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Media Relations

Additional strategies and skills for successful media interactions are offered in this fi nal segment of Your Words R You.

This three-part article presents several skills and perspectives

and Media Relations [Part 3] By Michael Sabbeth

Answers, Character

in the context of media relations relating to athletes in the shooting sports. I emphasize, however, that the article’s themes and methods transcend media relations and are transferable to every interaction in life.

Be Strategic We all fi ght wars - in our work,

within our families and abroad in the wider world. Each of us struggles every day to defi ne and defend our sense of purpose and integrity, to justify our existence on the planet and to understand, if only with in our own hearts, who we are and what we believe in.

“The Warrior Ethos, ” Steven

Pressfi eld You must be strategic in your

media interactions. Being strate- gic requires a state of mind that focuses every word and action on achieving your goals. Strate- gies are results oriented. Being strategic involves, most signifi - cantly, developing a positive per- ception of yourself and master- ing the verbal and behavior skills that persuasively project that perception which is actualized through your character, intellect and achievement. You project your qualities through a com- bination of attitudes, purposes, self-discipline and by choices made and by choices rejected. Strategy is, fi rst of all, a state

of mind, because a strategist is relentlessly results oriented.

Think of your strategy as a driv- ing force that establishes your brand. Your media strategy, as do your competition strategies, should, thus, organize, ener- gize, give direction to and ad-

You must be strategic in your media interactions. Being state- gic requires a state of mind that focuses every word and action on achieving your goals.

vance your personal brand. You want your media experience to add value to you and to your sport. You want to establish yourself as a thoughtful person who takes issues seriously and who takes yourself seriously.

Be Ruthlessly Analytical Excellent media relations de-

mand that you be ruthlessly ana- lytical of yourself and of the top- ics under discussion. The great athlete is intensely self-critical of his or her performance, training and improvement. Every aspect of the shotgun competitor’s me-

chanics, for example, must be scrupulously examined, evalu- ated and, if necessary, amended or eliminated. As success is achieved

through the self-examination of your shooting techniques and mental training, your ability to analyze your words will deter- mine the success of your me- dia experience. Every word and phrase must be critically exam-

ined in terms of advancing your message, brand and character. Here’s an example of a ques-

tion that can be handled effec- tively or incompetently depend- ing on how it is analyzed and how that analysis contours your response. I offer this example because this type of question is quite common—listen to political pundit interviews and the White House press corps—and it pro-

July 2013 | USA Shooting News 41

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