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Talking to the media

08 April, 2013 - Source: Kindred

By Emma Parrish, Senior Account Executive

  • Media interviews
    Media interviews

Broadcast interviews for clients. Often hard to secure, but with a well-trained, experienced spokesperson, they can be the best kind of PR for a business or organisation. Equally, they can be a cringe-worthy, squirm in your seat disaster.

After spending two days in basic and advanced media training for one of our clients, I've realised just how much there is to remember; tone of voice, clarity, pace, the art of the sound bite - and that's just for radio interviews. For television, there's posture, clothing, eye contact, expression and remembering not to fidget.

Although you can media train someone to a certain level; giving them the basics, prepping in advance and briefing them well, I think there are times when it's obvious that someone is a natural communicator. Take Boris Johnson, interviewed last weekend by Eddie Mair for The Andrew Marr Show, (if you haven’t seen it, where have you been?), about immigration and a documentary which aired recently.

Eddie gave old Boris quite a hard time, at one point quipping “you’re a nasty piece of work, aren’t you?” Nasty piece of work or not, Boris is certainly very good at talking to the media. His demeanor, mannerisms and jovial tone have earned him a reputation for giving good, albeit often ridiculous, sound bites (but as media training 101 dictates, he should probably comb his hair).

For Boris Johnson to come out of the other side of this interview intact is testament to his media training – he joked, appeared calm and continued to turn the argument back to something he wanted to discuss throughout.

Whilst I’m not holding him up as the perfect example of how to tackle difficult media interviews (for that, check out Michael O’Leary on Sky News), I do think we can all learn a thing or two from Boris when it comes to difficult forms of communication – keep calm and carry on.

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