Archives for January 2015

Be True to Yourself

Candor is one of the C’s of Communication preached at READY FOR MEDIA, along with Credibility, Compassion and Charisma. All were at play when Ellen DeGeneres was true to herself in responding (below) to an article written by a pastor accusing the TV host of promoting a ‘Gay Agenda’ on her show and  influencing her young, female viewers to turn towards her sexual preference.

Photo courtesy of blogdailyherald.com

Photo courtesy of blogdailyherald.com

Effective communication and branding skills are crucial in disproving and putting a negative story in context with facts and reason, rather than rage or emotion. Rather than fanning the flames with a juicy argument or enraged comment, Ellen’s humor took the sting out of his mean-spirited criticism.

Ellen quickly addressed the accusation directly in both a funny, yet serious and effective way. She calmly and professionally rejected his claims and encouraged every viewer to “be true to yourself.”  Ellen employed a speech communication strategy which allowed for both sincere conversation on the topic, as well as entertaining television.

Spinning the story away from the negative accusation into a positive media message was a smart decision by the savvy TV host. It is a technique emphasized at READY FOR MEDIA where clients are encouraged to control an interview by addressing questions as topics rather than dutifully answering every question put to them.

An Unaffordable Media Act

What began as an off-the-cuff comment made during a college lecture by Economics Professor Dr. Jonathan Gruber of MIT quickly became a nightmare as it exploded into a full-blown media frenzy. A video recording of his lecture went viral, then became a national news story and rallying cry for Obamacare opponents.

Courtesy of politico.com

Courtesy of politico.com

Credited as the “architect” of Presidents Obama’s Affordable Care Act (Obamacare,) who was reportedly paid millions for it, Dr. Gruber said that the “stupidity of the American voter” helped pass this signature piece of legislation for the President.

When the story broke, the Obamacare website had already suffered an embarrassing opening with crashing servers and a confusing interface. This story was reported as the second launch of the site was set to be released. Rather than the media coverage being about the Obamacare site finally getting it right, it turned toward Gruber and his “stupid” soundbite.

In this New Age of electronics, camera/video phones are everywhere. Even though you are not in a formal interview setting or studio, everyone in your audience is a reporter for social media and any words spoken or actions taken, can become the news heard ’round the world!