YES, it’s important to speak with the media, BUT know when to stop.
1. Queensland’s incoming Premier, Campbell Newman, said in his victory speech, “We will keep our promises … and we will not let you down.” Some think he had to say that, others that it was a throw away line. Neither option seems sensible. Why unnecessarily promise the impossible, and worse, in public? Further, mis-pronouncing his deputy Langbroek’s middle name at the swearing-in was an entertaining hiccup. A simple run-through would have avoided the embarrassment.
On the positive side last week, Campbell Newman showed himself to be a savvy media manager when he called addressed media at his first Council Of Australian Governments (COAG) meeting. He had a staffer hold a pile of paper a foot thick and told reporters the pile was recent Labor legislation. The stunt scored him blanket evening news bulletin coverage.
2. NSW Labor MP Craig Thomson said to a waiting media pack, “To be honest with you…” I’m not saying he’s dishonest, but as the clouds darken around him, he ought to stick to the facts and avoid unintended irony.
3. George Hateley (pictured above) imports Tasers and says NSW Police “are on full roll-out.” After the recent tragic tasering of Brazilian student Roberto Curti, The Daily Telegraph had Hately saying he even tested Tasers on his own children. Hateley spoke of the eagerness of NSW Police officers for Tasers: “They say ‘George, we need more, we need more’.” Our advice to Mr Hately on doing his media sell is, “Hold your fire.”
Need help knowing when or how to hold your fire in a media interview or other communication context? Contact Rhetorica. We can help.