Whether you have dealt with journalists before or not, the first time you go into a TV or radio studio can be daunting. It’s a fairly alien environment and if you are doing a down-the-line it can feel quite counterintuitive.
A different mindset is required for broadcast interviews and even seasoned print media spokespeople can struggle to find success in broadcast. By the same token, some people are almost naturals when the cameras are on them in an ordered interview, yet they find the longer print interactions difficult to master.
The structure of broadcasters varies hugely from their print cousins and so having an understanding of this will help you, but the different types of TV or radio interview you might face, will require you to adjust your approach accordingly too.
You have to be at your very best for those seconds, or minutes, you are on camera, making sure you are clear, concise and passionate, but if you can do this you’ll find broadcast media to be a hugely rewarding medium.
One other factor spokespeople may have to consider is live versus pre-record; people often say they’d rather undergo a pre-recorded interview, but this does leave the power of editing to the show’s producer, so if you get the choice you should choose a live interview to ensure that you can’t be taken out of context – this again, of course, means that you have to be well prepared and ready to perform.
So, what do you need to do to make sure your broadcast interviews do go well?
• First; you need to work with your PR team to work out what you want to get out of the interview; what do you want to communicate, and is this really the right medium to do it?
• Second; come up with three key messages or ideas that you want to get across, even if you are just commentating on a topic. Then make sure you have the evidence, stats and examples to back up what you are saying.
• Third; practice for the interview, ideally in formal training but at the very least with your colleagues – your answers need to be tested out loud, as this is not the occasion to try and wing it.
Obviously learning and practicing the skills for interacting with the broadcast media is time well spent for the other parts of business life too; whether it’s giving a formal speech or in a meeting with clients, if you have the skills to handle a broadcast interview you’ll be well prepared for these areas too.
Facing down the lens isn’t easy, but with the right help and preparation it will mean you can be seen and heard by millions – no wonder Bill Gates said ‘if I was down to my last dollar, I’d spend it on PR’.
Written by Will Edwards – www.bluewoodtraining.co.uk – May 2012
It’s that time of year again where hopefuls from all over the UK seek fame and success on our televisions. With the rise in the popularity of talent contests such as Britain’s Got Talent and The Voice it has led us to the question – what is our hidden talent? The skill that we once acquired along the way but currently neglect to make use of or perhaps something that we don’t personally recognise as a valuable skill to have.
As an employer you need to ensure that you are bringing the best out of your staff. Not only will utilising and developing the talent that they already possess benefit them, but it could improve your business. The key is to know your workforce, what they might not consider as useful skills or knowledge could be just what you’re looking for.
Now, we aren’t quite talking about the ability to street dance or knowing how to belt out a show tune (as entertaining as that may be in an office environment). It’s those secret talents, forgotten qualifications, personal interests and know how that might come naturally to some people that you can make use of. You could be surprised and impressed at what you actually find out about colleagues and hopefully uncover some transferable skills that can be applied in certain areas of business.
For example, you could be interested in using social media to generate good PR for the company and be just about to start an expensive recruitment campaign for a social media officer. A member of your workforce might be a self taught expert in using Twitter in their private lives or even in charge of social media for a local charity in their spare time. By knowing that these skills already exist in your workforce and being able to invest in them, then you can fine tune them to meet your business needs and even save time and money.
One way to find out what exactly your colleagues know is by conducting a skills audit. Not only will you be more aware of what extra talents are hiding amongst your staff, but you will be able to identify any skill gaps in your organisation and devise a training plan to resolve them. Also, if someone has knowledge in a different area to their current team this would also become clear during a skills audit and could result in potential savings.
Invest in the skills of your workforce and develop what you already have. By concentrating on what knowledge you currently hold as a company then you can focus your efforts more effectively. If you supply further training to perfect the skills of the staff that you already have then you also won’t waste resources unnecessarily hiring new talent in. For details on training courses available to help develop your business contact us.
Written by Meegan – www.bluewoodtraining.com – May 2012
Businesses are made up of people and each of these has a unique personality, hopefully one that contributes to the success of the company they work for. Different personalities can bring a variety of skills to your workforce but it is important to recognise how each of these function and when a personality is getting in the way of work or becoming a liability. It’s good to identify the different personalities that make up your team and a course in people management can help make things easier.
When a personality starts hindering rather than helping a situation then you have a problem. Take the concept of ego for example. Some might say that an ego is healthy as it creates an air of confidence and brings a certain amount of success in business – if you look like you believe in yourself it is easier to convince others likewise. But it is when that ego becomes over-inflated or unfounded then it can be unhealthy.
It is thought that “fifty-three percent of business people estimate ego costs their company 6 to 15 percent of annual revenue; 21 percent say this cost ranges from 16 to 20 percent”. If an ego is left to run amok it can dominate business discussions and decisions and result in costing the company money or resulting in losing out of business in a worst case scenario. Similarly working for someone or alongside a team member whose ego needs a desk of their own is no fun, and so making sure you have the correct balance of personalities in your workforce is essential.
An example of an ego teetering on the verge of unhealthy is Simon Cowell. Fortunately for him at the moment his ego is what’s helping him make his fortune. By being a big personality who says what he thinks and believes he always knows best, he is cashing in on the love or hate me marmite element of his personality and it has even worked globally for Cowell. However, with recent scandal surrounding an unofficial book detailing personal information about his relationships, perhaps the price of having a big ego is evident when you take a look at his relationship history.
Clashes of ego’s are also to be avoided in business. Bands throughout history are notorious for splitting up due to “differences of opinion” which can also be read as a fight of egos – just take Guns and Roses or Oasis as good examples of too many egos in a small space. Public image is important if you are in a line of work that will be scrutinised. Controlling the wilder elements of your personal life and ego is essential if you are to remain in favour. Pippa Middleton is a recent example of someone adjusting to being in the limelight. Currently she is in trouble for hanging around with the wrong crowd which could attract negative attention for someone related to the royals. The fact she has made the Time magazine’s most influential people also shows this Middleton needs to tread carefully in order to attract the correct kind of publicity. If you’re new to the public eye and have recently found yourself in the limelight, Bluewood training can offer guidance so why not contact us?
Written by Meegan – www.bluewoodtraining.com – April 2012