And avoid a media nightmare
Reflecting that, "There are people out there from all walks, from all different places, poor, wealthy, going through difficult times and on this day we come together and I think that's a beautiful thing" will undoubtedly win over new fans and guarantee the loyalty of his existing fan base. The Mercedes' management team won't be disappointed either.
And when it goes wrong - it can spell disaster
Similarly, Andrea Leadsom's disastrous interview with The Times brought her quest for leadership to a quick demise. No amount of back tracking could help her cause once the damage had been done; particularly when The Times published a transcript of Mrs Leadsom's comments to the paper in direct response to her defensive words, "Truly appalling and the exact opposite of what I said," she tweeted. Clearly, this controversial article was not the expected outcome, when Mrs Leadsom agreed to participate in the interview.
There are numerous training techniques to fine-tune your media performance but it is always important to remember the fundamentals:
- You are always on camera and on record from the moment you walk into a studio or in a room with the media.
- Concentrate your focus on the key topics you want to get across; don't get drawn into side-chat - particularly around the subject matter you intend talking about!
- Never say anything that you wouldn't want to appear in print, appear online or broadcast across the airwaves.
Don't put it down to chance...
Consider having a communications advisor present. I recommend you always have one to support the interviewee throughout a media interview process and here's why:
- An effective communications advisor will act as the intermediary, agreeing the focus, terms and timescale of the interview with media and follow-up on any points of clarification, post-interview.
- For transparency and auditable purposes, a communications advisor will ensure there is a record of the interaction between interviewer and interviewee.
- Will offer coaching between interviews so the interviewee never loses sight of communicating the clear views, opinions or facts as he/she conducts a round of media briefings.
And above all
In the event something is reported wide of the mark, the communications advisor has immediate insight and is best placed to advise on how to address the situation and react accordingly to the wider public interest that may ensue.
For many business people, being in a media situation is only an occasional experience; whereas the interviewer's job is to extract information and insight - and do so on a daily basis. Having a communications advisor in your corner to agree the scope of the interview, provide expert advice and protect your interests, can only increase the odds of achieving a mutually beneficial outcome.