One School District. Yet Another Awful Media Disaster.

Written by Brad Phillips @MrMediaTraining on October 11, 2012 – 6:02 am

You may remember Dr. Lynn Beckwith, chairman of the St. Louis-area Riverview Gardens School District.

He’s the man who feared a dastardly “walking away” shot after an ambush interview had ended—and therefore refused to walk away from the reporter. You can read about that incident in my earlier post, “Whatever You Do, Don’t Back Up!”

I came across another video of Dr. Beckwith’s strange media approach recently (I missed this clip when it originally aired in May 2011), proving that the first one wasn’t an anomaly.

I could list several things Dr. Beckwith did wrong in this interview, but one stands out above all others: he forgot who his audience was.

Beckwith appears to hold this reporter in low regard (that’s a generous understatement), but it shouldn’t matter. His conversation is supposed to be aimed at the audience—not the reporter—and it’s hard to imagine that this interview did much to increase public trust in Beckwith’s job performance.

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  • About Mr. Media Training

    The Mr. Media Training Blog offers daily tips to help readers become better media spokespersons and public speakers. It also examines how well (or poorly) public figures are communicating through the media.

    Brad Phillips is the Founder and Managing Editor of the Mr. Media Training Blog. He is the president of Phillips Media Relations, a media and presentation training firm with offices in NYC and DC.

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    Before founding Phillips Media Relations in 2004, Brad worked as a journalist with ABC's Nightline with Ted Koppel and CNN's Reliable Sources and The Capital Gang.

    Brad tweets at @MrMediaTraining.

    Christina Mozaffari is the Senior Writer for the Mr. Media Training Blog. She is the Washington, D.C. vice president for Phillips Media Relations.

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    Before joining Phillips Media Relations in 2011, Christina worked as a journalist with NBC News, where she produced stories for MSNBC's Hardball with Chris Matthews, NBC Nightly News, and The Today Show.

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