The do’s and don’ts of media interviews
From politicians to big banks, no one is safe from the grilling pressure of the media, but a word of advice – you can be prepared. Media training can help you keep your cool so you can deliver the right message and build brand awareness. Need more convincing? The First Degree PR team have put together a list of the most memorable ‘what not to do’ media blunders of this year. Get ready to read through covered eyes!
Jen: it can’t be easy being a politician
You have to answer to the Australian people, all 23.13 million of them. The media can be a scrutinizing bunch and when you do slip up, your mistakes are broadcast on a national scale, so you have nowhere to hide. But if you can keep your cool in front of the media, you can avoid public fails.
When it comes to political blunders, who can forget Joe Hockey’s infamous “get a good job” remark back in June this year. If you need a recap – when asked about the country’s rising housing prices at a media conference in Sydney, Joe Hockey made a public comment stating, “The starting point for a first home buyer is to get a good job that pays good money.” Simple as that right? This sort of advice shows just how out of touch he is with hardworking Australians. It was also all too similar to his “poor people don’t drive cars” remark in 2014. Here’s a tip: such comments do nothing to get the people on your side, Mr Hockey. As expected, he rightly received a tonne of backlash from the public.
Media training helps to better equip spokespeople with how to handle a tricky situation. And in Joe Hockey’s case, it would have saved him a lot of embarrassment.
Kara: a note to Dawn Fraser on the importance of holding your tongue
Our dearest Dawn Fraser – while we respect you as our nation’s Olympic golden girl, recent events suggest that you were never meant for a career in media, politics, or any kind of above water sport for that matter. Luckily you found your calling, destined to excel in a much more suitable profession, submerged in silent solitude. While I love a good light-hearted scandal as much as the next media enthusiast, when it comes to matters sensitive to racial heritage, you’ll be hard-pressed finding any self-respecting citizen amused by slating remarks.
The match that saw swimming legend Dawn Fraser up against rising tennis superstar, Nick Kyrgios was both a feast for media headlines and a prime example of the importance of properly executed media training. If you need a refresher on recent events, Fraser was accused of making a racist remark towards Kyrgios, following her belief that he had ‘tanked’ a fourth round Wimbledon tennis match against French player, Richard Gasquet. Although later releasing an official apology, it’s difficult to see how her message to Nick Kyrgios and fellow Aussie tennis star, Bernard Tomic to, “go back to where their parents came from”, could be taken out of context.
When it comes to making public comments, media and sporting personalities alike need to adhere to codes of common decency. Regardless of whether or not it’s a slip of the tongue, the public can be relentlessly unforgiving in matters of racial discrimination. Kyrgios, I might add, was born in Canberra – our nation’s capital. Go figure.
Caroline: What do BHP, Google and CBA have in common?
They’ve all been in the Senate inquiry hotseat, named and shamed for various (alleged) offences, from tax avoidance to bad financial advice. Their executives’ performances have varied from competent to arrogant. None would get a glowing review.
These executives are well versed in managing the media, yet would still benefit from a refresher to help them deal with pressure-cooker situations such as Senate inquiries. Bridging phrases and deflecting questions, and formulating more palatable alternatives to ‘no comment’ are some of the techniques you can hone in a refresher training session.
First Degree PR provides media training sessions to ensure our clients are well equipped to deliver key messages to the media about opinions, products, services, company information and brand values.
We tailor the media training sessions to our clients’ needs, so that spokespersons’ proactive media activities cut through to their target audiences in an effective and authentic way—leaping across the normal six degrees of separation and engaging people directly.
For more information about First Degree PR’s media training services email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 02 8003 4467.
Feature image sourced from The Herald Sun