Monday, July 23, 2007

Promised Answers

How did you do on the list of items I gave you June 21? Did you wonder why you shouldn't say these phrases to people interviewing you?

Today, some explanation...

1. "No comment."

If you asked your spouse, boss or child an important question and they answered, "No comment," wouldn't you be frustrated? Sure, you would, but that's not the real reason to avoid this phrase with journalists. The main reason is it makes you look evasive, guilty or clueless.

2. “Are we rolling yet?”

Assume the cameras are rolling the moment a photographer steps onto your property.

3. “Can I see the story before it airs?”

Asking this offends reporters, because it suggests you do not trust them to write a fair and balanced story. You can ask, "May I review my quotes before the story prints?"

4. “When you're done filming...”

TV reporters (unless they're high-dollar documentarians) haven't filmed since the early 1980's. We "tape" or "record" now.

5. "Uh" or "You know"

Get rid of verbal fillers. They're distracting. One way to eliminate these from your speech is to participate in Toastmasters.

6. "Like I said earlier..."

TV reporters are looking for soundbites six to ten seconds long. This phrase will get edited.

7. "Can I start over?"

This makes you look like an amateur, but most producers or journalists will let you start again.

8. "That was off the record."

The rule of the game is that you must say, "off the record" before you give the information.

9. "Get me a copy of the raw footage."

Most outlets will not give you raw footage. But you can ask politely for a copy of the piece. It helps if you have your own DVD for copying purposes. And some organizations charge a small amount for dubs.

By the way, newsmakers have asked or said every one of these phrases to me--I didn't make them up!

No comments: