Friday, May 19, 2006

on message

media training manual
(page from the media training manual we were given)

Media training was fun and actually more instructive than I would have expected. I wish I'd had it when I wanted to write an op-ed about Medicare Part D this fall and didn't know what to do. Apparently, as part of this fellowship, we can consult with this media company anytime during it or two years hence. So now, I just need a Health Policy Message and fame awaits.

If you are not so lucky to be able to have professional media training, the chief point about being interviewed for radio or television could be stated thusly: The interviewer's job is to ask questions. Your job is not to answer those questions. Your job is to convey the message that is the reason you agreed to do the interview in the first place. I mean, the impression I was left with was that you should think of your message as being like a pointy stick, and your goal is to impale the interviewer with it. (While making eye contact and avoiding jargon, of course.)

A strange turn to the day was that one of the people started asking about blogs, and noted to the trainers that I have a blog. This led to various questions, including the two obvious ones for which I have yet to devise effective talking points: "What do you blog about?" and "Why?"


Rhymes With Scrabble said...

1) How adorable I am.


I was actually pretty surprised when the majority of the undergrads in my rhetoric & technology class this past semester expressed the idea that all bloggers are pathological narcissists. Aren't undergrads supposed to be behind that?

jeremy said...

Yeah, um, those aren't the answers that spring to mind for me and my blog. I should also add that I reject the pathological narcissist hypothesis.

Rhymes With Scrabble said...

Admittedly, the answers I usually give are more along of the lines of "Why not?" and "Stuff." For it to really be pathological narcissism, I think I'd have to be working a lot harder to advertise it.

Maybe I should just blame it on family socialization. My mother is the only member of my immediate family who doesn't have a blog.

Anonymous said...

I think you blog because you can -- you're gifted at it. Why others blog? Who knows.

Anonymous said...

love the pointy stick analogy! after suffering through message training at a big nonprofit organization, I think you've captured the feeling of it perfectly.