Archives for December 2015

If you can’t say something intelligent…

If you can’t say something intelligent, don’t say anything at all. It’s crucial to think before you speak, especially when speaking to the media. The purpose of an interview should be to advance your product, company or cause. In short, to lead the interview in a direction that is advantageous.

In a recent interview with the UK’s Evening Standard, Tinder CEO Sean Rad, made a multitude of media mistakes. Tinder is a hookup app that has revolutionized the dating scene using GPS for proximity and a simple swipe right or left to accept or deny.  Analysts believe the app, which launched in 2012, has around 80 million users worldwide and records 1.8 billion “swipes” a day. 

But in his interview, Mr. Rad failed to refrain from unnecessary topics and misbranded the company in a “cringe-worthy” conversation.


Photo Courtesy

Photo Courtesy

In a few words, Mr. Rad was:

CARELESS: in advance of his parent company’s impending IPO.

SIMPLISTIC: “Tinder has managed to solve ‘the biggest problem in humanity: that you’re put on this planet to meet people.'”

MISINFORMED:  When trying to say that some men and women are attracted to intelligence — the term is sapiosexuality — Mr. Rad instead used the word “sodomy.” When he realized his mistake from his PR person’s near-heart attack and a quick mobile search, he recovered, saying: “What? No, not that. That’s definitely not me. Oh, my God.”

NAIVE: Mr. Rad explained his OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) and complained of an overbearing Iranian-born Jewish mother, who texts him 20 times a day.

DEFENSIVE: “Feminism has led to today’s hookup culture, because women are more independent and pursuing their desires … both parties being more sexually active. It most certainly is not because of Tinder. If society just wants to ‘hook up’, who am I to judge?” At READY FOR MEDIA, we encourage clients to brand the company name positively. However, when the topic is negative, the interviewee should offer a generic term. Mr. Rad should have referred to online or app dating, rather than branding Tinder negatively.

And Tinder is now launching an education and workplace add-on that will helps users identify their intellectual equals. It’s part of a wider push by Tinder to give more relevant information about someone than a selfie of face or body parts before the decision to swipe left or right.

ARGUMENTATIVE: Earlier this year, Vanity Fair published a story heralding the “dawn of the dating apocalypse” in an article that interviewed twenty somethings in New York who used hookup apps solely for casual sex. In response, Tinder went on a more than 30-part Tweetstorm lambasting the magazine for the feature story. To call this an overreaction is an understatement. The roundly-criticized Tweetstorm represented a complete misunderstanding of how to effectively use social media and what Tinder users say they want: a means of meeting others with whom to date and hook up, not a political revolution.

But Mr. Rad did say one thing that would make a media coach proud.  “Look at what’s happening in society. We’re living in a technical age, it’s creating transparency and equality and connecting us. Tinder isn’t redefining romance. Progress is.”