Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Wanna be quoted? Try speaking English.

Technique November 2005
"Wanna be quoted? Try speaking English. By Michelle Metzger

The old adage 'you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink' rings quite true for us PR pros but in a slightly different way. We can get a client an interview, but we can't talk for him. Therefore, it is imperative that we teach him or her how to communicate best with reporters.

Let's face it, it's not easy for most techies to come down from their high cloud of Mbps, throughput, platforms, solutions and integrated, interoperable patch panels, but if you're going to talk to a reporter, you have to put it in a language we all understand - English.

The reason a corporate spokesperson or press release writer at a company needs to speak this very basic language is because the audience, while certainly tech-savvy, went to journalism, not engineering school. They are the gatekeepers to the audience you ultimately want to reach - potential customers and partners. But you must get through them first, and if they can't understand a word you say, they might nod politely, but you will not reap the rewards of their pen.


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