The Best Ways to Make a Reporter Think You're stupid
Okay so first I did not write this I am posting because it is on the Money and I have been the advisor to many artist who have use this as a guide - so when I read this it was like I wrote it, but this person Marsha Friedman - must have read my mind.... So I had to Post it....
Thank You Marsha - you said exactly what I have been telling these Artist for Years....
Over the years, I've given out reams of advice to people on how to do great press interviews, but sometimes it's difficult to cover all the bases. After all, the way I got smart about the media was to make mistakes and learn from them. So I thought it might be fun and informative if I assembled some tips from the reverse angle - the best mistakes to make. I mean, if you're going to mess up, why not do it in epic fashion so people remember you.
- Don't focus on the interview. By all means, feel free to talk about whatever stream of consciousness pops into your head. Your family, your spouse, your health problems and the fact that your neighbor's dog is doing his business on your front lawn. Make as much nervous small talk as possible, and if the reporter grew up in the same town as you, feel free to grill him for an hour to see if he had any of the same teachers as you in high school. After all, it's not like he's a media professional on deadline whose time is at a premium. There is nothing more he'd rather do than to talk about anything, except of course, the reason he's interviewing you.
- Preparation, shmeperation. Journalists get a kick out of people who are not prepared for the interview, who don't know the reporter's name or the publication for which they toil. They completely understand when you don't know what area of interest they cover in their columns, or when you tell them you've never read any of their stories. The only way to score more points is to tell them you've read their stuff, and you think they don't have a clue what they are writing about most of the time.
- Schedules are for wimps. Don't worry about being on time. Feel free to be late - in fact, be VERY late, especially if you are actually meeting them in person. These guys don't like going back to the office, so the longer you can keep them out of the office - especially if they are waiting at a diner or coffee shop that's at least 30 minutes away from the office - the better.
- Trash talk is gold. Do you know what really plays well in the media? Trash talking your competition. There is nothing more fun than shooting off your mouth to a reporter, and then watching the sparks fly in the morning when the paper hits the streets. Your attorney will love you for it, because the fees you pay him to defend you in the business defamation lawsuit your competitor files are finally going to make him enough money to buy that new boat.
- Lie, and then lie about lying. Nothing will get you more ink than if you lie, because reporters are pretty good at discovering the truth. And when they do, that means they'll write another story about you. In fact, the bigger the lie, the better, because then you get the news coverage hat trick - the original story, the follow-up when they expose your lie, and the contrite news conference where you fall on your sword and admit the truth. I mean, think about all the people in the news today who lied, or who are accused of lying, and continue to dot the headlines. Of course, as with the trash talk tip, make sure you have a good legal budget, because a good long court battle over the lies is a sure way to keep stringing out those headlines.
Okay, it was fun getting all that off my chest. As you know, my usual writing style is more "positive and inspiring" than "bitingly humorous," but it's good to shake things up now and then. And when you think about the points above, we see these mistakes made in the press, in some shape or form, every single day. It always makes me wonder, if these mistakes are so obvious to me, why aren't they obvious to the people who make them? Or their advisors?
The bottom line is that no matter how unschooled you are in public relations, common sense is a good baseline to guide your forays into the media. And if you're just not sure about the best conduct during a media interview, get a good PR person, or a good attorney.
Or maybe both, just to be safe.
Marsha - Marsha - Marsha