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Posts Tagged ‘Alexis Stewart’

Media Training Tips and Cautionary Tales

In the high-risk, high-reward world of media training, major stumbles during television interviews are seared indefinitely in the public’s memory. Nailing an interview is not so easy, even for well-known public figures and corporate executives.

Media relies on basic principles and varied techniques. Today we’re focusing on seven tips–and what can happen when interviewees ignore them. As noted below, not everyone is as well-versed in handling the media as Joe Torre, (left) a former Major League Baseball manager.

Preparation is key since winging it is never a good idea. Interviewees need to wrap their heads around not only the core topics, but also the show, the interviewer and his or her questioning style. An example of what not to do? Herman Cain appeared completely clueless when asked about Libya during a video interview in Milwaukee last November, leaving several seconds of awkward, empty air time.

Keep answers brief, limited to quick sound bites. While Vice President Joe Biden is well known for his rambling remarks, the communicator in chief may need to heed this tip as well: During NYU’s Hospitality Investment Conference in June, NBC’s Chuck Todd predicted that President Obama may not win the first debate this fall, because [almost] no one has cut his remarks short during his term in office–and debates have strict time limits.

Beware softball questions. “What newspapers and magazines do you read?” is not a technically difficult question. Still, it was enough to trip up Sarah Palin during her now-infamous interview with Katie Couric during the 2008 Presidential election that was later parodied on SNL.

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Does Alexis Stewart Need Some Major Media Training?

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Alexis Stewart, daughter of the one and only Martha Stewart, and her former co-host and friend Jennifer Koppelman Hutt made an appearance this morning on the Today show to promote their new book Whateverland: Learning to Live Here. Today interviewer Savannah Guthrie focused on a number of quotes from the book where Stewart comments on the rigors of growing up with a mama like Martha. For instance, there were no prepared foods in the house so little Alexis had to “forage” for herself. Guthrie points out that the book has made headlines for various revelations. Sounds like what you’d expect, right?

The interview got some attention here in the Mediabistro’s office for the way Alexis conducted it. “Icy” and “cold” were a couple of the adjectives used here. (A couple of other outlets have also written about it.)

From what we can tell, Stewart is just a prickly personality and was extra crabby (and defensive) for being questioned about some of what she wrote. And bonus: both ladies say they’re no longer friends, so they get to sit next to each other on the Today show couch looking six kinds of uncomfortable. Happy Monday!

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