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There’s No Room for Your Facts in a Media Interview

When I was a reporter, I was always joking around in the newsroom. One day, I declared,

“Don’t let the facts get in the way of a good story.”

We all laughed. A colleague was pushing for a story to make the evening news, but there were lots of holes in the story and I wanted my story to be the lead story. I won and got the lead story. The colleague’s story was killed.

Over the years we used the joke here and there, but then we began to realize that way too much of what made the news at our TV station and at those of our competitors, made the news regardless of the facts. In the end, it was one of the reasons I left the news business after a great 15-year ride.

But let’s be honest. How many news stories are filled with facts? The truth is, not a lot. Newspaper stories will always have more details than TV and radio news reports. But TV stories, especially, are driven by visual images. The example that I always use is that if the story is about a brown cow, I need video of a brown cow. If I have no video of a brown cow, I can’t put the story on the evening news.

Another example I always use is the mixed metaphor that says,

“If a tree falls in the woods and it is not on video, is it news?”

When I used to cover hurricanes in the ‘80s and ‘90s I was always upset when I didn’t have video of something blowing away. I needed the visual on video to tell the story.

A print reporter will likely write only a 12-20 sentence synopsis, a radio reporter is only writing 6-8 sentences and a TV reporter is only writing 10-12 sentences.

The average person tries to give way, way, way too many facts in a news interview.

Take this comment with a grain of salt, but the reporter doesn’t really care about you or the facts. Sure, they seem interested in you, but their report is more important to them personally than your facts.

A news report is a puzzle. Certain pieces must fit exactly together. In a TV report, quotes make up one-third of the story. The lead and the conclusion together make up one-third of the story. I don’t want to burst your bubble, but can you guess how much room we have in the story for your facts? In a TV news report, that equals 4 sentences. In a print report that equals 8-12 sentences.

If there is no room in the story for a bunch of facts, why would you spend so much time giving lots of facts to the reporter? Don’t let the facts get in the way of a good story.

Crisis communications and media training expert Gerard Braud, CSP, Fellow IEC is based in New Orleans. Organizations on five continents have relied on him to write their crisis communications plans and to train their spokespeople. He is the author of “Don’t Talk to the Media Until…”

More crisis communications articles:

Please Pick Me to be Your Media Trainer

The Biggest Lie in Crisis Communications

4 Steps Every Company Needs to Take in Order to Avoid the Default Spokesperson

Photo by Sam McGhee on Unsplash

What’s the best piece of advice you were ever given for doing media interviews?

There are a number of things to consider when doing a media interview. Interviewees and spokespeople must not only focus on what to say, but they need to practice their nonverbal communication skills as well. Whether a media interview is for print, television, or radio, there are a number of strategies CEO’s, executives, and subject matter experts can use to help their media interview run smoothly and help them communicate effectively, especially in a crisis.

To inspire online discussion, crisis communications expert Gerard Braud asks his social media followers, public relations professionals, and media relations experts, “What’s the best piece of advice you were ever given for doing media interviews?” Have you heard one piece of advice that has stuck with you over the years? We want you to comment here and on our social media pages to share your answers. You and your colleagues can benefit from this online discussion. Your answers may be featured in our follow-up video!

This question is one of a series of debates in the media relations, crisis communications, public relations, and social media industries where you and your colleagues can share observations with each other. Yes, YOU are invited to share your bite-size bits of best practices. Here is how:

Step 1: Subscribe to The BraudCast on YouTube

Step 2: You will see a short video that poses a new question every Monday. You then post your best practices and observations on The BraudCast YouTube channel.

Step 3: Once your opinion is shared, you can follow the discussion online so you can compare your best practices to those of your professional colleagues.

Step 4: Watch the follow-up Friday Video where you will see a short YouTube video outlining some of the most interesting observations. Yes…your comments may actually show up on our BraudCast video, bringing you world-wide fame, fortune, a big raise, glory, street parades, and more.

Thanks in advance for sharing your knowledge. Please take 2 seconds now to subscribe to The BraudCast.

What’s the best piece of advice you were ever given for doing a media interview?

Media training tips can be spread across social media from consultants and public relations professionals. Media interview tips can come from industry professionals, online articles such as PR Daily or PR Newswire, or it may come from your former or current educators.  So, how do you sort through all of the daily influx of information? What is that one tip that was the most memorable and one you think of each time you do a media interview or help your spokesperson through the process of media training?

To help out our corporate communications professionals, and our public relations community, this week’s media relations discussion question is, “What’s the best piece of advice you were ever given for doing a media interview?”

We would love to hear your thoughts this week. Comment here and on our social media pages to join the discussion. Your answers may be featured in our follow-up video!

This question is one of a series of debates in the media relations, crisis communications, public relations, and social media industries where you and your colleagues can share observations with each other. Yes, YOU are invited to share your bite-size bits of best practices. Here is how:

Step 1: Subscribe to The BraudCast on YouTube

Step 2: You will see a short video that poses a new question every Monday. You then post your best practices and observations on The BraudCast YouTube channel.

Step 3: Once your opinion is shared, you can follow the discussion online so you can compare your best practices to those of your professional colleagues.

Step 4: Watch the follow-up Friday Video where you will see a short YouTube video outlining some of the most interesting observations. Yes…your comments may actually show up on our BraudCast video, bringing you world-wide fame, fortune, a big raise, glory, street parades, and more.

Thanks in advance for sharing your knowledge. Please take 2 seconds now to subscribe to The BraudCast.

What should you do with your hands in a media interview? Media Relations Tips

To help out our public relations community and in order to share valuable tips among one another, this week’s media relations discussion question was, “What should you do with your hands in a media interview?

We have all seen politicians, CEOs, executives, and spokespeople use various mannerisms during media interviews. Gestures and hand motions may be subconscious for the interviewee or for a spokesperson, but for the audience, they are noticeable and can even be distracting at times.  Should you keep gestures to a minimum? Should you do what comes naturally to you as a speaker?

Our followers have shared their best practices on social media this week. Do you agree with their tips? Comment here and on our social media pages to join the discussion.

This question is one of a series of debates in the media relations, crisis communications, public relations, and social media industries where you and your colleagues can share observations with each other. Yes, YOU are invited to share your bite size bits of best practices. Here is how:

Step 1: Subscribe to The BraudCast on YouTube

Step 2: You will see a short video that poses a new question every Monday. You then post your best practices and observations on The BraudCast YouTube channel.

Step 3: Once your opinion is shared, you can follow the discussion online so you can compare your best practices to those of your professional colleagues.

Step 4: Watch the follow-up Friday Video where you will see a short YouTube video outlining some of the most interesting observations. Yes…your comments may actually show up on our BraudCast video, bringing you world-wide fame, fortune, a big raise, glory, street parades, and more.

Thanks in advance for sharing your knowledge. Please take 2 seconds now to subscribe to The BraudCast.

What should you do with your hands in a media interview? PR Discussion Question

Should you sit with your hands folded together? If you are standing, should they be clasped as well? Or should you make the appropriate hand gestures as you speak? What could your nonverbals be saying about you during your media interview? It may seem like a simple question, but every minute detail counts when you are doing an interview for the media. Your reputation and revenue are at stake, and you have to be on top of your game to represent your brand.

There is plenty to be discussed on this topic and many corporate spokespeople, CEOs, and subject matter experts could benefit from your expert tips. So, to help out our public relations community, this week’s PR discussion question is, “What should you do with your hands in a media interview?”

We would love to hear your thoughts this week. Comment here and on our social media pages to join the discussion. Your answers may be featured in our follow-up video!

This question is one of a series of debates in the media relations, crisis communications, public relations, and social media industries where you and your colleagues can share observations with each other. Yes, YOU are invited to share your bite size bits of best practices. Here is how:

Step 1: Subscribe to The BraudCast on YouTube

Step 2: You will see a short video that poses a new question every Monday. You then post your best practices and observations on The BraudCast YouTube channel.

Step 3: Once your opinion is shared, you can follow the discussion online so you can compare your best practices to those of your professional colleagues.

Step 4: Watch the follow-up Friday Video where you will see a short YouTube video outlining some of the most interesting observations. Yes…your comments may actually show up on our BraudCast video, bringing you world-wide fame, fortune, a big raise, glory, street parades, and more.

Thanks in advance for sharing your knowledge. Please take 2 seconds now to subscribe to The BraudCast.

Why do they say men should wear makeup in a media interview? PR Tips

Have you seen any men whose makeup looked bad in a TV interview? Or men that should have worn makeup but they didn’t? Should men feel uncomfortable about wearing makeup on camera? Could it help them to look more attractive? Could it help them increase their credibility? Or is it just a “Hollywood” custom that isn’t really necessary for men doing a media interview?

To help out our public relations community, this week we asked PR and media relations experts, “Why do they say men should wear makeup in a media interview?” Our followers have weighed in and now we are sharing their tips in this week’s video.

We want to hear if you agree with their tips and what you have to add to the discussion. Comment here and on our social media pages to join the discussion. Your answers may be featured in our follow-up video!

This question is one of a series of debates in the media relations, crisis communications, public relations, and social media industries where you and your colleagues can share observations with each other. Yes, YOU are invited to share your bite size bits of best practices. Here is how:

Step 1: Subscribe to The BraudCast on YouTube

Step 2: You will see a short video that poses a new question every Monday. You then post your best practices and observations on The BraudCast YouTube channel.

Step 3: Once your opinion is shared, you can follow the discussion online so you can compare your best practices to those of your professional colleagues.

Step 4: Watch the follow-up Friday Video where you will see a short YouTube video outlining some of the most interesting observations. Yes…your comments may actually show up on our BraudCast video, bringing you world-wide fame, fortune, a big raise, glory, street parades, and more.

Thanks in advance for sharing your knowledge. Please take 2 seconds now to subscribe to The BraudCast.

Why do they say men should wear makeup in a media interview?

Should men feel uncomfortable about wearing makeup on camera? Could it help them to look more attractive? Could it help them increase their credibility? Or is it just a “Hollywood” custom that isn’t really necessary for men doing a media interview? Have you seen any men whose makeup looked bad in a TV interview? Or men that should have worn makeup but they didn’t? There is plenty to be discussed on this topic and many corporate spokespeople, CEOs, and subject matter experts could benefit from your expert tips. So, to help out our public relations community, this week’s PR discussion question is, “Why do they say men should wear makeup in a media interview?”

We would love to hear your thoughts this week. Comment here and on our social media pages to join the discussion. Your answers may be featured in our follow-up video!

This question is one of a series of debates in the media relations, crisis communications, public relations, and social media industries where you and your colleagues can share observations with each other. Yes, YOU are invited to share your bite size bits of best practices. Here is how:

Step 1: Subscribe to The BraudCast on YouTube

Step 2: You will see a short video that poses a new question every Monday. You then post your best practices and observations on The BraudCast YouTube channel.

Step 3: Once your opinion is shared, you can follow the discussion online so you can compare your best practices to those of your professional colleagues.

Step 4: Watch the follow-up Friday Video where you will see a short YouTube video outlining some of the most interesting observations. Yes…your comments may actually show up on our BraudCast video, bringing you world-wide fame, fortune, a big raise, glory, street parades, and more.

Thanks in advance for sharing your knowledge. Please take 2 seconds now to subscribe to The BraudCast.

What should you do if you are in the middle of a television interview and you know you’ve said something wrong? Tips from PR Experts

Corporate communications professionals, public relations spokespeople, and senior level executives must be trained on how to effectively speak to the media. Media training is crucial for company spokespeople to maintain or improve their organization’s brand, reputation, and revenue. So, why do so many media interviews go so wrong? What can a spokesperson do to correct their mistake? Should they correct it right there on the spot? Or should they do a follow-up interview after consulting with a PR expert?

This week, crisis communications expert Gerard Braud polled social media to ask, “What should you do if you are in the middle of a television interview and you know you’ve said something wrong?” In today’s video, we are featuring tips from our social media followers and crisis communication experts.

We would love to hear your thoughts this week. Comment here and on our social media pages to join the discussion. Your answers may be featured in our follow-up video!

This question is one of a series of debates in the media relations, crisis communications, public relations, and social media industries where you and your colleagues can share observations with each other. Yes, YOU are invited to share your bite size bits of best practices. Here is how:

Step 1: Subscribe to The BraudCast on YouTube

Step 2: You will see a short video that poses a new question every Monday. You then post your best practices and observations on The BraudCast YouTube channel.

Step 3: Once your opinion is shared, you can follow the discussion online so you can compare your best practices to those of your professional colleagues.

Step 4: Watch the follow-up Friday Video where you will see a short YouTube video outlining some of the most interesting observations. Yes…your comments may actually show up on our BraudCast video, bringing you world-wide fame, fortune, a big raise, glory, street parades, and more.

Thanks in advance for sharing your knowledge. Please take 2 seconds now to subscribe to The BraudCast.

What should you do if you are in the middle of a television interview and you know you’ve said something wrong? Please comment!

We have all seen a media interview where a CEO, senior-level executive or company spokesperson said something incorrect or less than professional. This week, crisis communications expert Gerard Braud polls social media to ask, “What should you do if you are in the middle of a television interview and you know you’ve said something wrong?” We want to hear your expert public relations tips this week! Should you re-visit the topic and admit you made a mistake? Or do you run the risk of making the situation worse? Do you think that effective media training for spokespeople could help them avoid these types of situations?

We would love to hear your thoughts this week. Comment here and on our social media pages to join the discussion. Your answers may be featured in our follow-up video!

This question is one of a series of debates in the media relations, crisis communications, public relations, and social media industries where you and your colleagues can share observations with each other. Yes, YOU are invited to share your bite size bits of best practices. Here is how:

Step 1: Subscribe to The BraudCast on YouTube

Step 2: You will see a short video that poses a new question every Monday. You then post your best practices and observations on The BraudCast YouTube channel.

Step 3: Once your opinion is shared, you can follow the discussion online so you can compare your best practices to those of your professional colleagues.

Step 4: Watch the follow-up Friday Video where you will see a short YouTube video outlining some of the most interesting observations. Yes…your comments may actually show up on our BraudCast video, bringing you world-wide fame, fortune, a big raise, glory, street parades, and more.

Thanks in advance for sharing your knowledge. Please take 2 seconds now to subscribe to The BraudCast.

What is the proper posture when you are sitting for a live media interview?

Click image to watch

Click image to watch

 

The question we are posing on social media this week for public relations and media relations professionals is, “What is the proper posture when you are sitting for a live media interview?” The answer may not be as straightforward as you think. Should you lean in, or lean back? Should your arms be folded or unfolded? Hands clasped together or placed on your lap? Should your legs be crossed or uncrossed, and which is the proper posture for a male versus a female?

You may even want to share examples of where you have seen BAD posture in a live media interview. When a spokesperson is sitting properly for a media interview, viewers often don’t notice or have any comments to make, but it’s easy to identify when it’s gone wrong. Have you seen a political candidate, a CEO, or a spokesperson have bad posture in a live media interview? Or have you seen someone who has perfected it? Please comment here, on this week’s video, or on our social media pages.

 

This question is one of a series of debates in the media relations, crisis communications, public relations, and social media industries where you and your colleagues can share observations with each other. Yes, YOU are invited to share your bite size bits of best practices. Here is how:

Step 1: Subscribe to The BraudCast on YouTube

Step 2: You will see a short video that poses a new question every Monday. You then post your best practices and observations on The BraudCast YouTube channel.

3: Once your opinion is shared, you can follow the discussion online so you can compare your best practices to those of your professional colleagues.

Step 4: Watch the Follow up Friday Video where you will see a short YouTube video outlining some of the most interesting observations. Yes…your comments may actually show up on our BraudCast video, bringing you world-wide fame, fortune, a big raise, glory, street parades, and more.

Thanks in advance for sharing your knowledge. Please take 2 seconds now to subscribe to The BraudCast.