Media Tip: Don’t be a media robot!

Nobody is interested in the media robot – the kind of glib interviewee who is just too on-message all the time. I once interviewed a senior bank executive for TV whose clips were almost unusable because he just wouldn’t engage with the issues. A good media trainer will tell you that when dealing with journalists, you need to be clear what your message is; otherwise the conversation can be unfocused and you can miss the key point you wish to make while the interviewer heads off in a different direction. You should not be afraid to repeat your key point if you get the opportunity. But, as always, there are those who take this too far. Bad media trainers and bad interviewees think they’ve won if they get their point across to the exclusion of all else. But does this really do the protagonist any favours? The lesson is not to try to be too clever in an interview . Don’t miss out what you think is important, but if you want to win friends, do address in a realistic way the issues that the audience is likely to be concerned about. Politicians tend to be the worst at this, annoying viewers and/or listeners by constantly skirting around the issue instead of actually dealing with it.