TV Interview

Expert Guide: How to Manage ‘Down the Line’ TV Interviews

As broadcasters’ resources are stretched, ‘down-the-line’ TV interviews are increasingly common. Interviewees in one location talk to a camera, listening via an earpiece to the journalist who is questioning them from the studio. The most difficult type of interview Spokespeople often find these interviews unnerving. It is unnatural to be talking to a camera rather …

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soundbite media interview

Expert Guide: How to devise soundbites and get quoted

Many participants on Electric Airwaves’ media training courses ask how they can ensure that they don’t get unfairly edited by a journalist and can get their soundbites broadcast or published. Why was I misquoted? For busy journalists in a busy newsroom, confronted with something new, a few minutes on Google can often be the totality …

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nervous speaker

Expert Guide: How to Avoid “Um” and “Er” and “YKnow” when public speaking

There are around 230,000 words in the Oxford English Dictionary. ‘Um’ and ‘Er’ and ‘Y’know’ are not listed. Over-use of these so called ‘spurious spacers’ are at best annoying to the audience and at worst can damage your credibility and dilute your message when public speaking. Y’know The liberal use of “y’know” can signal pleading …

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select committee appearance

Expert Guide: Handling Appearances before a Parliamentary Select Committee

Introduction Select Committees were established and expanded during the 1970s and 1980s to ensure that Parliament could better scrutinize the Government and hold it to account. Most Committees perform without fanfare most of the time. But in recent years, some Committees seem to have come to see their job as holding the wider world to …

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Conference moderator

Expert Guide: Moderating Conferences and Panel Discussions

Just as there are few ‘naturals’ when it comes to media interviewees, there are few ‘naturals’ when it comes to moderating conferences and panel discussions. The good ones you see are the ones who have practiced – a lot! As a moderator or conference chair, your job is to make the speakers look good and …

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Fake news

The fake news problem and the consequences for PROs

Jesus:                   Everyone on the side of truth listens to me. Pontius Pilate:      What is truth? Since the election of Donald Trump, debate has raged about whether the flood of ‘fake news’ on the web swung the election to him. Leaving to one side Trumps’ own contribution to a ‘post truth’ world – and …

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Media Training

Media Training for Receptionists & Security Guards?

Watching the extraordinarily cack-handed response of Ask.FM to the suicide of Hannah Smith following her being cyber-bullied on their website, have a look at this video clip from Sky News doorstepping an employee of Ask.FM here. http://news.sky.com/story/teen-suicide-site-refuses-to-answer-questions-10437918 When covering your organisation's issue or crisis, journalists will try to speak with senior executives. If your organisation …

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Crisis Communications

Getting Your First Crisis Statement Right – Even For Online Crises

Here's a nice storm in a crisis teacup underlining the importance of organisations having a clear social media policy AND clarity in your crisis media statements. Last week, the pastor of an American church in St. Louis went with her congregation to a restaurant, part of a chain, called Applebee's. The receipt for the meal …

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Corporate story

Damned if you do … how a corporate story can help

I was at a seminar this morning about corporate storytelling. Evening Standard journalist, Anthony Hilton, suggested that PR teams often over-react to what should be seen as low-level criticism, especially online. His thesis was that even intelligent people can't remember yesterday's newspaper headline. Therefore reacting to every little negative is a waste of time because …

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Crisis Communications spokeman

Crisis Communications: A Canadian Blame Game

You would have thought that with over 50 people dead following a runaway train destroying the heart of Lac-Megantic in Canada, the rail company would be focused solely on the human impact of the tragedy. Not so if you are Edward Burkhardt, chairman of Montreal, Maine and Atlantic Railway. Generally, his media interviews have been …

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