Okay, so you've done some kind of outreach or you've published a big scientific paper, now. You got an email from a news outlet. They want to interview for the local paper. Or maybe your friends started a podcast and wants to interview you. So what do you do? [LAUGH] Many of the same principles we've already talked about still apply. Think about the tone of your voice, think about your message. Do that message back exercise. It's always a good idea to also ask what the interviewer is looking for as well. Check out their previous work, see how you can fit your message into the style that they already have. So for example, some podcasts are very conversational and organic. Others such as the example I showed in this module are scripted in advance and require sticking to an approved script. This can be really tricky to adopt that easy and informal conversational style that we see in podcast while sticking with the parameters given by the organizers. So to wrap up this module, I sat down with Julie Poppen and the news director at CU Boulder Strategic Media Relations. As part of her role at the university. She helps faculty get ready to talk to the media. So let's hear what she has to say on the subject. All right. Hello everyone. To wrap up our module on oral presentation. I've invited Julie Poppen in to speak with us today. She's the news director at CU Boulder Strategic Media Relations. One of the things Julie does here at CU Boulder is help get scientists ready to talk to the media and this is a really important skill because this is a great opportunity when we speak to the media to reach people who normally avoid science. So thank you again Julie for being here today. So can you tell us a little bit about yourself? What do you do at CU Boulder, what is your experience in the media? Sure, yeah. Thank you for having me in your class Melanie. And basically I am news director on the media relations team at my Alma mater CU Boulder and I have a long history of newspaper print journalism prior to that, and I direct the team at CU Boulder that is charged with leveraging our faculty experts on an array of topics and disciplines and also getting a research news and other good stuff out there in the broader world. Excellent. So one of the things that the students have learned a lot in this course already, it's about basic practices for oral presentations, modulating your speech, showing some enthusiasm and smiling, looking at the camera. And so how is talking to somebody from the media different from other forms of oral presentation that students in the course might be more familiar with? So we probably have teachers taking this course or people have given research presentations. So how is this a different skill than what they already know? Well, there's definitely some overlap. I think it's really important to think of the audience and understand what the media outlet is. There will be differences if you're talking to a New York Times reporter with a lot of knowledge in your area, that might be a very long and different kind of conversation than you might have with, say, a TV reporter who's just looking for a quick sound bite. It's important to speak to the media as if you are speaking to a friend or family member who doesn't know much about what you do. So they don't have the expert knowledge that you might may have. So you do want to boil it down in a way that will resonate and they will understand. So when talking to the media, I think it's really important and I've worked through this with Melanie, we have a message map strategy. So it's really important to come up with before you do the interview. 3 key points that you want to make sure the reporter comes away with. And that will raise the chances that those three points will end up somewhere in the news coverage of your work. So that is one thing that's really, really important to put a little thought into distilling these points. And we don't recommend memorizing them because you'll sound like a robot, but just some bullet points in your head so that you can speak about your key elements you want to get across. And generally, I would say also when speaking to the media, I mean when we write, news releases and things, we do have, you might say you're, we used to call it the Joe six pack or whatever, you're speaking to a general audience that may not have the deep knowledge of your area. So we want to put it in language that everyone can understand. And it doesn't mean dumbing down, you can still get across the concepts. It means using language that people can really understand, avoiding jargon, avoiding acronyms. So you mentioned that it might be different depending on if it's New York Times versus your local media and that if you're speaking to a New York Times reporter, you might have a higher level conversation. So do people sometimes slip up and maybe start using that jargon? Or is it okay if it's that kind of a venue because there's going to be a lot more context to it? Yeah, I think if it's, say you're talking to a science journalist at the New York Times, I'll just keep using that example. I think you can use some of the scientific terms and they're going to understand that, it's that reporter's job than to translate that when they write the story. So that when I read The New York Times, I fully understand what they're talking about. So that is different compared to say a general assignment local, either newspaper, TV, radio, whatever you are definitely going to want to speak in a way that they will understand and always invite reporters to ask more questions, you can say like did you, do you want me to reframe that, tell me what you're trying to understand about this and that will help you understand what you're trying to tell the media. Excellent. So what are some of the best things learners in this course could do to prepare to talk to the media. And so you mentioned the message map already and having those three points. And so how does that advice change at all? If at all, if it's a news interview versus something like a podcast interview, because those are getting very popular right now as well, >> That is true and I personally don't have a ton of experience in the podcast realm, Melanie, I believe you do, but I do know that generally speaking podcasts are trying to, the good ones are following a narrative arc, so it's more of a story, the more personal anecdotes and things you can weave in to build that story arc, whereas a media hit is often more quick and you really want to try to distill down the essence of what you are trying to get across. So that's what I would say about the differences there. Excellent. Yes. We'll be talking more about storytelling and the next module in this course with writing. Okay, so what are some common pitfalls or mistakes that people make when they're being interviewed by the media? Well, I've mentioned these already. There's a few actually, when we're talking to academic types, it's often rambling on for and having no breaks between what you're talking about. And also using a lot of jargon and acronyms. That's a big one. And you will notice reporters starting to get frustrated when they feel like they are not achieving like that sound bite and they have to keep coming at things in different ways to try to get you to say something succinct [LAUGH] that they can use. So that's why it really helps to be prepared with that three point message map. And also, again I mentioned not memorizing something, it is a conversation. The other thing I would say is that you can never forget if you're talking to the media or emailing with the media, never forget that everything you're doing is on the record. So sometimes people assume they're just having a little background chat and boom, it ends up broadcast on the nightly news and we've all seen this in some of the political coverage and other things. So, the journalist is doing a really critical, important work of getting news out there to the general audience that they need to make decisions about their lives at the same time, they are not necessarily your friend. So we need to have a friendly conversation while also remembering that they're not your friend, >> Correct. And you know, I was a former reporter. So, I say that with some authority, >> [LAUGH] And also, is that a towel that maybe people who haven't talked to the media a lot can watch for if they find they're getting asked the same question again, that, that might be a sign to them. Maybe I need to, maybe I'm being too jargon and maybe I need to change my word choice a little bit. I would say so, yes, and you will see that. Right? So, again, a good way to think about it is okay, you're talking to your friends and relatives at a dinner party about what you do. How do you talk to them about it? So it's, you don't need to come across as stilted. It's fine to be authoritative, but also friendly and engaging and having a conversation. It's almost like attitude people would adopt in a classroom, whether authoritative and they're friendly, but you're not buddy, buddy and shame drinking stories with the audience or something. That's right. Unless of course you want to end up in the news in a bad way. [LAUGH] We don't want to end up in the news that way. For sure. Exactly. So, wonderful. So are there any parting words of advice you'd like to leave the students in this course with, >> One thing I didn't mention is that if a reporter is calling you, it's probably because they've done enough homework to know that you are someone who knows more than the average Joe in your subject area and so you should embrace that. Be confident, prepare. But a lot of times we see, especially faculty members saying, I can't talk about that. I'm not the top expert in the world on this. That's, you know, I can't do that. Well, that's not necessarily the person that a local reporter is looking for. They just want someone to add a little context and depth to their reporting. And that person hopefully is you, it's really critical to talk to the media at the same time. We do want to make sure, you know, who you're talking to. Not all media are created equal. I would say some are very slanted and biased and probably may not have the best interest at heart. So you want to research a little bit who the reporter is, what the outlet is. And that will also help you prepare when you do your message map. And then as I said, I think the critical thing is the creating your kind of three key takeaways, making sure that you're prepared to answer the who, what, when, why, wear questions. Sharing personal anecdotes is great. People love to connect with you as a person, not just say as a researcher, as a teacher, as a professional. And yeah, I think those would be some key takeaways. So, you have to be confident. Take time to do your message map. Don't memorize answers. So thank you Julie so much for being here today. We really appreciate it. My pleasure Melanie. Always love to talk to future communicators. It's incredibly important. Yes, it is.