Listening to and watching interviews is my lockdown fix. News bulletins, current affairs and podcasts – I am compelled to tune in. And as a media trainer, I tell myself this is a healthy, if unconventional daily diet.
The definition of a successful interview depends on whether you are reporting the story or ‘in the chair’. Every journalist has an agenda and as I always explain in media training, interviewees too, need a plan to make themselves heard. And tuning into 3 recent interviews, I heard three people, in very different circumstances, making a success of their air time. Continue reading "Dissecting a successful interview – the media trainer’s diet"
As a BBC producer I heard many outstanding female voices – from presenter Anne Robinson cross-examining CEOs on BBC Watchdog, to numerous female Executive Producers standing up to big bullying businesses trying to kill a great story.
I was part of production teams crafting complex programmes in challenging circumstances. These experiences shaped my own voice, including in the media training room, where I support people preparing to go on the record or in day to day interactions providing crisis management and corporate communications support.
Continue reading “Who’s talking now?”
More brands today are using digital campaigns to signpost their values (think Nike, Dove and Under Armour), leaving people in no doubt as to where they stand, and how they will effect positive change. Being big with global reach helps, but even then bravery is fraught with reputational and financial risk. Just ask L’Oreal or Pepsi.
Continue reading “Parents, Social Media & Reputation Management”
Good biscuits plated up on arrival and participants hovering at the door ahead of schedule. Throw in a tailored crisis simulation – part challenge, part playing to individual strengths – and all the positive omens are there for a good training day.
Continue reading “Why good biscuits won’t cut it in a pandemic – putting our crisis comms tagline to the test”
We were really excited to see Eat Natural on Inside the Factory, BBC2.
In 2019, the wonderful Hannah Norris at Nourish PR asked us to come in and help boost the team and their confidence as they prepared to talk to a BBC TV documentary crew and Greg Wallace during the 2 days long filming for Inside the Factory.
Continue reading “From Media Training to BBC’s Inside the Factory”
Broadcasts by journalists, spokespeople and celebrities from their living room and virtual meetings are the ‘new’ normal. This way of communicating requires adjustment for many. So, whether speaking to press or colleagues remotely, here are some tips to make the virtual format work for remote interviews and meetings.
Continue reading “Quick Wins to Presenting and Remote Interviews”
As COVID-19 silently crept onto our shores you may have been in regular crisis meetings as the virus’ huge impact took hold. Now, you may well be moving from that heightened crisis state to living with the new “normal”, whatever that looks like for your organisation.
As we all bed into week 5 of the lockdown we thought we’d share some insights on how to adapt from crisis to business-as-usual with some suggested next steps and evidence from our client work.
Continue reading “From COVID-19 Crisis → Business-As-Usual”
As TV news anchors around the world set up studios in their homes with teleprompters, specialist lighting, makeup and HD broadcast cameras; interviewees must also up their game. "News" needs experts, spokespeople and human stories more than ever and the best people you will see and hear, the ones who get invited back, have received media & presentation training – even if they are speaking from a laptop in their living room. Continue reading “Media & Presentation Training 2.0”
I have seen some brilliant emails and posts in the last few days – from my local Indian restaurant, Haweli, to Sainsbury’s, to other small business owners like me. It doesn’t matter if you’re big or small; clear, regular and relevant communications are critical.
As we all adjust to the new “normal” personally and “business as usual” professionally, it occurred to me that there are some really simple tips for communicating in a crisis.
Continue reading “How do you keep communicating when the crisis is never-ending?”
Take one senior politician, one well-known and much-loved brand, and add social media. Stir together and what do you get?
That’s right, the perfect recipe for a Twitter storm.
That’s exactly what happened to Yorkshire Tea this weekend when Rishi Sunak MP, the Conservative MP for Richmond (in North Yorkshire as it happens) shared an image of himself making a cup of tea, standing next to a giant bag of the famous Yorkshire brew.
Continue reading ““Be Kind” – Yorkshire Tea’s reputation management masterclass”
Bafta is axing celebrity goody bags from this weekend’s ceremony. Opting instead for gifting wallets made from recycled plastics. It’s a timely plot twist to the 2020 award season. The buzz of a new bag – the colour, the look on the arm, the cramming of essentials into one place, is the ultimate pleasure purchase. But against heightened ethical and environmental consumer standards, is it possible for a Tote to do greater good?
Continue reading “Baftas, Bags and B Corp”
Why social media companies should (but probably won’t) act responsibly and lead the conversation on mental health
Social media companies are some of the most powerful and influential business entities on the planet. Their decisions shape how the world communicates and how we as individuals consume information. Unlike most large-scale global commercial industries, social media is self-regulating. This puts social media companies in a unique position of global responsibility.
A new report published by the Royal College of Psychiatrists last week said social media companies should be forced by governments to hand over their data for independent research into the risks of social media use.
Continue reading “Social Media & Mental Health”
“Those difficult situations, they don’t frighten me… never waste a good crisis. When you have a crisis, then you have the fantastic platform for change”.
The refreshing perspective of Airbus Chief Executive Guillaume Faury in the Sunday Times, provides a timely excuse to consider the good that comes out of the bad, for crisis comms professionals.
Continue reading “Never waste a good crisis…”
Prince Andrew would have done well to follow the Green Cross Code as he stepped into the path of the oncoming Newsnight interview. There has since been much scrutiny of the Royal’s press advisors and why they failed to follow the basics when it comes to media handling in a global reputational storm.
Taking time to stop, look and listen to external communications advisors during a crisis is critical to long term reputation. Like a friendly Green Man, people like us, reiterate life outside the crisis bubble and wider public perception both in the moment and the hours, days and weeks to follow.
Continue reading “That Newsnight Interview – Think; Stop; Look and Listen; Wait; Look and Listen again; Arrive Alive”
🎙️🎥 There was an irony to our latest media training client turning up late… they’d been delayed by Extinction Rebellion protesters; we were about to media train them on their new plastics initiative announcement.
Continue reading “Protestors and Plastics”
Most people over 30, remember the well-known washing powder ad, which challenged unsuspecting mums to a live clothes wash, to see whether the product delivered its ‘whiter than whites’ promise. This was a filmed doorstep where everyone was in on the gag. Viewers understood it was an advert, just as the at-home victim knew their kitchen would appear on national TV. Continue reading “Doing the doorstep challenge – can you win when cameras arrive unannounced?”
We all have foibles when it comes to good service. Loud background music in your favourite restaurant – no thanks. Unsuitable substitutes in an online shop or a sell-by date less than 24 hours after it arrives. To me, these are like sour milk in my tea. A complete turn off, which could turn me to the Oat-side.
Continue reading “Customer service – You say it best when you say nothing at all”
We all know the feeling.
Your phone pings, then again… and again… something has happened.
Twitter is “blowing up” says the voice on the other end of the line. Five minutes later; “it’s all over Facebook”. The on-call Press Officer rings next; local media want a response to the hundreds of comments on Twitter.
So, what’s your next move?
If you’re asking this question now, it’s too late.
Continue reading “Are you prepared for a social media crisis? Here’s 7 tips you need”
Over the last few weeks there seems to have a been a flurry of “recorded statements” in response to major crises. To be clear, rather than put someone forward to be interviewed by the press, the boss records a statement and it’s posted on the website or via social channels.
Continue reading “The pros and cons of video statements”
You could be forgiven for thinking one news story last month was a digital-misprint. “Grenfell council spends more than £90k on bosses’ bonuses.” But closer reading revealed the headline was correct.
Continue reading “Money talks – what to say on pay, bonus and funding?”