The professional cleaning industry is getting noticed. The importance of cleaning in protecting health as well as the size of the industry have resulted in more editors from business and related publications taking the time to get to know the industry as well as the people in the industry better.
And, because the industry will be gathering in less than a month in Las Vegas, don’t be surprised if a couple of these editors show up with a press pass and ask you for an interview. This can be an opportunity and it can be a problem for some because they simply have never been interviewed by a reporter before.
Keep the following tips in mind should you be asked to share your thoughts with the media:
WIIFM: Ask yourself, “What’s in it for me.” If the reporter is from a residential cleaning publication and your product focuses on heavy industrial cleaning, there might not be any reason for you to be interviewed. Once the editor realizes this, he/she likely will not use your comments so don’t waste your time.
Answering questions: Should you not know the answer to a question or wish to avoid it, just say, “I will look into that.” Never, even jokingly, say “no comment.”
Have a message: If asked about your products, have a key message that defines what your company and its products are all about—healthier cleaning, improving worker productivity, ergonomics, etc. Similarly, if asked about the tradeshow or the industry in general, have an idea of what message you want to convey, such as its importance to the economy, to public health, or to healthy students’ performance.
Tell a story: Editors love short stories that help make a point. If you are asked a question that can be answered with a short, interesting story that illustrates your point, go for it.
Know the reporter: If you have been asked in advance for an interview, Google the reporter and the publication. Find out as much about them so you can tailor your comments accordingly and it should l give you an idea of what the reporter will likely want to ask.
Make your last words meaningful: Reporters and editors often find that the last comment or two someone makes can be the most important. By then, you are likely relaxed and talking as if you are speaking with a friend…but remember you’re not. Try to make the last words out of your mouth positive and memorable. The reporter or editor will likely walk away with that high note and make it the “sound bite” of the story.