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In the modern world, if you want to survive as a business, you need the best of the best when it comes to technology. Having an excellent level of tech support is not a choice; it is something that every customer expects of you. You need to ensure that all your systems are incredible if you want to be at the forefront of the market. If one area lets you down, you will find that people assume your entire company is old-fashioned. Follow this guide if you want to enhance your firm today.

Step 1: Check your telecoms system

If people need support from your business, they will want to call you at any hour during the day. If your system is down, you will lose customers and get terrible reviews. Hire some experts to give you Mitel support in London so you can keep your lines open at all times. Now and then, it is crucial that you update your services. You need to make sure that you are ahead of the game or people will choose another business to use in the future.

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Step 2: Update your servers

If you don’t update your servers on a regular basis, they might let you down unexpectedly. That means that you could lose everything from files to relevant company information. You need to ensure that your systems always work to their full potential so that this issue does not affect you. You can have a specialist tech support team help you with this step. If you don’t have an in-house team, there are plenty of companies who you can hire on an ad-hoc basis.

Step 3: Make sure that you have antivirus

This step is quite straightforward, yet many people never bother with it. If you don’t have an excellent antivirus system for all your computers, you could find that they have malware and viruses on them. If you value your company, you need to protect your software. Your customers expect you to know all there is to know about computing and technology. If you let them down, they will not be happy. Most antivirus programs will tell you when you need to update your systems, and so all you need to do is follow some simple steps.

Step 4: Redesign your website

If your site looks ancient, people will never trust your company. Your site is a reflection on your company, and so you need it to dazzle people. Hire a dedicated team of developers to help you sort out your site so that it looks attractive to new and old customers. You should not scrimp on this step. If you pay for a template, rather than a bespoke design, it will look like a shoddy site. Instead of wasting your cash, you need to work with the design team to create an amazing site that everybody will love.

Step 5: Create an app

If you want to go the extra mile and show your customers that you are a forward-thinking enterprise, you should make an app. Don’t make an app for no reason; you need to make sure that the software provides something new for your customers. It might be quite expensive to develop a bespoke app for your business, but it will be worthwhile for your clients.

You have a duty to your clients to offer them the latest in new technology and customer services. You should make sure that you do everything you can to stay ahead of the game. New technology is developing all the time, and so you need to research the area now and then. Only then, can you be sure that you will succeed.

 

 

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Sometimes, it’s really important to find that alone time. It lets you focus your mind to the task at hand and blast through a project. However, it’s just as important to find a team that works. The best businesses in the world foster a community of teamwork and group projects at some level. When it comes to creating new ideas, learning new skills and pushing forward, there is nothing better.

Bouncing ideas back and forth, sparking new concepts and directions. These are the things that really help grow businesses. If you’re a business leader, it’s vital that you create an environment where this exchange of ideas can happen. That’s where we’re going to focus our attention today. So, why exactly is teamwork so powerful?

Feedback

Creating a strong team means that ideas and concepts can receive instant feedback. It makes the process much smoother and quicker than working alone. When testing ideas on your own, you go back and forth with pros and cons. You spend ages looking for a breakthrough or a fresh idea. With a group, the feedback is instant. That instant impression is vital. Teamwork also includes a level of fresh perspective. Sometimes that’s all it needs to see a clear path.

Motivation

When you put a team of ambitious people together it inspires motivation. It brings out the best in people as they strive to compete healthily. Excitement and motivation is infectious. When you have a team of people all working towards one thing, it generates a powerful force.

Learning

The best thing about a team is that each person brings their own skills and experience. It means that everyone can learn from each other. They can combine skills and create a force that is stronger than the sum of their parts. As a project leader, creating a strong team will help you improve the growth of each individual. They will learn and adopt the skills of those around them.

Support

A good team will always look out for each other. In an office or work environment, it’s easy to keep thoughts, worries and fears to yourself. Personal problems are often bottled up and this can affect work performance. When you’re part of a good team, your colleagues are much more likely to help support you. They’ll notice when something is wrong and will have developed a closeness to confide in each other. A strong team contributes to a corporate wellness and the general health of its employees.

Morale

Quite simply, the highs are higher when part of a group. People can celebrate an achievement together which boosts morale. Likewise, the lows are not quite so low when there is a strong team of people. They understand the disappointment and can help pick each other up. It strengthens resolve and builds resilience.

Teamwork is essential to a strong business. It will generate ideas and spark new concepts. It will bring your employees closer together and create a healthy bond and support system. Most importantly, your business will get great results when your smartest minds all get together. Look to see how you can increase the teamwork within your company.

 

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Technology has been progressing at an alarming rate for the last ten years. We are now in a situation where only the most knowledgeable business owners can succeed. With that in mind, it would be wise to subscribe to some relevant mailing lists as soon as possible. You should also bookmark some of the world’s best technology news websites. If you do that, you should have no trouble keeping up with the latest advancements. Failing to keep your finger on the pulse could have many negative consequences. That is especially the case if your business operates in a crowded marketplace with many competitors.

There are lots of ways in which technology can be used to improve your business image and increase sales. While most of you will understand that already, there is no harm in going over everything one last time.

Online promotion offers better results than traditional methods

Like it or not, there is no getting away from the fact that online promotion produces better results than anything you might have tried in the past. That is because you don’t have to waste money on putting your ads in front of people with no interest in your business. So long as you perform enough market research, you can target people based on location, sex, age, interests, and many more factors. That will almost certainly boost sales. When you place an ad in a newspaper, most of the people reading will not pay attention.

Technology can make your business more secure

Security is a prime concern for many consumers, especially those who make purchases online. Ensuring you provide the best secure payment methods will help people to relax and feel more confident when using your website. The last thing you want is for a client’s details to go missing or become stolen during a transaction. Not only would that decrease the chances of them buying again, but it could also result in lots of negative media attention. You don’t need to be in the news for anything other than positive endeavors.

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Social media is the perfect place to promote news and information

You only have to consider the way in which Issa Asad and other respected businessmen use social media to see that it holds many benefits for your company. Being able to get in touch with your audience in real time means you can promote the most recent news and information about your brand. Keeping people interested is essential, but you don’t want to flood their newsfeeds. So, you should post no more than one update per day. Two at a push. Anything related to your brand or industry should be suitable. Passing comment on recent news could help to make you seem more authoritative. All of that will help to increase sales.

If your company isn’t using technology to increase sales at the moment, now is the best time to start your efforts. Even the most stubborn technophobes must understand that success lies in staying at the cutting edge of their industry. So, there is no time to lose.

 

 

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We all know that there are a few cell phone networks to choose from these days. If someone said to you that you should consider setting one yourself, you might respond with laughter! After all, such a suggestion seems quite ridiculous, don’t you think?

It turns out that you might not have the last laugh, after all! It’s easier to set up a branded mobile network in 2015 than it was 20 or so years ago! At first reflection, you might think that you will need millions to set up a brand new mobile network.

I’m here today to tell you that’s not always the case. Intrigued? Keep reading to find out how you can set up a branded cell phone network!

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Set up in business as an MVNO

In case you wondered, the acronym MVNO stands for “Mobile Virtual Network Operator.” An MVNO will use the infrastructure of an MNO (“Mobile Network Operator”). For example, in the UK, Virgin Mobile is an MVNO, who uses EE, an MNO.

Confused? Don’t worry, you’re not alone! The telecommunications world is full of acronyms! In layman’s terms, mobile networks license their infrastructure to other companies. That includes things like telephone masts and control centers.

The “virtual” network operators can then offer a branded service. To consumers, they are just another mobile network. But, in reality, they are using the infrastructure provided by another mobile network (an MNO).

To set up a new mobile network from scratch can cost millions – if not billions of dollars! That’s why it’s more cost-effective to piggyback onto someone else’s network!

Branding

When you negotiate a deal with an MNO, you will need to start branding your new mobile network. That means setting up a website, social media profiles and embarking on a marketing campaign.

Significant investment will need to get made into marketing. That’s because MNOs need a minimum amount of subscribers to use their service.

SIM cards

All GSM networks need mobile phones to use SIM cards. These are the little chips that you slot inside your cell phone and enable it to “talk” to the mobile network. So, how can get SIM cards for your network?

Workz SIM card printing can sort that problem out for you. I’d recommend checking if there are other SIM card makers near to your location. That’s because international shipping costs can sometimes be high.

Billing

You will want to bill your customers for the airtime, text messages and data they use. To make this happen, you need to use a mobile virtual network “aggregator.” An MVNA takes care of the billing systems and customer support systems you need.

Companies like Comverse offer such solutions for virtual network operators. Getting a third party to help you with this will cost less than having a bespoke system made for you from scratch.

Investment

Finally, there is the investment factor you need to think about. The amount of money you put in will depend on many different factors. It’s hard to put a rough figure down as it depends on:

  • Which MNO you approach;
  • What their minimum requirements are;
  • What the terms of their licensing deals are.

For such an enterprise, you will doubtless need financial backing from many investors.

 

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Technology is ever changing and evolving. Just think back to ten years ago. The iPhone didn’t even exist yet. We’d barely even heard of a tablet, let alone realise that we’d come to rely on them. It doesn’t take long for a new technology to become ingrained into our daily lives.

This rings true in our own homes too. Can you remember a time when we didn’t have instant access to the internet? It’s strange to think that the internet has only had a place in the home for about 10-15 years. It’s even less when you think about high speed broadband.

Broadband was the last huge technological change in the home. But, we’re about to hit another major milestone. We’re about to enter the era of smart homes. The internet has quickly grown powerful and is evolving fast. Soon, our homes will use wifi to monitor and anticipate everything that goes on in the house. This is called ‘the internet of things’ and we’ll discuss it in more detail below.

As well as the internet taking its next big step, we’ll start to see big changes in entertainment. This will revolutionise our TVs and gaming equipment. These machines change and upgrade as fast as our smartphones. They are getting more advanced with every iteration. However, 2015 is the year we’ll see virtual reality and augmented reality really creep into the home. It’s exciting stuff. Let’s take a detailed look at all the home technology on the horizon.

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Thanks to Keith Kissel for the image

The Internet of Things

The clumsy title doesn’t quite convey the revolutionary power that this technology will bring. At its most basic level, it means that our electrical appliances will think for themselves. In fact, the house will think for itself. It will control and monitor itself and everything in it. Your everyday electrical systems will learn your routines and mould themselves around you. Let’s take some specific examples.

We’ll start small. Your home will soon learn that your alarm goes off at 6.30am. It knows that you turn the shower on at 6.35 and you reach the kitchen ten minutes later. It already knows that you want a coffee at this time (but only on the weekdays, you get up later at the weekend). When you walk downstairs, the machine has already made the coffee for you. This is a very inconsequential example, but it explains the system. Essentially, your house will become ‘smart’.

This has real, practical implications too. It’s more than just a sophisticated coffee maker. For example, the house will monitor its energy consumption. It will track your usage of various appliances, lighting and heating. It will automatically preserve energy based around your usage. It will turn off lights when you’re not in the room. It will turn down heating in the rooms you use less. It will automatically send meter readings to your supplier and adjust consumption.

It will be a slow learning curve with this technology, but it will become a silent addition to every home.

Security

As a by product of this ‘internet of things’, homes will soon come with improved security. The biggest of these will be facial recognition systems. In the future, rather than use a key to enter the home, you may rely on retina scans. This ensures complete security and peace of mind. You’ll also be able to install perimeter sensors and CCTVs with facial recognition technology. In some cases, these systems will alert the police immediately.

Your home will also harness the ‘internet of things’ while you’re away on holiday. Potential burglars can often spot a vacant house when homeowners are away. In the future, you’ll be able to set the home to mimic the last two week’s lighting usage. Essentially, it will seem like someone’s home at all times.

Entertainment

Everyone loves home entertainment gadgets. Televisions have come along way over the last decade. We’ve gone from chubby, box TVs with antenna aerials, to high-definition, flatscreens. The evolution is quite staggering. Yet, it’s about to get even better. 3D technology will soon be commonplace in the home. We are already seeing beautiful curved screens hit the market. Perhaps most beautiful of all are the transparent TVs. When turned off, they simply look like a pane of glass.

They will all be complete with wifi blu ray players. They’ll have streaming options for the likes of Netflix and Hulu. You’ll be able to burn blue rays and watch your favourite films instantly.

It is in the world of gaming that we are in for a real treat. In 2015, we’ll see the introduction of the ‘Oculus Rift’ headset. It will be the first major virtual reality headset to hit the market. It is a Kickstarter success story, raising millions of dollars in donations to get started. Games are currently in production and soon we will immerse ourselves entirely in our games. We will be able to see in 360 degree vision around us. We will walk around our games as though we were really there.

3D printers

3D printers have already revolutionised many industries. They have been powerful in the world of medicine. These printers can build artificial legs to an exact specification. It has changed the lives of amputees. Perhaps more impressively, they can print replacement organ parts for time sensitive cases. They have also changed the world of design and technology. Prototypes can be quickly mocked up and printed, rather than rely on third parties.

However, we are yet to see them find a place in our homes. 2015 may be the year when that begins to change. The cost of the technology is coming down. They will soon be an affordable reality for our home offices. We will soon come to rely on them to create spare parts for broken appliances. They will make containers, cups and plates. Of course, these are just the humble beginnings. It will take time to find the most practical uses for them.

The future is an exciting place, and it is just around the corner. Everything listed here is already on the market or in production. They really are the future of our homes.

 

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It doesn’t matter whether it’s a sideline enterprise or the primary way for you to make a living. There’s no disputing that blogs are increasing in popularity. And because of this explosion in popularity, they can serve as creative ways to make some money.

Of course, not everyone knows how to make a blog successful and generate revenue. If you have a love for literature, blogging might be right up your alley! Before you set about creating a blog, be sure to follow this handy guide first. Don’t worry; you can thank me later!

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Choosing the right blogging platform

It’s important you choose a good blogging platform before you start writing. The central player in the blog world is WordPress. They offer open-source software that you can use on their website, or you can self-host it.

I recommend the self-host option. You have greater control over themes, plugins and custom development work for your blog. If you’d rather not have the hassle, a hosted solution might be a better idea.

Blogger is another free and popular service you can use. At the time of writing, you can only use their hosted option. I do believe you have the option to associate a custom domain name with your blog if you wish.

Monetizing your blog

Once you’ve got your blog up and running, the next step is to monetize it! I have to warn you; this process is not one that happens overnight. You have to work on your blog’s popularity first. After all, the more visitors you have, the greater the chance your blog has of making some cash!

The first stage of the process is to sign up for some affiliate link programs like VigLink and Amazon Associates. Any applicable outbound links to products or services from your blog can use these affiliate links.

Writing your content

Next, your job is to write some compelling content for your blog! What you talk about is up to you. Just make sure that your content is relevant to the theme of the website. For example, don’t speak about electronics if you run a gardening blog!

Blog posts always stand out if they are rich in images and videos. But that’s not to say you should spam each post with scores of YouTube videos! Sometimes you might have a need to create videos yourself.

If you’re trying to push a high-value item, get someone like Vivid Photo Visual to help you create a killer video for your website! Don’t forget; you can share your videos on social media, including YouTube and Vimeo!

Marketing your content

The classic way to drive traffic to your site is to link to it from popular websites. One way you can do this is to “guest post” on someone else’s blog. You could be a featured guest writer on a blog related to your site’s niche.

By doing this, you raise the popularity of your blog. Another way is to get writers from leading blogs to cite you as a reference when talking about stuff. Not only does that increase awareness of your blog, but it builds your credibility too!

 

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You have probably heard of the name Oculus Rift by now but do you know what it actually is? Even more importantly, do you know why you should think about getting one in 2015?

This is a hugely exciting piece of technology that could be set to take the world by storm soon. The following tells you everything you need to know about it.
The Basics

This is a virtual reality head mounted display that is currently being developed by a company called Oculus VR, which was recently bought by Facebook. It is expected to be up for sale at some point in 2015, although development kits have already been released with the aim of getting content developed for its release. The Oculus rift isn´t the first gadget of this type to get released but it promises to give us the kind of immersive experience that many of us have been dreaming of for years. The early reviews of prototypes have been hugely encouraging. While this sort of cutting edge technology clearly has issues to resolve, the critics who have tried it to date have been impressed by it. There is no doubt that it could offer us the kind of immersive 3D environment that is nothing like we have seen before.

The Games

It seems sure that the future of Oculus Rift will involve a lot more than gaming. A virtual reality headset like this can open up all sorts of possibilities for us in so many different ways. However, for the time being it is for gaming purposes that many of us are so keen to slip on that headset and get caught up in a world of unbelievable gaming. There are currently close to 200 games with Oculus rift support, including Doom 3: BFG Edition, The Forest, Half-Life 2 and Star Citizen. These are going to be games like none we have ever played and you are probably never going to forget the first time you played in a genuine virtual reality setting. Over time the games will almost certainly get even better and exploit more of the possibilities of the Oculus Rift but even now we expect the early games to be simply sensational.

Why Buy One in 2015?

The year has just started but we already think that this could be the year of the Oculus Rift. This is a game changing type of technology that geeks all over the world are keenly waiting on. It is easy to imagine queues filling the streets all over the planet when the headset finally goes on sale. How great would you feel to get in one the act and be one of the first people to get hold of their very own Oculus Rift? You could then invite friends over to use it and enjoy using one of the most exciting new pieces of technology to be released in a long time. If you love gaming and new gadgets then the release of this headset could be the highlight of 2015 for you.

This is a guest post for Socialwatch.co a newly launched social media agency who specialise in the buy twitter followers uk and buy Instagram followers uk market.

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Betsy Weber

Every business owner should take security seriously. Breaches could have dire effects on the entire company. Any loss of information could attract lots of negative media attention, and that is something you don’t need. Thankfully, there have been lots of technological advancements over the last few years, and now it is easier than ever to keep the criminals at bay. While most of the security issues you need to consider originate from the internet, it’s important you don’t overlook real-world measures too. The number of business premises broken into last year increased, which mean you are at a greater risk of becoming a victim than ever before.

Whether your business trades in the real-world or online, the same tactics and technology should be used. You need to act fast though, and so we’ll get straight down to the facts.

Cloud computing

All company bosses are urged to consider the benefits of cloud computing. While you will still keep some important files and documents in your workplace, most of your vital information can be kept online. Cloud computing services are some of the most secure in the world. So, you won’t have to worry about hackers stealing customer details. You should always stick with the big names to ensure you get the best deal. One of the other main benefits of cloud computing is that your team can access their files from home or anywhere in the world. All they need is a WiFi connection.

Specialist security software

Even if you decide that storing your documents in the cloud is a good idea, you’ll still need to install some top quality security software on your system. That is to protect your computers against viruses and other nasty elements that could cause problems. Remember, you can always employ the services of a computer forensics expert if you want to test your defense. There are plenty of companies out there that will happily try to break into your system to find out how secure it really is.

CCTV

You would not believe the amount of business owners who spend thousands on digital security without protecting their premises. Having secure computers is great. However, they’re not much use to you if they are stolen by criminals. Workplace break-ins are becoming more common recently, so you need to take precautions. A standard CCTV system should be enough to ensure your items are returned quickly if the worst occurs. You should also install alarms, and motion activated floodlights on the exterior of your premises. While none of those devices will stop a robbery from taking place, they have been known to deter thieves. Also, they help the police track down the culprits and secure a conviction quickly.

As you can clearly see, there are lots of ways in which technology can be used to help keep your business safe. If you’re at all unsure, you might like to enlist the help of a specialist. You only have to search on Google to discover lots of firms that will assess your situation and come up with a plan.

 

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The prevalent use of mobile technology now calls for more digital means of engaging with clients. For those in the know, having an app is a vital resource for your business. In fact, apps are now becoming more and more important within businesses. As with all aspects of business, you need to ensure that you are retaining users. After all, what use is an app if no one is using it? An app can be a fantastic business tool within your working arsenal. But, it needs to be marketed correctly so that it can be used by your legion of loyal customers.

There are some important ways that you can increase user retention with your app.

Updates are Critical

Users download apps for various reasons. With this in mind, you need to ensure that you are engaging their interests. This may mean releasing updates and content within the app to keep people interested. Consider how you will ensure that people are using your app. Will you release updates often? How often will this be done? You need to consider updating your app every few months to keep your users captivated. After all, you don’t want them to delete the app.

The Peril of Notifications

Notifications are vital for apps and their success. But, you don’t want to overload consumers of your app with spammy notifications. You need to ensure that you are communicating with your users. But, there is a fine line between too little and too much communication. Make sure that you have opt-in features. Think about how often you will communicate too. Every few weeks may be enough to gauge interest and retain users. You need to make sure that you are building a brand around your app. Experiment with different notification methods and techniques. This is a great way of seeing what engages with your audience.

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Ramotion Studio

The Importance of Community

Mobile app developers have always stated that there is a need for community building when it comes to user retention. Having an app is not enough to keep people interested. You need to ensure that you have a community-based around your product. Take to social media. Create business pages. Have a Twitter feed. Get people to talk about your product and app. Relationships are at the heart of keeping people interested. You need to ensure that you have a wider online community that is engaged with your brand and application.

Dynamics

Let’s face it; you want people to keep coming back. The best way to increase retention is to ensure that you have a dynamic product in the first place. You need to make sure that you are engaging with people, but also creating a dynamite product that cannot be ignored. Think about rewards, loyalty schemes and bonuses. This can ensure that you are retaining users and avoiding the peril of being deleted. Introduce time frames in which these must be used. Creating urgency around a product can be beneficial. It creates an air of exclusivity around your app and business.

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Media interviews are something that most business owners struggle with, regardless of how confident they are. In this article Quadrant Media Training provide you with a number of tips that you can use to ensure you get what you want from media interviews.

Have a plan before entering the interview

Before entering an interview, you must first have an idea of what you want to see in the resulting media coverage. What is the key message that you want to communicate to your audience?  If you enter an interview and just answer questions without thinking about the messages you want to communicate, you will give all control of the interview to the journalist. Set aside some time before the interview to decide upon key messages that you want to relay and what you would like to achieve as a result of the interview.

Never answer a question with ‘no comment’

In any media interview with any journalist, never use the words “no comment”. In using these words you will make it look as though you are hiding something. Take a deep breath and think before answering complicated questions. Think of an answer that isn’t going to come back to bite you. With your input, your PR team should prepare you for questions such as this.

Have accurate facts to back up your answers

Anyone can answer a question, but if you provide accurate facts and cite the sources from which you got them, you will sound a lot more credible. With this in mind, it pays to do your research before entering the interview. If you provide inaccurate facts, people may doubt any statements or comments that you make in the future.

Consider professional media training

When you consider how important it is for you or your business to be portrayed well in the media, it’s definitely worth having media training. A media training company will be able to improve your confidence, show you how to counteract negative questions and teach you a number of techniques that you can use when you are being interviewed by journalists.

Be wary of questions that are asked with the intention of catching you out

Some questions are asked with the intention of painting you in a negative light no matter how you answer them. One tip is to answer the question briefly and then create a bridge from the question to the message that you want to communicate to the audience. For example, if a reporter asks you “Have you stopped ripping off customers?” answer the question with “We never started ripping off customers”.  If you answer the question with ‘we never rip people off’, the headline could potentially read “Example Company denies ripping people off”.

Be aware that silence from the reporter is often a ploy for you to offer more information

This is one of the oldest tricks in the book, and is still used by many journalists as a way to trick you into offering more information.  Keep silent until you have been answered another question. Relax and wait until they have finished making a note of what you said, this will also help to ensure that they don’t misquote what you say.

Feel free to offer more information at the end of the interview

At the end of a media interview, most reports will ask you if there is anything else that you would like to add. This is the perfect opportunity to cover stuff that the reporter has not asked you about. If you have conveyed your key messages, repeat them to ensure that the reporter has not misquoted them or missed them out.