Increasingly our clients are having the opportunity to be interviewed on TV or to appear on TV shows which is fabulous exposure for both them as spokespeople and for the company, but it isn’t always easy. Media interviews can be uncomfortable at the best of times but TV is so unforgiving. You only had to watch the televised election debates earlier this year to see how every twitch, back slap, smile or grimice can be misconstued on TV.
I thought of this when watching my little brother in the recent series of Masterchef the professionals. I didn’t realise he was going to be in it until long after he had completed filming due to confidentiality agreements he had signed. My brother is a natural storyteller and performer and loves being in the spot light but when I was discussing the experience with him he told me how intense it had been.
The candidates had been left in a small room with no access to newspapers, mobile phones or any other communication device and told not to speak to each other before they were called in. When they finally got the chance to cook the presenters were making their disapproval faces in plain sight and the normal utensils you would hope to find in a kitchen were not to hand.
I retold this story to a client of mine the other day who was being filmed for a feature piece with the BBC. They set up their cameras and were doing their thing onsite for almost six hours and I know that the end results will be probably actually only be six minutes long at best. With this in mind I told the client to never drop their guard. To be natural but be aware of what is happening at all times, as the one slip up on camera can prove to be gold dust to the TV companies.
My brother knows this, as under all the pressure during Masterchef he refered to Michel Roux Junior as Junior Roux. He said that he stopped and said his name properly afterwards but a slip up like that was obviously too good and it stayed in the final edit.
That said, I am incredibly proud of my little brother for having the guts to go on a show such as this. Everyone I spoke to afterwards said that he came across in just the same way on TV as he does in life and I personally think fair play for having the guts to have a go. Nice one bro, we are all proud of you.
Following a story this week in The Times by Sathnam Sanghera about why businesses shouldn’t use Twitter I decided to dust the old pen off and compose a letter in response. Sathnam made some very valid points but I felt he had been slightly short sighted in his analysis of the situation. Someone else must have liked my argument at The Times, as yesterday my response appeared in the hard copy of the paper.
I’m a firm believer that you have to prove to people you can do something yourself before they will buy into you providing them a similar service. Would you pay a company that doesn’t blog to provide you advice on how to manage this communication channel? The same goes for rapid response campaigns. We have countless examples at Berkeley PR of running rapid response campaigns for our clients which work on the same principals used to secure coverage such as the above letter in The Times.
Source: Social Signal
Twitter cartoon I spotted on Social Signal which made me chuckle today.
One of the most frustrating things about Twitter is actually finding people you want to follow on it. More often than not I find people from blogs that I read or recommendations from friends and peers.
This is where Ste Davies has come to the rescue with two great lists which I think that anyone from our industry should check out. Last week he published a list of technology journalists using Twitter and this morning a list of PR professionals including the Berkeley PR gang below:
Paul Stallard – http://twitter.com/Paul_Stallard
Lyndon Johnson – http://twitter.com/lyndonJJ
Rebecca Wheeler – http://twitter.com/BeccaJW
Stephanie Marshall – http://twitter.com/smginger
Jo Jamieson – http://twitter.com/jojamieson
Luke Davies – http://twitter.com/luke5938
Lynda Tahri – http://twitter.com/LyndaTahri
Sara Lewis – http://twitter.com/Saralewis
Ascent PR (sister company)
Danielle Mumford – http://twitter.com/dannikm
I am sure he will be inundated with updates and more people to add to both lists so worth keeping an eye on.
Since the list went live I have been introduced to a load of new contacts – cool, interesting, mildly interesting and some frankly dull people. I am a firm believer that to get the best out of Twitter you have to keep refining the list of people you follow so am more than happy to follow someone for a couple of weeks and then decide whether to continue following them. Unlike Facebook, this shouldn’t be a popularity contest or you just wouldn’t be able to manage the noise in your reader.
Anyway, if Ste has missed anyone out let him (and me) know.
Most people in the Berkeley PR office use LinkedIn to keep track of journalists, clients as they move around and potential new business leads but I never hear too many people refer to LinkedIn as fondly as other social media tools. I often think that this is strange, considering that the core principles of the brand is that it helps connect people, yet it is one that hasn’t really taken the step to engage with its audience.
I have in the past rather unfairly heard it referred to as the business tool people use when they have been made redundant, which however hash does reflect the fact that people don’t have a relationship with the tool in the sameway they do with Twitter and Facebook. Most professionals have a LinkedIn account which they have populated with information about their working life and education but most don’t bring the personality of that individual to the front. I have linked to many people who are brilliant, influential and a great laugh face to face, but by reading their profile alone would feel they were pretty uninspiring.
That said I spotted a Tweet from Andrew Smith (@andismit) earlier this week about the new LinkedIn applications and decided to investigate. I have to say that I am impressed and there are a number of cool features which are all really easy to apply to your LinkedIn profile and can quickly add some much needed personality with minimum effort. These include:
* My Travel – See where your LinkedIn network is traveling and when you will be in the same city as your colleagues
* Slideshare Presentations – You can upload & display your own presentations, check out presentations from your colleagues
* Company Buzz – Shows you the twitter activity associated with your company.
* Box.net files – Lets you share content on your profile, and collaborate with friends and colleagues
* Blog Link – Blog Link helps you, and your professional network, stay connected
* Huddle – Gives you private, secure online workspaces packed with simple yet powerful project, collaboration and sharing tools for working with your connections
* Google Presentation – Upload a .PPT or use Google’s online application to embed a presentation on your profile
* WordPress – you can sync your WordPress blog posts with your LinkedIn profile, keeping everyone you know in the know
* Reading List by Amazon – Extend your professional profile by sharing the books you’re reading with other LinkedIn members.
Unfortunately, I haven’t had time to play with all of these but I have installed the WordPress and Company Buzz apps which I really like. However, what I would like to see if an extension of the work that they have done with Twitter and see if you could link the status bar with your Twitter account. It would save me a whole heap of time and also help keep my profile fresh.
Sarah Evans has released a list of the top 50 unofficial ‘Tweeples’. Are you following them?
TechRadar has reported that UK based Liquavista is developing technology which could usher in an era where newspapers can finally combat declining circulation by repackaging their website content and delivering it, either through RSS or over Wi-Fi/3G with video and flash embedded right in the article. In effect, they will be building a full-colour interactive e-paper reader that will resemble an A4 piece of paper and will feature audio and video content.
The Guardian’s Richard Wray continues: Newspaper editors, grappling with declining circulation and the migration of advertising spending to the internet, have been hoping for years that e-paper will move beyond the drawing board into reality. The dream is of a device allowing readers to upload a newspaper in the morning, then update editorial content as the day goes on, perhaps using a mobile phone or wireless connection.
However, one rather obvious setback to this devise was highlighted on the Press Gazette by Patrick Smith “Just think of the time and cost of downloading all those hi-res imagines – and videos – clogging up the airwaves.”
Could this be the killer piece of technology that takes e-book technology to the next step or are we just not ready for it yet?
A little longer than I care to admit I was sent a new presentation gadget Papershow to trial and blog about. Well after looking at the box under a massive pile of paper on my desk for a few weeks and a new business pitch on the horizon decided I would give it a go and boy, am I glad that I did. This gadget is very cool.
I had looked on the website which shows the demo above showing a chap drawing on a pad of paper with an actual pen and everything you see on the pad appears on the computer screen and ultimately beamed onto the wall. When I told some of my colleagues about this they couldn’t believe that it would actually work in this way as fast as shown on the clip. They were wrong.
It is incredibly easy to set up, you literally pop the dongle into your laptop/PC and away you go. You simply draw or write on the pad and as you do, it automatically appears on the screen. The pad of paper you receive has a series of symbols down the right hand side which if you tap the pen on, allows you to change the thickness of the pen, the colour of the ink, delete lines or create perfect shapes. All very impressive and easy to use.
The range is also excellent – you don’t have to be positioned right beside the dongle. In fact this is one of the nice features as it is possible to pass the pad around the room or even allow you to stroll around the room while you write. A feature my boss particularly likes as he doesn’t like to sit still during a presentation.
For those of you who have used flip charts will also be pleased to know that you can save each page directly onto the computer and it is easy to scroll back and forth through the pages should you choose.
An additional feature I have not had a chance yet to play with is the ability to print out PowerPoint presentations onto its paper and as you run through the slides you can then circle around or highlight points you are discussing.
As you may gather, I love this gadget and am quite upset that I have to send it back to them but will definitely be making sure Berkeley buy one when they are finally available. When it is available you will be able to get your hands on one for around £99.99 excluding VAT and Papershow expect it to be available from www.datamind.co.uk and www.paperiq.com from mid-October, then all leading office stationery suppliers from January.
At Berkeley, as at most technology PR agencies up and down the country, we provide media training for our clients. The main aim of this is to educate our clients as to what makes an interesting story, the importance of knowing your audience and the basic dos and don’ts of a press interview.
The part that clients don’t particularly like but is always the most beneficial part - when the camera comes out. We always like to film the interviews. This puts a little extra pressure on the client so they genuinely have to be on top of their game when answering questions, they also have proof of where they went wrong which can be played back to them. It also allows them to see the little things we all do which can be off putting during an interview. The sort of thing I mean is saying um a lot, playing with your hair or generally fidgeting.
I have done this as part of my own presentation training in the past and will put my hands up to say I find it an excruciating experience but always beneficial. So a big hat tip to Will sturgeon, formally of Silicon.com fame and now at Lewis for being brave enough to post this video on his blog.
It is well worth watching and had me laughing my head off, although be warned his language is probably worthy of a 15 certificate so don’t let the kids watch. I think I found it so amusing because I have worked on a couple of pitches recently and during the practice runs in our board room have heard myself saying similar things to Will such as “what am I talking about? that is absolute rubbish and damn it I have said that already!.”
That said, I usually find that when the old adrenaline gets pumping everything goes alright on the night.