How to be a great media spokesperson.

What’s the secret to being a great media spokesperson?

1. You need to be authentic.

2.  You need to be an expert on the topic.

3. You need to tell the truth!

It’s that simple.

When it comes time to talk to a journalist hopefully you will have prepared.  You will have constructed 3 or 4 key messages that will help get your point across succinctly and effectively.  Then, once the interview starts, you should feel confident enough to really trust yourself to speak from the heart.  Your key messages should just roll off the tongue and you should believe in what you’re saying.

If you are authentic your audience is more likely to engage with you.  Whilst they may not agree, if they trust you then it follows that they will listen and consider your point of view.

But beware of spinning the truth.  Audiences are more media savvy than ever and can detect a tall story from a mile away.

If you’ve made a mistake often the best way of minimizing more damage is by simply admitting the error and apologizing.  But apologize properly.  Don’t just utter the words.  Say “I’m sorry” like you really mean it.

As a great example of what NOT to do, take a look at the clip below, which features the former CEO of BP.  Note that this was just one of several media PR disasters that ultimately cost him his job.

BP CEO life back

Media Training Tips: How to recover when you stumble

Julia Gillard’s recent stumble in India made headlines around the world, but it’s also an important lesson in media training.  When you’ve got a press pack following your every move it’s difficult to cover a fall like the one she had.   Sometimes s_it happens.  It’s how you recover that really counts and like a real trooper, Julia picked herself up, dusted herself off and carried on with grace and poise.

It’s a fact of life that sometimes we’ll slip up.   In our media training courses we  try to prepare for everything but occasionally a curve ball can come out of no where.

No one likes to be caught short but it’s how you recover that can really make the difference between a moment of ‘egg on face’ and a completely disastrous interview.

Just as Julia Gillard demonstrated – regaining your composure, remaining calm and even demonstrating some good humor will all help get the media opportunity back on track.



Bullying tips for parents – Mediafriendly

Mediafriendly produces corporate videos for clients in the public and private sector. This video, featuring psychologist Caroline Powell was written and produced by Mediafriendly for the NSW Department of Education and Communities.

When repeated messaging can backfire.

A recent report on Lyme Disease for Channel 7′s Sunday Night highlighted the dangers of “over training” for media interviews. The spokesman for NSW Health, Dr Jeremy McAnulty was edited to show he repeated what was described in the story as a “well-rehearsed line” over and over again.
Journalists are very cynical about spokespeople who stick so closely to key messages that questions become obsolete.
I’ve attached a link to the Sunday Night story. Watch the way Channel 7 has edited Dr McAnulty. In my opinion Channel 7 has played a fair game. Dr McAnulty and other experts who face the media need to be careful about rote learning key messages prepared for them by PR consultants. Journalists are a wake up to the “stick to my message at all costs” school of media training.

Tips for children returning to school.

Rachel Friend facilitates this four part webcast about the top tips for returning to school.  This webcast was produced for the NSW Department of Education and Communities.  Getting Off To A Great Start is the first chapter in the series and gives parents practical tips on how to get their child back into a school routine and ready for a great year of learning.  For more information go to

Doing Well in Class

Rachel Friend facilitates this discussion on how to help your child achieve their best in the class room for the NSW Department of Education and Communities website

Social Life and Friendships

Behaviour and Development

Technology and the Internet