By Gina F. Rubel
Special to the Legal
Every law firm should have a marketing and public relations strategy that should include a mix of media that reaches your target audiences. A corporate law firm that does business with Fortune 100 companies will have a drastically different strategy from a localized general practice. Regardless of the size and scope of your business, there may be a time when radio interviews come into play -- especially if you're dealing with high profile litigation.
Here are a few tips you should keep in mind:
Focus on your objective: Don't get bogged down in statistics or lengthy explanations. Speak briefly, directly and to the point. Correct any misstatements or misperceptions. You should have prepared key messages before speaking to the media. Make sure you know what they are and that you get them across in your interview.
Choose your messages with care: Radio reaches a very specific listening audience and depending on the time of day and programming, the audience may change. The producers have chosen to interview you based on a topic that you have already agreed upon. Stick to that topic or the reporter will cut you off and move on.
Pace yourself: When recording a message, pace your delivery. Practice makes perfect so take time to record what you plan to say and listen to it in advance of your interview. Listen to how each word sounds. Make sure your words don't run together. Have someone else listen and provide you with feedback -- then tweak the message as necessary.
Remember to say your firm name: When you are first introduced, the reporter will generally mention your name. It is important for you to mention your firm's name when it is appropriate and comes naturally, so the listening audience will remember it.
Speak in plain English: Speaking in plain English will ensure that your message gets across to the masses. In other words, avoid legal jargon. It's important when dealing with radio to speak in layman's terms so your audience understands you and so that your messages are clear.
Stay calm, cool and collected: Remember to stay still. Don't sway back and forth or shake your feet. Take deep breaths. Pause between thoughts. If you can, stand during the recording. Your voice will project better.
Speak in short sound bites: Practice your topic in sound bites. Radio is a great medium for short, quick nuggets of information that the listeners can remember. Then, repeat what you really want listeners to remember.
Spare the details: Most radio stories run for less than 90 seconds. Radio reporters aren't looking for hours of drawn-out details. Be concise and get to your point. If you are being interviewed, count for two seconds before answering. The slight pause before you answer will make your responses sound fresh and thoughtful.
Gina F. Rubel is the owner of Furia Rubel Communications Inc., a public relations and marketing agency with a niche in legal communications. A former Philadelphia trial attorney and public relations expert, she is the author of "Everyday Public Relations for Lawyers." Gina and her agency have won numerous awards for legal communications, public relations, media relations, strategic planning, law firm websites, corporate philanthropy and leadership. She maintains a blog at www.ThePRLawyer.com and you can find her on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/in/ginafuriarubel or follow her on Twitter at http://twitter.com/ginarubel.