Learning to talk to media

I had media training last week. I was done over by a proper hardcore TV journalist at the end of the day and then forced to listen to myself on tape afterwards.

My first thought was that whilst I sound like a sophisticated metro kinda guy in my head, on tape, I’m very deep and fast. A bit like a miner who’s drank way too many cappucinos. I pited the palantypists.

My second thought is that I probably pause too long when I get a question I’m not expecting. And that’s there is no graceful way of saying “Err…” for 30 seconds.

Aside from that, I surprised myself in not being too bad at it. The journalist flattered me by saying I have a “nice turn of phrase”. How my cheeks blushed, like a scarlet leaf on the promise of an autumn day, like a… etc. Truth be told, my mock interviews were about cuts to help for deaf children and I simply allowed my outrage to show. It was a good thing the training was in a monastery or I might have let some naughty words slip through.

On a more serious note, I learnt it’s not as easy as it looks. There’s no point speaking to journalists unless you’ve got something to say and can say it clearly and with oomph. And it’s very easy to stray off-message and talk about something that isn’t really going to help the campaign. And it’s really not cool to say “Err…” for 30 seconds.

Should we all be making more of the need to get media right in order to get campaigns right?


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