TJ Walker, president of Media Training Worldwide, has produced a useful book about a subject whose experts are too often selling snake oil.
Media Training A-Z enumerates dozens of tips for all conceivable media interactions. His tips for TV, the most intimidating forum for media rookies, can be summed up as: Don't go on TV drunk. Move your head and hands frequently. Carry makeup with you at all times. And, most important, appeal to reporters' huge egos.
The last is the key to either unlocking the doors of media success (if dealing with a hack), or distracting a reporter to the point of homicidal mania (if dealing with a competent journalist). The advice to be friendly can, in the hands of a non-pro, morph into a bizarre encounter with a smiling stranger who insists on inserting a reporter's first name into every sentence. I liken this common practice to being hit with pepper spray at five-second intervals throughout a conversation.
But Walker's key message rings true: "You have 100% control over what comes out of your mouth."
Title Media Training A-Z
Author TJ Walker
Publisher Media Training Worldwide (Nov. 2004), 176 p.
Reviewed by Hamilton Nolan