This is excruciating, isn’t it?
Here is an interviewee who had decided what he wanted to say and was going to deliver that message, no matter what questions were asked.
We’ve heard that this was a soundbite interview, so presumably the reason for his parrot-like repetition was that he knew that if he answered the questions properly, the journalist could decide to use any of his answers in their report, which might not have been the one he wanted to be used.
The problem is that in these days of social media, a more subtle approach is needed, or you might end up on Youtube as a clip that’s been viewed half a million times (and yes, it could be seen as a little unfair that someone posted the entire interview online).
How to give soundbite interviews
In our media training courses, we always advise our delegates to have a clear idea of the message they want to deliver, but not to necessarily learn it off pat.
There are three techniques Ed Miliband could have used to get round his problem:
- Had two or three key messages ready – any of which he would be happy to have used within a report
- Anticipated the questions, and worked out how he was going to answer each one in a way that delivered his key message
- Varied his language, so he was effectively saying the same thing, but in a different way.
If you’d like to discover more about how to handle soundbite interviews – plus many other kinds – Rough House has been delivering media training courses for senior spokespeople and experts for 20 years. Contact us to find out how we can help.