his readers or viewers want to know.

This is the information that differentiates you from your competitors and shows the audience that you have information or a product and service that can benefit them.

So, think about what examples you have to illustrate the points you are making and the company messages you want to convey.

If you want to talk about how your business is innovative, give the journalist an example of how and when you were innovative. The same applies to other values you might want to talk about such as being a leader in your market or an expanding business. Were you the first to launch something? Have you just opened a new office in another country?

From a very young age we like people to tell us stories, so remember to help journalists write and broadcast them.


By Steve Hemsley
Media Trainer. Journalist. Presenter. Dir @ soft skills experts Hendrix & S&A Publishing (Care Home Management magazine)

For more information on media training please email me: steve.hemsley2@btinternet.com or call me on 0189 2519504/07816329970

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