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Now, More Than Ever, Messaging is Crucial

Last week a few interesting things happened. First, on Monday the New York Times published a column from media critic David Carr highlighting the issues surrounding sources being given the opportunity by journalists to “approve” quotes. Then, on Wednesday, the Internet Archive launched “TV News Search & Borrow,” compiling thousands of hours of TV news in a searchable database available to the public. And on Thursday, the New York Times, after Carr’s column ignited a spirited conversation, announced that reporters were no longer going to allow sources to review and approve quotes.

How does all of this relate to professional services companies? Well, primarily these developments underscore – in triple-underlined, bold ink – the importance of crafting, understanding and conveying intended messaging.

Taking the time to speak with marketing and public relations professionals who understand both your company and how the media operates is critical when it comes to communicating publicly. Choosing the right words and the right points to emphasize can make all the difference. Media training can also help one role play what to say when asked a potentially troublesome question.

Speaking on point is mutually beneficial to a company and the media. Members of the media are generally looking for concise and precise commentary. If you can provide this, working within the framework of agreed upon messaging, you will benefit both your organization and are more likely to be quoted – favorably – in an article. You are also more likely to be added to a reporter’s “go-to” contact list.

Now, more than ever, it is important to say the right thing in the right way the first time.

— Michael Bond

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