As a man, I've never said this before, so deep breath... here goes:
In my experience, women are naturally better PR clients than men.
There, I said it.... cancel me, call me anti-men or accuse me of favouritism, either way, I'm still right.
So, what do I mean by "better PR clients"?
Which of these behaviours would you expect someone described as 'in control' to display?
Would you expect that person to be...
Quiet or loud?
Smiley or stoic?
Proud or humble?
Attentive or distant?
Cordial or confrontational?
Of all the public figures we've studied over the years, Alex Mahon, CEO of Channel 4, is in a league of her own. During interviews, when challenged, her composure is first class.
Let's focus on Alex' 2022 appearance on BBC's The Media Show. The 25-minute conversation — discussing the then proposed privatisation of Channel 4 -- is a masterclass in confidence, charm and control. The way she displayed these traits, however, might surprise you.
Below, using clips from that interview, we'll show you 5 interviewee skills Alex has in spades — skills that'll help you exude confidence, charm and control during your next (or first ever) media interview.
It's a crude thing to admit, but the truth is often ugly, so here goes...
'Of all my skills, the one that makes me an effective publicist is my ability to manipulate situations.'
There, I said it.
Are you still there?
Okay, well, for those of you that aren't put-off by talk of manipulation, I salute you. As a reward, by the end of this blog, you'll learn one of my most successful manipulation techniques — my ability to manipulate sentences. You'll see how this skill generates high-profile media coverage for my clients, myself and, once you deploy them in your business, for you.
THE GOOD NEWS: this technique is 100% ethical.
THE BAD NEWS: this technique will suck valuable minutes from your life.
Yesterday, a rare video appeared on YouTube. It's wonderful. In it, two media professionals discuss how businesses can cleverly boost their public profile and engage new audiences using mainstream media.
Packed with helpful advice, during the chat, freelance journalist (and our Twitter friend) Kelsey Ogletree said something you should consider as fact.
Here's the revelatory moment...
Once you've considered the madness of the below scenario, I'd like you to admit that it would never happen.
Let's begin with a secret.
When I was at University, the most popular activity amongst my friends was beer, parties and sex. A noble hobby, I grant you.
I, however, gratified myself with a collection of magazines — supermarket food magazines, to be precise. You know the ones... always glossy, always free, always drool-inducing.
It's official, podcasts are a PR goldmine. 41% of British people listen to a podcast on at least a monthly basis, meaning you have a tantalising and relatively barrier-less opportunity to introduce new audiences to your brand. Better still, thanks to our Ego Delay Technique (EDT), we're placing our clients on the most listened-to and respected shows every week. Now it's your turn to leverage the Ego Delay Technique in your PR pitches.
But first, here's how we developed EDT
Long before instagram made 'life quotes' as popular as breathing, I watched three lawyers talking in the ladies' toilets. What one of them said left me speechless. With unshakable confidence, she leaned into her young apprentice and said:
"You can never rely on someone's interest in your affairs, but one thing you can guarantee, is their investment in their own."
Awed by her wisdom, I wasn't surprised by it, after all, she was a character created by my favourite TV producer of all time: the multi award-winning genius David E. Kelley. I first saw that bathroom scene — in U.S drama series Boston Legal — over twenty years ago, yet to this day, it plays in my thoughts each time I pitch clients for podcasts, TV, radio, print or online. Why? Because when I reach-out to these media publishers, that quote directly influences how I craft my opening paragraph.
Lets see how.
During my recent appearance on FBI behavioural analyst Robin Dreeke's podcast, dazzling parallels were drawn between my work as a PR specialist and a documentary maker.
Thanks to Robin's insightful questions, many of which explored my childhood, we unearthed one character trait that enables me to secure high-profile media coverage for my clients with great ease. Now it's your turn to experiment with this trait.
So, what's the trait? It's EMPATHY — the ability to understand and share the feelings of other people.
We've already shown you how empathy can be used to cleverly deflect awkward interview questions, but truth is, if understanding the needs of others is hard for you, writing a compelling press release that attracts valuable media attention is an almost impossible undertaking. Why? Let's see.
Here's a sentence I never thought I'd say, but I mean it: an alleged scandal in the cat food industry is going to make your next piece of writing instantly more interesting to your audience.
According to estimates, the average adult makes approximately 35,000 decisions every day. Shopify - the company that generated US$4.611 billion last year - leverages this fact better than any brand I've ever studied. How? By spraying their web visitors with a deluge of clear direction; which as we'll see later, relieves them of the stress of having to make yet more decisions.