Often people are simply too self-promotional when dealing with the media – focusing only on what is of interest to them, not to the reader, viewer or listener. Try instead to put yourself in the reader’s shoes. Spend a bit of time actually reading the publications you are most likely to deal with, to see what appears to float their boat.

The most media-savvy organisations focus more on what their target publications are writing about, and look to see if they can deliver pithy and relevant comment on the hot issues, understanding their requirements. In other words, see if you can contribute to their agenda, rather than trying to force them to be interested in yours. Meanwhile the TV news channels and radio shows are looking for people with strong opinions, not those who are meticulously and boringly even-handed. This is a challenge and means that not every opportunity is an appropriate one – but do think through how you might be able to use each one positively, before rejecting it out of hand. Smart firms can be very successful in using the media to position themselves as premium players whose views are widely sought and respected – leaders in their sector, not followers. To do that you have to be willing to have a view – and communicate it clearly. Taken from The M-factor: media confidence for business leaders and managers, by Tom Maddocks