Don’t be an April Fool: Avoid Media Interview Clichés

Worst speech in the world Gerard Braud

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By, Gerard Braud

The demand for media training increases each spring. Since media training requires well written key messages, the first thing I do is ask each media training client to send their existing key messages.

This spring, those key messages seem to be filled with a renewed vigor for bad clichés that should never be said in a media interview.

At the top of the list are the words “committed” and “top priority.”

There are many other foolish clichés I hate, which are combined in a funny video I created called, The Worst Speech in the World.

My expert opinion on why I especially hate “committed” and “top priority”:

If you say these phrases every day in your corporate life, you will say them to the media in an interview while you are in the middle of a crisis. You say, “We are committed to the health of the environment,” as your oil spill or chemical spill dominates the news.  We can assume that if you had been committed, then the environmental damage would not have happened. Likewise, if you say, “Safety is our top priority,” yet you have two dead and 50 injured from your factory explosion, it becomes very clear that safety isn’t your top priority, otherwise, you would not have had the explosion.

My top priority is to keep people from saying “committed.” Also, I am committed to keep people from saying “top priority.”

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