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How do I handle press inquiries regarding my MICD status?

Wednesday, April 23, 2014   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Michael Geatz
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Here are three great tips for talking to/working with media outlets when they call to inquire about your MICD status or have general questions about the MICD Program:

1.) Designate a spokesperson. Make sure that when media calls — because you never can be sure who will call or when — you’re prepared. Decide ahead of time who will speak to media on behalf of the dealership, and inform the entire dealership staff of the designated individual’s name and contact info. That way, when someone calls and asks "Who handles your media inquiries?,” dealership staff is prepared to funnel the call to the appropriate person. This keeps the process consistent and professional, and media are directed to the right person each and every time.

2.) Be prompt and patient. Media typically have tight deadlines. Often, writers and reporters need something the very day they make contact in order to stay ahead of the curve and on top of publication dates. Yes, it can be inconvenient to drop everything to attend to a media phone call/interview request, especially during the height of boating season; however, it’s essential that you make media inquiries a priority. Respond to media promptly and with enthusiasm. If you’re having a rough day, try and tuck those feelings in your back pocket and put on your "game face” for the call. Be willing to answer all questions thoroughly and don’t rush reporters off the phone (or, if responding via e-mail, read responses for spelling and grammatical errors prior to hitting the "send” button). At the end of the interview (via phone or e-mail), always ask if you can help with anything else. Open the door for follow-up questions. "Please let me know if I can be of further assistance. I’m always happy to help!,” is a perfect way to close the communication. Leave a great impression so they’ll want to call you back and talk more about your dealership and Certified status for their next assignment!

3.) Offer photos and logos. Excellent and relevant photography is always of the utmost important to media outlets, especially print publications. On the next nice, sunny day, or during an upcoming dealership-sponsored event, take good quality photos. Show customers interacting with staff at the dealership, sea trialing the boats or enjoying themselves at a dealership barbeque or open house. Make sure photos are shot with a good quality camera at a high resolution setting (this is critical for print outlets like newspapers and magazines). Try and include the MICD logo whenever possible (on background signage, employee logoed clothing, etc.) to hammer home its importance to your business. This not only demonstrates your ongoing commitment to the program, but also the value you ascribe to Certification in general and providing exceptional service to your customers.