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Cool it: Why media training is so important

By Suzanne Spurgeon  August 19, 2009

Having a meltdown on camera is never cool.  It makes great TV for viewers, but it destroys your message.  A business woman (or man) who loses her cool during a broadcast appearance will regret it.  It may feel good to snap at a reporter who asks an annoying question, but at what cost?  Just look to political figures as examples.  Hillary Clinton gave a snarky response when a reporter in the Congo asked what President Clinton thought about an issue.  And, that become the story. Her true message was lost.  I don't blame the Secretary of State for being annoyed by the question.  But a better approach would have been just to answer the question with something like, "As Secretary of State, I think...".  Totally ignoring the "Bill" issue would, I believe, have worked.  Or maybe just a quip at the end of her response, such as,  "If President Clinton visits, perhaps you may ask him that directly".

Another example of lost messages comes from the many town hall meetings on health care reform.  Some politicians are totally blowing it.  I just watched a clip of the back and forth between constituents and Rep. Barney Frank.  He seemed to  stay on message and tried to explain why discord was not helping.  Where he went off track; telling a woman that talking to her was like trying to have a conversation with a table.  OK, that's kind of funny.  But,  is that really advancing the discussion on health care?

If you are new to media exposure, you see why it is so important to be media trained before going on camera to face reporters.  Even pros, can be thrown off message.  Don't let that happen to you.  Media exposure offers a tremendous opportunity to grow your business and reputation.  A good media coach will guide you through it. 

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