How Safe is Your Business from Media Sabotage?

Every year at least one politician or businessman has their career torpedoed by an interview nightmare. Just last week Labour immigration spokesman Chris Bryant ducked out of several interviews after fearing the repercussions from his ‘botched immigration speech’.

Jeremy Paxman is an English journalist, broadcaster and author. He has worked for the BBC since 1977, and is known for his forthright and abrasive interviewing style, particularly when interrogating (ahem, I mean interviewing) politicians. Unfortunately for them, multitudes of politicians and businessmen have had their careers sabotaged by one of Paxman’s now infamous tirades. I mean, doesn’t everyone in England remember this Michael Howard clip?

PaxmanThat clip is now 6 years old, and people are still talking about it! This just goes to show the importance of media management and media training, whatever your business.

The simple fact of the matter is that every year at least one politician or businessman has their career torpedoed by an interview nightmare. Just last week Labour immigration spokesman Chris Bryant ducked out of several interviews after fearing the repercussions from his ‘botched immigration speech’.

Media training and management are undoubtedly vital if you’re dealing with the media and it is incredibly important that you know how to respond calmly under pressure; especially in a crisis situation.

Employ a Spokesperson.

PR and media management should always be handled by a dedicated team of people. As well as simply dealing with business matters and briefing clients or media outlets, your spokesperson can become the face of your business and boost your business brand. There are certain traits that all spokesperson should have such as:

  • Confidence
  • Reliability
  • Calmness under pressure

If that sounds like a member of your staff then consult them about the role. It has to be someone who will feel comfortable in front of the cameras.

Structure a Coherent Message

Coherence and confidence are key. Structuring a viewpoint that is easy to maintain is critically important. You simply HAVE to stay on message otherwise you’ll look confused and ill-informed.

Remember, whatever message you choose should not necessarily be about how you feel. It should, however, always reflect the company’s beliefs.

Practice, Practice, Practice

Confidence, clarity and belief will all come from practice. It is incredibly hard to know how you’ll react in front of cameras or on the radio until you actually get there. For this reason, you should practice as much as possible. You will, however, be limited, so you might consider a company like Media Mentor who do training courses at a variety of locations across the UK.

Media management is vital to the success of your business. There will come a time when you may have to respond to media reports about your business and you may even have to appear on television to give ‘expert insight’. Due to this, it is important that you train properly. Thousands have come out on the wrong side of Paxman, Marr and Snow and your career and business can suffer as a result.

Always ensure that your members of staff are sufficiently trained and confident in front of the eyes of the media. You can easily convert a PR nightmare into a PR success story that can boost your business revenue.

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