When the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose to an all-time high this week, news reporters –as they are want to do when a market milestone is set—spent a lot of time trying to put the record in perspective. One of my favorites was from an old colleague of mine, Joe Connolly, a Wall Street Journal reporter who works for CBS Radio. Joe noted the last time the Dow was at record levels (October, 2007), the RAZR was the hot cellphone, the iPhone was just coming out and Bernie Madoff was running an investment firm in Manhattan. It was a funny line that really caught my attention because it put the story in a simple frame of reference that a lot of people understood. Joe is a great broadcaster in part because he often uses these kinds of audience-grabbing comparisons in his reports.
Joe’s technique is a valuable one that you should remember in your efforts to get noticed in the media. In education circles, it’s a teaching method called “compare and contrast.” Explaining how your message compares and contrasts to something the audience already knows makes it easier to understand…and be remembered. And nothing is better for media success than being clear and memorable.
Of course, all this takes preparation. You need to know exactly what message you want to deliver…then determine what well-known examples are out there to which you can compare and contrast that message.
So start today to think about how you might “compare and contrast” your own message. Then, when a media opportunity does come around, you will be ready to deliver a unique line that will make you stand out from everyone else.