Improving Media Relations Practices [National Conference]

Editor’s Note: The PRSSA 2011 National Conference is in Orlando from October 14-18. To follow the events live, use the Twitter hashtag #PRSSANC. All National Conference posts can be found here.

Dr. Joseph V. Trahan, III, APR, Fellow PRSA, had every attendee of the Media Training Session at the PRSSA 2011 National Conference excited about media relations before he was one minute into his presentation. Among the many messages Dr. Trahan enlightened attendees with, were the “Three C’s of Media Relations” and media interview techniques, the most relevant and basic tips for young professionals.

Public relations professionals can use Trahan’s three C’s to improve their media relations practices:


Control means never losing control when talking to reporters. Right now, public relations professionals have to deal with “the 4-headed monster” — including traditional media, social media, your own company’s media and stalker media who attack your reputation.


Remember to stay in your lane. People in public relations often want to try to do everything, but will create better work when they stay on issues that are most relevant to your organization.


When on camera, concern must be on your face, in your words and in every single thing you do.

Follow these tips from Trahan to have successful on-camera interviews with the media:

Begin With a Brief Summary

Open your interview by providing a 25-40 second summary of what you’re speaking about. This should include the who, what, when, where, why and how.

Answer With Stand-Alone Statements

Remember that only one or two of your sound bites might make it on air. Take time after each question to listen, pause, think and answer.

Have an Open, Confident Body Language

Don’t forget to look at the reporter, not just the camera. Your eyes will control the interview — don’t look away or down. Establish a comfortable space between yourself and the reporter, and don’t keep hands on your hips or crossed across your chest.

This is a guest post by University of Texas at Austin Chapter member Rachael Sperling.

4 thoughts on “Improving Media Relations Practices [National Conference]

    • Author gravatar

      I wasn’t able to attend Dr. Trahan’s session, but from what I heard there were terrific reviews of the session. Despite not being able to attend the session, this post gave a great overview to let me find out what happened. Although there is a lot that goes into handling the media, these are great tips. When the time comes to deal with the media, these tips will help PR professionals of all experience levels have the best possible experience.

    • Author gravatar

      Thanks, Katie. I’m sorry you weren’t able to make the session, but I’m glad you found my post helpful.
      Dr. Trahan was an excellent guest speaker and I learned more practical information about media relations from him in one hour than I have in two years of classes! If you want all of my notes from Dr. Trahan’s workshop, I would be happy to email them to you.

    • Author gravatar

      I too was unable to attend some sessions at PRSSANC. The blogs of summaries and information are so informative and helpful, thank you!

      The most interesting point of this entry is the fact that our careers, although stressful, busy and sometimes downright crazy, can easily be wrapped up into the 3 Cs to ensure success. Putting things into simple terms allows for students and professionals to more happily and easily achieve the goal they’re working toward.

    • Author gravatar

      I think this was my favorite session at PRSSA NC. I really enjoyed it and learned a LOT!

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