Your Intended Message

Talk to the Media: Ed Barks

July 20, 2022

Why and how to talk to the media?

Talk to the media to convey your corporate messages with personal flavor

Ed Barks has 25 years experience as a specialist in media communications.

Episode 104 (Ed is based in Washington DC)

In this conversation with Ed Barks we explore:

  • Why business leaders should develop positive relations with the media
  • How to approach the media to help spread your message
  • How to prepare for media interviews
  • How to answer questions that you don't want to address
  • Why you should never say "No comment"
  • When the office sceptic becomes an asset
  • How to develop your soundbites

About Ed Barks:

Ed is president of Barks Communications with 25 years experience working with communication and government relations executives to help their companies reach long-term business and public policy goals. 

He is the author of four books. The most recent is "Insider Strategies for the Confident Communicator: How to Master Meetings, Presentations, Interviews and Advocacy.



PS: You can download a free copy of this book from his website.


Excerpts from this conversation with Ed Barks

Internalize your message so you can verbalize your message.



I'm going to kind of flip that a little bit George, if you don't mind and talk about the positives of it.

And when you look at how you're interacting with the media, you need a number of things. And let me focus on two right at the top.

First is your message, you need a magnetic message or George as you refer to it your intended message. So it's a matter of knowing what you're going to say it's developing that message ahead of time, and it's being able to stick to it during the course of your interview.

No matter what questions come up, and what questions the reporter may toss out, you need to keep coming back to that message. Now the second key that I'll mention is the notion of sustained professional development.

You can't just do one interview and think you've got it nailed. Or certainly you can't go into your first ever interview without any preparation in any planning. So what that indicates is that you need to over the long haul, sharpen your communications edge.

And that involves starting off perhaps with low risk situations, maybe you're talking to a local shop or a kind of newspaper or a trade journal that doesn't get a whole lot of circulation. And then you build upon that until maybe one day you're ready for CNN or the New York Times. So those are a couple of things that are key right off the top.



And when when one is being interviewed by a reporter, is it is the rule that you must answer every question.



Well, you have to answer every question. Sure. But on your terms, and what I mean by that we talked we spoke a few moments ago about some techniques for dealing with Q&A.

And so you need to look at how you can manage those questions and build a bridge from that question to your intended answer your intended message.

So look at how you can take the question and build upon it and you don't want to be accused of spin.

You know, we've all heard these, Sunday morning talk shows where the host says to the senator, well, gee, isn't this a beautiful day outdoors, and the senator says, Well, yes, my favorite color is red.

You can't be talking on on two distinct planes like this, you have to find a way to meet in the middle. So that's where those techniques for Q&A come into play. And I go into those in depth in both Reporters Don't Hate You and in the most recent book, Insider Strategies for the Confident Communicator.


Your Intended Message is the podcast about how you can boost your career and business success by honing your communication skills. We’ll examine the aspects of how we communicate one-to-one, one to few and one to many – plus that important conversation, one to self.

In these interviews we will explore presentation skills, public speaking, conversation, persuasion, negotiation, sales conversations, marketing, team meetings, social media, branding, self talk and more.


Your host is George Torok

George is a specialist in communication skills. Especially presentation. He’s fascinated by the links between communication and influencing behaviours. He delivers training and coaching programs to help leaders and promising professionals deliver the intended message for greater success.


Connect with George



Podbean App

Play this podcast on Podbean App