The Importance of Having the Right Words

Broadcasting is a highly specialised area, and few people are really comfortable with a tough radio or television interview, no matter how senior and how skilled they are in their specialist fields. That isn’t surprising: exposure to the sharp end of the media is usually infrequent and the studio environment can seem strange and intimidating.

Any interviewee, however experienced, is dealing with a professional interviewer who is operating very much on his or her home ground. They are masters of all the techniques needed to coerce their guest into giving them a good story. And as we all know, a ‘good’ story in their terms can mean a disastrous one from the interviewee’s point of view.

Just cast your mind back to a couple of classics: British Rail wasn’t a complete laughing stock until a spokesman came out with that immortal line, “It was the wrong sort of snow”; and Ratners the jewellers didn’t have to change their name until Gerald Ratner described his own products in less than glowing terms!

So a studio training ‘refresher’ can be a distinct advantage. Recently, one client approached us a few days before the CEO was to appear as a guest on BBC Radio 4’s ‘Unreliable Evidence’ programme, presented by that notoriously sharp inquisitor Clive Anderson. After the programme, the client’s communications manager emailed to say:

One Comment to “The Importance of Having the Right Words”

  • Thanks for posting this article, It just shows you that it’s important to know how to handle how you communicate with others and especially delicate matters… I guess anything can happen in the world we are connected too and if we learn how to process our dialog we can avoid a lot of ‘unfortunate’ bad press and miss communications…

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