Friday, January 31, 2014

The Media Coach 31st January 2014

Pete Seeger - a legend; Two Russian toilets; A singing ticket barrier; Coke’s not gay; Oh no, no that question; Meeting the reporter; When in doubt, cut it out; An interview with Sofie Sandell; Music from Lisbee Stainton

Check out this episode!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

The Media Coach 24th January 2014

Twitter in a Flutter; Ant and Dec yet again; Bob Blakely; Scented jeans; Pick a card, any card; Your mileage may vary; Online for knowing, a handshake for closing; An interview with Heather Townsend; Music from Mick Terry

Check out this episode!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

The MediaCoach 17th January 2014

A spot of bother in France; Is foreign news a waste of time?; Roger Lloyd-Pack; Trouble on Tripadvisor; Five things to do before every speech; Five ways to make a reporter love you; Five ways to check a social media specialist; An interview with the co-founder of Ryanair, Kell Ryan; Music from Maggi Ronson

Check out this episode!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Advice for President Hollande - "Sortir avec vos mains en l'air"

French President Francois Hollande is in a bit of a fix. A tabloid newspaper has made allegations of an affair with actress Julie Gayet. His current squeeze, Valerie Trierweiler, is in hospital suffering from ‘very strong emotional shock’ after hearing allegations that the President had cheated on her. At a press conference today, President Hollande deflected the first question about his alleged affair, saying "private matters should remain private". 

So how should President Hollande deal with the international media attention and barrage of questions? The French press, having had the question from their representative batted aside at the conference today, seemed to have accepted the response. Closer magazine, which broke the story, has removed all references from its website, following an approach from Ms Gayet's legal team. The international press are likely to be less forgiving and co-operative. 

Whatever the truth of the allegations, and there does seem to be a lot of evidence, there's no doubt that the President has to respond at some point. The more he keeps the media waiting, the greater the speculation that will occur, and the longer his name will appear in the headlines. 

Here's my advice to him - "Sortir avec vos mains en l'air" (Come out with your hands in the air). Talk to the press, and make yourself the prime source of information. Tell your side of the story. If you need to apologise, do it now, and make it sincere. If you plan to leave your current partner, get it over with. If you plan to stay with her (of course, that's not entirely your decision), end any affairs, say so publicly, and go away with her for a few days.

Every politician gets to a point where they think they can outmaneuvre the press. They are wrong. Everything comes out in the end. It's better to tell the truth, tell it early and move on.  

Image credit: Creative Commons Licence

Monday, January 13, 2014

The Four Great Pretenders on Social Media

In my opinion, there are several types of pretender on social networks. They claim expertise, but they are really frauds. When credibility and authenticity were being handed out, they were at the back of the queue, or more likely not in the queue at all. Sometimes it's hard to tell if they are real or fake, so here's a guide that I've developed for my own use. You may find it helpful.

Here's how I describe them:

1) The pretend expert 

These are the people who publish reviews of new products and services, sometimes before launch. They haven't seen or tried the new stuff themselves, but have simply read all the reports from people who have, and pulled together a summary which makes them look as though they are "in the know".

2) The pretend writer 

These are real crooks, in my opinion. They reproduce articles and blog posts written by others, with no accreditation, leading people to believe they wrote them. Sometimes they even claim the writing credit. Sad indeed.

3) The pretend journalist 

This is a type I'm seeing more often. they pick up online news alerts or listen to broadcast sources, and then announce the "news" to their friends and followers. They overlook the fact that if people are interested in a story, they will have the same alerts set up. If there was an attempt to comment on the news, I could see the point of it, but simply sending out "news" seems utterly pointless. News sites do it better and faster.

4) The pretend friend of celebs 

They continually "chat" to celebrities on Twitter and Facebook as though they are pals. 99% of it is one-way traffic. Occasionally, they will receive a response, which they will talk about for weeks.

What do all these fakes have in common? I suspect it's a desire for status - to be seen as an important member of their online community. Alas, I think it's all wasted effort. It would be far better if they posted their own views and experiences, offered their unique perspective, and engaged in debate. It would provide some genuine credibility, not to mention some much-needed self-respect.

Image License: Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 from

Thursday, January 09, 2014

The Media Coach 10th January 2014

Learn how to speak brilliantly; Michael Bay; Serving drinks to Bowie; Simon Hoggart; Neil Young; Pitch your product well; Talking about a disaster; The French Maths Test; An interview with Randall Grahm; Music from Maggi Ronson

Check out this episode!

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Michael Bay - Five Lessons from his CES meltdown

There's been a lot of chat about Michael Bay and his speaking skills (or lack thereof). But was it all his fault? I think not, and here's why:

Friday, January 03, 2014

Social Media Avatars - And which one is you?

For good or bad, people form an impression of us on social media from the picture we display. It lives with every post we make, and if we are only connected online to someone, it's probably how they always think of us. I've been looking at some of the images used by my online contacts, and I offer these observations. 

1) The "not just me" shot There may be two, three, or an entire crowd of people shown. I don't know who I'm talking to. Who are those other people? There seem to be two basic types of this shot. The first is with a loved one. That's nice if you're running a dating site. If it's a business, is that your business partner? The second type is with a celebrity. Alas, not everyone will recognise the "celeb", so they're left wondering which one is you. 

2) The "cropped from a party" shot This simply says to me "I can't be bothered to get a professional photo done". If that's the case, I wonder how you might handle my business? Would you rather be out partying? 

3) The "over the hills and faraway" shot I'm sure you're in the picture somewhere, but I can't tell if that's you or a lamp-post.

4) The "it's not me" shot It's nice to pay a tribute to someone you admire by using their image, but it makes me a bit suspicious about why you don't want to be seen.

If you're on social media and want to look businesslike, get a proper photo taken. Let us see a bit about you. People do business with people. We want to know which one is you.

Picture credit - Alan Stevens 

Thursday, January 02, 2014

The Media Coach 3rd January 2014

Happy New Year; An invitation; A reporter faints; A man can’t type; Time to drop the Sex Pistols; You versus a journalist; And which one is you?; An interview with Rita Rudner; Music from Geoff Gibbons

Check out this episode!