The Enthusiastic Spokesperson

  • October 11, 2011
  • Blair Poloskey

INK, as any PR firm worth their salt should, offers media training to all of our clients.

Media training is always personalized for the participants, be it an individual training or group session (focusing on executive teams, business units or perhaps even regional issues/messages), but I am amazed at how different the experience can be not just for the trainee, but the trainer as well. Of course, much of my experience in the room depends on the folks I am training. How experienced they are on camera, the depth of their knowledge of company messages, and even their interest in actually being trained can change the entire vibe. Sometimes, we have less than enthused participants around the table. I can’t say I blame them – we record all of our media trainings (people learn so much better when they can watch themselves in action) – and a tiny little Flip camera has the ability to make even the most seasoned spokesperson quiver with nerves. But the less enthused my spokespeople, the harder the training session is on little ol’ me.

And then sometimes, like earlier this week, I get an executive in media training that is genuinely excited to learn more about how to better pressent his messages, that works hard to understand the insight I am sharing on what a journalist is looking for (and, sometimes more importantly, what they are NOT), that is so actively passionate about their product, their company offering, their view of the industry that they make media training a joy.

We encourage all of our spokespeople to bring some personality to an interview, to share a part of themselves in an effort to personalize their story and make it more memorable. But it is more than just loosening up a bit, it is about sharing your passion. If I get jazzed listening to your answers in a fake interview (especially when I have heard every word you are saying, time and time again), a journalist will surely catch the same contact buzz.

I would gladly take an executive full of nerves, perhaps with less polish, less smooth-operator charm, but exuding passion, than the most seasoned spokesperson, into any interview. And we would always (eh, ALMOST always) walk away with positive  coverage. Personality makes you likable, sure, but passion is contagious.

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