Editor’s Note: This is the second in an ongoing series of readers sharing what they’ve learned as media spokespersons. Would you like to submit your own article? Click here to learn more about how to submit a piece for the “What I’ve Learned as a Media Spokesperson” series.
Two experiences from my post-journalism career in corporate communications at Shell, Glaxo and Sanofi.
Firstly, sometimes you have to help your interviewee find his or her motivation.
The big, highly-regulated, companies I worked for could be inward-looking and not very consumer focused. So when I suggested “how about talking to this journalist?” the answer would be “Why should I? If I do a good job people will just think I’m looking for a new position, if I do a bad job people will criticise – there’s nothing in it for me.”
In those circumstances, I was ready with the benefits of engaging with the media that would work for the individual concerned.
Secondly, multi-tasking in broadcast interviews requires more mental agility than I possess. I gave up worrying about nuances that insiders back in the office would pick up on; I learned to do the best I can in telling a simple story that made the agreed points for the benefit of the listening or viewing public.
Doing one thing well works for me better than doing two or three things O.K.
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