Bell Works Event: How to Prepare for the Media Interview

You had the big idea. You did your research. You took the risk and put in the hours of physical and mental effort necessary to launch your business. Now you’re seeing results. What was once just a big dream is now gaining traction…and getting recognized.

You’ve landed a media interview. Congratulations! The possibility for positive recognition and amplification of your brand and your mission is real.

Now what?

You need a crash course in handling the media. Both for that coveted business profile, and the event that there is a crisis at your business or in your industry.

Join us at Bell Works on Wed, Dec. 14 for a breakfast panel discussion on how to prepare for a media eventinterview, press conference or tv/radio spot. The panel discussion will feature tips and practical instruction from publicists and reporters who cover businesses in New Jersey.

This event is part of a regular series of meetups sponsored by Bell Works and vi Collaboration Hub, the coworking community here, to provide resources and education for businesses entrepreneurs.


Learn more about the panel:

Moderator, Shannon Winning, Co-owner and Writer,  Marketing Rival

Shannon is a professional writer and marketer skilled at harnessing the knowledge of her clients to turn their years of experience into the kind of content prospects hunger for. Shannon has helped CEOs, CMOs and other executives become thought leaders in their industries, attracting buyers and competitors seeking answers to their problems. Prior to co-founding Marketing Rival and her work as freelance writer and inbound marketer, she was a journalist covering municipal, business and hyperlocal news.

“The one thing you don’t want to do is let your press agent or PR specialist speak for you during an interview,” Shannon advises. “This is your business, your expertise, your chance. You need to speak in your own voice, make your own statement. That’s powerful, and will resonate with your audience more than any soundbite being fed to a reporter by a PR point person.”

Michael Diamond, Business Reporter, Asbury Park Press

Michael is a business reporter at the Asbury Park Press, where he covers the economy. His stories have appeared in USA Today and other newspapers nationwide, and he has been honored by the New Jersey Press Association for business writing nine times.  Michael joined the Press in 1999 after writing for newspapers in Pennsylvania and Southern California.

Regarding the media interview opportunity, Diamond is clear in his professional take on authenticity: “Every reporter and every reader can discern who is telling an authentic story and who is embellishing or even fabricating a story for effect and simply to present what they think people will ‘buy’.”

Josh Burd, Editor, Real Estate New Jersey and former NJBIZ managing editor

Josh is the editor of Real Estate NJ, a website and monthly magazine dedicated to covering commercial real estate in New Jersey. He has covered the industry for more than five years. Prior to launching Real Estate NJ this year, he was the managing editor of NJBIZ, a statewide business journal, and spent four years working for Gannett newspapers in central New Jersey.

“The best thing an interviewer or person being interviewed can do is prepare,” Josh said. “For someone going into an interview…Come in with your facts and numbers – that’s what’s interesting to business reporters. Also, besides hard facts, anecdotes—your story. That’s interesting.”

Kyle Kirkpatrick, Director, Beckerman PR

Kyle is an experienced writer, strategist, and media relations expert focused specifically on the commercial real estate industry in New York, New Jersey, and Philadelphia. A former member of the Public Information and Economic Development offices in the City of New Brunswick, Kyle has roots in government affairs and community development. He has also served as a speech writer, campaign coordinator, and social media manager for local figures and initiatives in New Jersey. He holds bachelor’s degrees in Journalism & Media Studies and Political Science from Rutgers University in New Brunswick, N.J.

“You’ve got to distill your message so you can make your point and restate the most important take-a-ways for your audience throughout the interview,” Kyle said. “It may seem redundant, but reporters and audiences are human and there’s only so much we will remember hearing something only once.”

Jennifer Smiga, Co-Owner and Publicist, Marketing Rival

Jennifer has the proven ability to connect her clients to social media influencers and media craving new stories. Prior to founding her first marketing and pr agency in 2010, she managed events, co-marketing partnerships and media relations campaigns for high-profile organizations including Bette Midler’s New York Restoration Project and the Miami Art Museum.

“Trust in your story. Every brand starts with the people behind it. And also remember that the journalist you are talking to may bring something out in your story that you maybe didn’t even know was interesting. But to the reader, it could be a key ingredient to a compelling story.”

The Dec. 14 event kicks off at 8 am with coffee, breakfast and networking. Panel discussion begins at 8:30 and will include time for Q and A. Event concludes at 10 a.m. but attendees are welcome to stay and work in the cafe afterwards.  Bell Works is located at 101 Crawfords Corner Rd, Holmdel, NJ.

Click here to learn more about the event and to register.

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