It’s no secret that virtually all media trainers teach their subjects how to get THEIR key points across during an interview.
It serves no purpose to do an interview, particularly on TV, and be on the defensive the entire time. Trying desperately to respond to a “How long have you been beating your wife” question is a losing proposition.
At Bottom Line Communications, we instruct potential interviewees to answer at least most of an interviewer’s question, but then bridge to the positive points THEY have prepared and want to discuss.
As an example, if a reporter says, “Is it true your company’s earnings were down 10% last quarter?” you could answer, “Yes, our earnings were not what we had hoped last quarter, but let me tell you the exciting things we are doing to insure our earnings will improve in the future.”
Rather than wallow in the reasons for your earnings being down 10% (poor sales, weather, marketing blunders, etc.) you are putting a positive spin on things the company is doing right now to improve future earnings.
Your goal is not just to survive an interview. You want to get YOUR key points across.
There is a legitimate argument that Donald Trump would not be President today if not for his chief spokesperson Kellyanne Conway. Every time Trump said something outlandish (or dead wrong or inappropriate) she was the person out front taking the arrows in the media. Oftentimes she was put into the position of defending the indefensible.
In many instances, she was put into the position of defending the indefensible. You can be sure she would have preferred to be home with her four kids than being a human pinata on TV in front of millions of viewers.
The video below is designed to attack Conway and her tactics. Yes, in many instances she doesn’t even attempt to answer the interviewer’s question. She only cares about getting her key points across to her (and Trump’s) audience. No matter what is thrown at her she plunges on with her agenda.
Conway’s tactics do not follow traditional media training guidelines, but she will get her points across in hell or high water. It is kind of like a successful trial lawyer who gets his client off despite being guilty as sin (see O.J. Simpson).
She has been beaten up over flubs (“alternative facts”) and “microwave spying,” but for the amount of time she is in front of the camera her performance has been remarkable.
Conway’s efforts before, during and after the successful presidential campaign clearly should make her the “Communicator of the Year.”
It will never happen because of her political views, but it should.