Posts

Media training: be authentic and tell the truth

colesMedia training: be authentic and tell the truth
In what should have been a well-staged media conference, the Labour government failed to get it right when they chose a young man, employed by Coles, to represent those workers who will be impacted by the Fair Work Commission’s decision to slash Sunday and public holiday penalty rates for hospitality, restaurant, fast food, retail and pharmacy workers.

After the press conference, Coles released a statement saying the young man would be unaffected as he is employed under a enterprise agreement, which means the change in penalty rates would not apply to him.

We then uncover that the young man is a member of the ALP and recently posted on social media his support of the Labour government and his close relationship with the opposition leader, Mr Shorten.

Once the facts surfaced, the press conference became a talking point for all the wrong reasons. By not being authentic, and telling the truth, the story lost the desired outcome the ALP would have been hoping for. Not only has the press conference failed, the young man lost all credibility by misrepresenting the thousands of workers who will be negatively impacted by the Fair Work Commission’s decision.

During our media training sessions we go through many examples of what can go wrong when a spokesperson lies and fails to be authentic. We show the impact it has on their personal brand and the company brand. So our top tip for the young Coles employee is when fronting the media, be it live television, radio or being quoted in print media, you are responsible for telling the truth and being authentic. That also goes for posts on social media; if any conflicting messages have been posted on social media, they will surface, thanks to search engines. So, keep it real and be honest to ensure your key messages are not compromised.

http://www.news.com.au/finance/work/at-work/malcolm-turnbull-can-you-live-on-600/news-story/fb61a619bc25a4b9b8c67378a19e63de

Media training for a crisis #censusfail

After a disastrous night of online frustration for Australians, the much-hyped National Australian Census campaign is now in damage control. Yet, I had to laugh this morning after hearing radio adverts thanking the Australian public on sitting down and completing the online form.

I can bet that the ABS is in meltdown mode this morning lining up spokespeople- political and industry experts- defending it’s actions on shutting down the site. So what kind of media risk mitigation strategy did the ABS have in place? Obviously nothing. The site was taken offline around 7:30pm, but the ABS was still telling people to log in, via Twitter, as late as 9:54pm.

Planning for the worst-case scenario, particularly in the online environment is critical. Holding statements need to be drafted, screen shots with clear communication made available (no one wants to see, oops this page is currently unavailable) and most importantly, your key spokesperson needs to be prepared to make a genuine and sincere apology.

In one of the first of many interviews today, David Kalisch, the chief statistician with the Bureau of Statistics told ABC radio, in a very robotic fashion, the series of events that led to the site being shut down. Yes, the cause was explained. Yes, reassurance was offered regarding the privacy details of those 2 million who were able to submit their forms. Yet the simplest of actions is still missing– a genuine and sincere apology.

When a product launch over promises and under delivers, the public backlash can be brutal. With social media now trending, #censusfail the much-anticipated campaign is now a disaster and making world headlines for all the wrong reasons.

Take a listen to David’s radio interview on ABC Radio and tell us what you think.

http://www.abc.net.au/newsradio/content/s4515560.htm

Media Training Jennifer Lawrence

Some jokes just aren’t funny.  She maybe brilliant at delivering a scripted line but J.Law has revealed that when left to ad lib on the PR circuit her attempts at humour have ended in media training!  For many actors, sports stars and artists it can be a challenge balancing authenticity and personal brand with an organisational message.  Jennifer Lawrance has always been unpredictable and sassy and as she admits perhaps just a tad too honest!  Read the latest on J.Law and let us know what you think.

http://www.news.com.au/entertainment/celebrity-life/she-died-jennifer-lawrence-recalls-the-clanger-that-landed-her-in-media-training/news-story/3e37e09dcb623bd2a0a1153752d84747

Media training: live radio

1458004497681There’s nothing like a fiery debate on talk back radio – especially when the interviewee gets hot under the collar. For the host, in this case, Neil Mitchell, its the kind of heated, sensationalist discussion that gets the phone lines jammed with passionate callers all desperate to contribute their own views.  Its talk back gold which is why this discussion runs much longer than a regular interview.

Anthony Kelly is the Executive Officer at the Flemington and Kensington Community Legal Centre.  He agreed to be interviewed in the knowledge he had an opposing view to Mitchell. Listen as Anthony Kelly becomes more and more agitated, frustrated and angry.

In this kind of forum emotions need to be kept in check.  Be clear on your messages and above all else remain calm.  Towards the end of the interview Neil Mitchell doesn’t say much – letting Mr Kelly do all the colourful talking.

And remember – the radio host will always have final say.

Neil Mitchell talks about Melbourne riots with Anthony Kelly 

Media press conference: Maria Sharapova faces journalists over failed drug test

Sometimes when you have bad news its best to get in first.  Take action.  Get on the front foot.  Control the message. sharapovaThat’s exactly what Maria Sharapova did when she announced she had failed a drug test.  Journalists thought they were attending her retirement announcement.  What they got was a massive story no one saw coming.  Maria admitted her mistake. Explained why she had been taking the drug.  Apologised to her fans and to the tennis world.  Took full responsibility for the failed test.

There’s no doubt Maria will pay a penalty both in the form of a suspension and the likely fallout with her sponsors.  But in my view Maria Sharapova has done everything she can to protect her personal brand and reputation.  Sometimes the best thing you can do in a time of crisis is admit the mistake, apologise and be real.  Maria Sharapova did all of that in spades.

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/08/sports/tennis/maria-sharapova-failed-drug-test.html?_r=0

 

Media Training: Surviving a tough press conference

Today, the Australian Federal Police (AFP) addressed the media about its role in the Bali Nine arrests. Although press conferences are becoming less common, there are certain occasions when they are necessary.  Times when your organisation truly has news to present, to rebut or to explain. In the case of the AFP, the Commissioner Andrew Colvin held the conference to defend its role and address incorrect statements made of police officers involved in the case.
If the subject is controversial, like accusations the AFP has endured over the ten-year period of the Bali Nine arrests, make sure you have your team of experts on-hand. Each spokesperson should be on the same page.  They should be unified in their responses.  Specific questions and answers should be prepared well in advance and if possible, role play before the event, so everyone feels confident and ready. Be sure to watch your interview back and be aware of any facial expressions or body language that could be misinterpreted.
If the pressure of holding a press conference is too much and you want to bypass traditional media completely, get your news out via social media. If your news is truly newsworthy, journalists will pick up on it. Or, you can offer an exclusive to one outlet, which almost always guarantees coverage however, you might put off other media by not giving them the option of covering your news.

Sydney storm information and updates on social media

Bird’s eye view ... Aleks Strikis (right) and a mate stand on a downed tree in Waverley.

As Sydney and other regions in New South Wales are ravaged by severe storms this afternoon, radio announcers do their best to keep listeners updated – the list of road closures and areas affected by black outs and power outages goes on and on and on.  From Picton to Cronulla, from Maitland to Woollongong – everywhere and nearly everyone has been impacted in some way.

The SES and power companies are calling for residents to report fallen trees, blackouts and other incidents via social media.  They simply do not have enough telephone operators to keep up with the number of calls.  They are urging anyone with power to use the internet and platforms including Twitter and Facebook to get the most up to date information.

Social media is such a powerful tool at times like this because its so immediate and so accessible.  It enables us to stay connected from almost anywhere.

We are long past these platforms being gimicks or just ”social”.   Social media is mainstream and its here to stay.

 

Media Friendly: Overcoming a fear of public speaking

Many Executives we work with are terrified of public speaking. Whether it is addressing the press or sitting in the hot seat in a live interview, the very thought of either can send high-powered business leaders into a spin. Here are some pointers geared to help you with your next public address.

1. Eye contact – the glance and grab affect
First thing first, establish and hold eye contact with the reporter/audience. Eye contact builds trust, and creates a sense of engagement with your audience. In your interview, or public address you may be offered the use of a teleprompter (there is now an app for this!). You need to speak fluidly with natural pauses and inflections, and not read straight from the prompter. The trick is to glance and grab a phrase while maintaining eye contact giving the impression you are speaking directly to the audience.

2. Yes, you can use notes, but only as a guide
Many times clients will ask to use notes when speaking, and the answer is yes. Just like the use of a teleprompter, you need to glance and grab the next point from your notes with the goal of speaking to your audience and not at your script. The key is knowing what you want to say and using the notes only to keep the facts straight and guide your delivery i.e. beginning, middle and end. This can be particularly useful when you only have a short time to speak.

3. Body language and facial expressions

Image result for julie bishop eye roll
A great interview or public address can all come undone with a roll of the eyes (think Julie Bishop’s recent reaction to budget cuts). This can happen when a reporter or audience member asks a question that comes left of field, or that you’re not prepared to answer. Your look needs to translate as calm, professional and well-equipped to answer any question that comes your way. In other words, employ your pokerface.

4. The mirror is your friend
Practice your posture and the way you stand before your interview or speech. Be aware of your tone of voice. Take your time with your responses and maintain a calm and professional presence. If you are delivering a speech, or a presentation practice purposeful gestures. If you want to move around, make sure you move deliberately and with purpose. Otherwise stand strong and still.

Everyone’s different. We’d love to hear your ideas on how you manage nerves. Imaging the audience in its underwear might be old school but maybe there’s some other strategies you’ve employed that have really helped?