We all know how important it is to have key messages in any PR scenario. Whether you are being interviewed, contributing to a press conference, or really any other scenario involving the media, having key messages prepared is of the utmost importance.
Knowing your key messages and ensuring they come across in any type of interview is crucial. More often than not when an interview goes successfully, the key messages were executed properly and conveyed to the audience. Usually with experienced public speakers such as CEO’s, or other people at the forefront of companies, they perform quite well in interviews. Someone who executes their key messages and stays on track usually goes unnoticed, or leaves the audience of the interview leaving with one of two thoughts engrained in their minds.
One example of this would be when Barack Obama was selected as President of the United States for the first time. His speech following the selection is one, if not his most famous speeches, and he delivers it beautifully. He clearly has several points he wants to get across, and reiterates them frequently throughout. While this can sometimes be more difficult in an interview as opposed to a speech, he is successful nonetheless,
Even though they occur much less frequently, the examples of poor key messaging are the ones that resonate. Any interview where a person is thrown off track by a question, or loses their temper is a prime example of someone failing to deliver their key messages. Regardless of the question type of the tone of the interview, it is crucial for the interviewee to get their points across.
An example of this would be at the World Series in 2014, during the MVP presentation ceremony. The representative for Chevy, Rikk Welde, was not prepared for his interview while presented a new Chevy Truck to Madison Baumgarner. He failed to deliver what was need to be said regarding the presentation, and has since become an internet sensation for his mishaps. While this was more a mistake of lack of preparation or being uncomfortable on camera, he failed to deliver the messages nonetheless.
He is not alone however. The sporting world seems to have many examples of failing to deliver key messages and going off track in interviews. With sports being such an emotional business, it happens far too frequently that players and coaches lose their cool and provide a timeless soundbite of their mistake.
All it takes is some preparation and a little practice and this can all be corrected. Or, as the epitome of under-preparation for interviews Allen Iverson would say, “We talkin bout practice”.