This book provides a common-sense framework to help you credibly manage interviews with reporters. The ideas and principles, when applied with discipline and thoughtfulness, will help you build public trust. You will strengthen your capacity to manage the uncertainty and the sense of loss of control that everyone experiences in an interview with a reporter. And critically, you’ll be more easily able to think through how to shape the news and social media headline you want, while avoiding the one you don’t.
The CREDible Spokesperson approach works so well because it is rooted in human connection and empathy, the very heart of all news storytelling. The ideas you’ll find here are distilled through my many years of listening and talking with people in the thousands of seminars I’ve given since 1995. I’ve learned as much giving them as my clients tell me they’ve taken away from them. Some of their testimonials are listed at www.lovinmedia. ca.
I’m immensely grateful to the corporate leaders, senior public servants, engineers, business managers, scientists, lawyers, and educators and just plain working folks who have let me test their message delivery skills in tough, real news-type interviews with a TV News camera rolling. I probably didn’t tell them I was learning as I was going, but I think that’s true of any decent coach. Their successes and interview mistakes deeply inform this book with simple truth and proven techniques.
I’ve should also mention that I’ve also built upon my own two decades of experience in news as a reporter, producer and TV News executive working in Ottawa, Toronto and Calgary. If you’ve spent as many years as I did in my early career interviewing people, editing their stories, trying to figure out what the story was and shaping it into a format my news bosses wanted, you get a pretty thorough idea of how and why the news media operates the way it does. I’ve also tried to explain that in the book
Now that media coaching is my life work, this forward would not be complete with a nod to my parents my family. I came by my interest in good presentation and clear messaging at an early age watching my parents at work as Ambassadors to China, Australia, Russia and Canada. Their principled approach and integrity as communicators and storytellers won them many friends and much respect. There’s a thing or two from them in this book as well. And to my family, my eternal gratitude to Della and our four children for kindly suffering my many ups and downs and supporting me as I built my coaching business and wrote this book. Finally, as I’m finishing this we are six months into the Covid-19 pandemic. The communications challenges faced by governments as they try to protect public safety while curtailing hard fought for civil liberties are immense. I look in wonderment at public health leaders like Dr. Bonnie Henry in British Columbia or Dr. Anthony Fauci in the US. They clearly get the CRED approach to media communications, even if they’ve never heard of it. But that’s the subject of another book.
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