American journalism is formulaic and predictable.
Combine one cup of facts with a few ounces of emotion, a tablespoon of third-party validation and a smidge of supporting data and you get a pretty good story.
Let’s be honest, a good storyteller can shape a reporter’s article.
All you have to do is give the reporter a workable outline, reinforce it repeatedly, then point the journalist to third-party sources and supporting information. To play it safe, you can even identify your own detractors to offer a balancing opinion or point of view.
To become a convincing storyteller for media, an executive needs to learn how to play chess with interviewers, anticipate their questions and predict the language and ideas that will pique their interest. Proper preparation keeps surprise questions to a minimum and keeps your story on track. And the one absolute rule is: Always maintain control of the interview.
It can be challenging, but a trained storyteller can shape the public’s perception of their company by controlling the stories reporters tell.