How do I handle press inquiries regarding my MICD status?
Wednesday, April 23, 2014
Posted by: Michael Geatz
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
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.