Three Spokesperson No-No’s That “Drive Me Nuts”

At CMP Media Cafe, we provide media training services for spokespersons representing brands in radio and television. It is absolutely painful to watch well paid talent deliver messaging in an interview with reporters, anchors or radio hosts that cheapens a brand or that brand’s message by using these three “no-no’s” that drive me nuts:

1.  Saying, “That’s a Great Question,” in Response to a Reporter.   Of course, that’s a “great question” so why is the spokesperson wasting valuable air time with such a superfluous phrase that adds nothing to an interview?   This is a phrase that makes the answer sound like it’s amateur hour as the talent attempts to buy time to answer a question.

2. Responding with, “What I Like to Tell People.”  I worked with a spokesperson once that thought this was a clever phrase to use so he could issue his expert advice in the field of specialty. Here’s how it’s delivered: “Well, what I like to tell people is that they need to plan ahead for college entrance exams.” It is not clever. Just speak the advice instead of adding words that are not necessary while valuable airtime is wasted with unnecessary verbiage. The message is weakened and the expert’s stature is weakened because the phrase shows a lack of confidence in the message. Instead, just say, “Planning ahead for college entrance exams is essential because the consequences of not planning are the difference between getting into the school of your choice or missing out completely.”

3.  Using the Word “Try.” Hearing a spokesperson or expert in a television or radio interview say, “Well, what were trying to do is raise awareness on XYZ,” is a big mistake and a reflection of poor media training. There is no commitment in the word “try.” You either do or you do not do. The word “try” is very lame when it comes to presenting your message since it indicates an attempt versus a commitment. What the spokesperson should say is, “We want to raise awareness on XYZ,” or “We are working toward raising awareness on XYZ.” Keep this in mind when you are forming message points. It is also imperative that you educate your spokesperson on the importance of avoiding the use of the word “try.”

As you prepare a spokesperson for media appearances, I do hope you’ll keep these tips in mind.   Proper media training is essential to getting the most out of your investment or you could end up wasting a lot of money so check out the top five mistakes SMT spokespersons make.  There is absolutely no reason that a spokesperson should not be completely prepared for an on-air appearance that best reflects the product or brand they are promoting and the preparation will also help the spokesperson shine as well.

Peace and coconuts,

Marianne Schwab, Executive Producer, CMP Media Cafe

Follow us on Twitter:  @CMP_MediaCafe

Copyright (c) 2015. CMP Media Cafe. All Rights Reserved.

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