Media Training 101: The 3 Biggest Media Interview Mistakes

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Doing a media interview, whether it be in front of a television camera, in a radio studio or sitting down with a reporter or blogger, in-person or over the phone, has the tendency to make otherwise confident, eloquent people say really dumb stuff. You need look no further than the evening news – to those political hopefuls during election season – to see the proof.

And it’s not just the big shots in the spotlight either. Often times, without any provocation, the little guy, too, can find himself suddenly answering to the media about a scandal in his industry, whether or not he or his company is personally involved.

But there are a few simple strategies you can arm yourself with that will not only boost your confidence, but will also help you to speak with purpose, boosting your credibility with your customers and stakeholders.

Of course, there’s nothing quite like stepping in front of a real TV camera to completely understand the media interview experience, but grasping the following concepts will get you well on your way. Show me somebody who says they were “misquoted” in the press and I bet I can show you where they committed at least one of the…

3 Biggest Media Interview Mistakes

1. Failing to Prepare Whether you’re going to the press or the press is coming to you, a media interview should rarely come as a surprise. Get your head out of the hole and do your homework. Thinking you can just “wing it” is a sure-fire recipe for disaster.

Know what the issues are surrounding your organization and/or your industry. Don’t discount an issue just because you’re not comfortable with it – that’s surely what they’ll ask you about, whether you want them to or not. Expect it!

2. Not Knowing Your Key Messages – Whether your media interview is proactive or reactive, knowing your key messages is crucial to making the interview work for you. Without your key messages, you’re merely coming off as reactionary, uninformed, or worse yet, defensive.

No matter what a reporter asks you, you can ALWAYS tie-in one of your key messages. Pay close attention to someone who does a lot of media interviews and you’ll soon pick up on this technique. It takes practice, but great communicators know how to do this seamlessly.

3. “No Comment” – Oh really?! Then you must be hiding something! That’s the message you’re sending when you answer with “No comment.” Even if you’re not hiding something, but you still feel like the only possible response is “no comment”, then you have committed egregious and unforgivable acts of #1 & #2 above!

If you can’t speak on a particular subject, tell the reporter so and try to give a reason why. Then, hit ’em with a key message.

Let’s be clear here… this is by no means an end-all list. We’ve merely scratched the surface of the many ways you can avoid a media interview meltdown. There are many other mistakes we see people make time and again when facing the media… mistakes that tarnish reputations and damage, or worse yet, destroy client relationships.

And not all strategies are written in stone either. Absolutes are very tricky things. But by adopting these and other media interview strategies, you’ll be much less likely to ever have to utter, “I was misquoted!”

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Sling Media Technologies For Satellite TV Viewers

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Now you will be able to watch your favorite live or recorded television program even when you are not in your home. The service providers of satellite TV have entered in a long term business venture with Sling Media to introduce some of their technologically superior products for its subscribers. The introduction of these high tech devices has completely changed the way of watching TV contents.

Sling Media is a California based Technology Company that came in to existence in the year 2004. Their first product Slingbox was launched in the US market soon after the formation of this company and become huge popular among people. Slingbox is a first of its kind product that is capable of streaming live or recoded television contents over the internet. With the help of this device, people can see their TV shows either on their notebook PCs or on their smartphones. Seeing the immense popularity of their Slingbox hardware, the company launched many variants of Slingbox. The variants are Slingbox Solo, Slingbox 700U and Slingbox PRO-HD.

The Slingbox hardware’s are equipped with a unique technology called Placeshifting. In fact this is the technology that is enabling you to take your TV along with you. With the help of this technology, the recorded or live TV programs are streamed via high speed broadband internet connection. Therefore you can enjoy your chosen show either from a hotel, restaurant, coffee shop or even half way across the world. Just think for a while, you need to attend an important business meeting and on the same day one of the biggest collage football event is about to take place. You simply cannot skip the meeting nor do you want to miss the game. You might have faced such problems like this in your life.

The problem can be solved only when you get one of the Slingbox devices in your home you can get this amazing hardware from your satellite TV service provider. Simply connect the Placeshifting with your existing DVR enabled receiver by using the composite AV cable. After that you need to connect your network router with the Slingbox device by using the supplied Ethernet cable. This is how you must connect your Placeshifting enabled Slingbox devices with your DVR and network devices. But it is always advised to go through the instruction manual thoroughly before proceeding forward.

To watch your favorite TV content on your notebook PC or smartphones then you need to install Sling Player software on both devices. SlingPlayer software is a product of Sling Media and is available for Microsoft Windows and Apple’s Macintosh. It is also available for various mobile platforms such as iPhone OS, Blackberry OS, Windows Mobile and also for Symbian mobile operating systems. Once this software is installed on your PC or Mobile then your device becomes ready to play the streamed contents from your satellite TV receiver.

So here you can see that satellite TV service is all about technology. The service providers have introduced this amazing technology so that you cannot miss any of your favorite TV show.

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The Benefits of Investing in an Archos 5 Digital Media Player

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There used to be a time when portable digital media players were intended to play audio and video files only. The trend seems to be changing nowadays because manufacturers are trying to add additional functions into their portable media player models. Take, for instance, the new Archos 5 – this digital media player comes with integrated web browsing facilities. Connectivity to the internet is availed with the aid of Wi-Fi. Some other interesting pointers that make this particular product revolutionary and innovative will be outlined in the rest of the passages.

One of the best factors that deserve to be mentioned first is the touch enabled screen provided on Archos 5. Imagine browsing through the web using such a device! I do realize that many other media players now come with augmented facilities to connect with the internet. Nevertheless, Archos 5 is the first portable digital media player to make this distant dream a reality. The model is offered in three flavors – these models come with the 60GB, 120GB and 250GB hard disk space. There is widespread confusion regarding the “term” that must be used to depict the true functionality of the device.

While the manufacturer advertises Archos 5 as a “Wi-Fi enabled internet tablet”, some of the renowned reviews still portray the device as a portable digital media player. In fact, when you first see the device in person, you are going to commit the mistake of treating it as a GPS unit. Well, if you were thinking about on those lines, do not fret; because in the coming weeks, the manufacturer has promised an upgrade for Archos 5. This firmware upgrade will make the device to function like as GPS unit (similar to the ones, which are fitted into the automobiles).

A major gripe, which was depicted in countless review sessions of the Archos 5 (which was conducted by independent reviewers), is that the device is a fingerprint magnet. Well, we too experienced the same – the good news is the inclusion of a cleaning cloth along with the boxed product. Despite the screen being brighter than most of the modern portable media players, it could not suppress the glares. Although the manufacturer has included USB connectivity, interfacing the device with your computer is going to mar the user experience. Thoughtfully, the product comes with a proprietary USB dock that must be used whenever you wish to transfer media files into the Archos 5.

Support for many video and audio codec makes it a pleasure to use this device. One can also read PDFs and text files with the same. If you are bored, you can spend some time trying your interesting games. It is better to check the official website for the newest firmware – the manufacturer incorporates additional features into the Archos 5 via these firmware updates. The same device (although enabled via suitable software) also supports High Definition (720p) playback of the video. The average pricing starts from $249 and increases according to the storage size.

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LDS Art and Media

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In 1986 – 1987 the Mormon church released films to the dating back from the 1940s to more contemporary. The films were placed in a series which is commonly called “Church Films”. These films were in a 27 VHS set. At this time not everybody had a VCR and DVDs were not invented. Most churches in North America were setup with a television and VCR. Each library was stocked with these films. They were available to the general public, however, most individual homes were not equipped with home theater systems. Most LDS church libraries still have these films or at least a portion of these films. Many youth in the 1980s and 1990s will remember “Johnny Lingo” or “The Phone Call”. However, these films did not actually replace filmstrips, an older technology, until the late 90s.

Films strips are 35 mm still framed images that are projected by light onto a wall or white screen. An audio tape provides the sound. When the slide needs to be changed you simply turn a dial on the projector, and a small beep or buzz indicates at what point during the presentation the slide needs to be changed.

As VHS tapes were replacing film strips, the Mormon church authorized some film strips be converted to VHS; they were just still images that were transitioned.

Many people think that LDS cinema started with the film “God’s Army”; however the LDS church has been producing films since the 1940s. These films might never have been released in conventional theaters, but film has been an important part of LDS culture for many years.

LDS films are a form of art. The LDS motion picture studio is located in Provo, Utah and actively creates films to this day. Many of these films can be seen in Salt Lake City as a way to introduce people to the Church. There have been three major films played exclusively in Salt Lake City.

  • “Legacy” – a film about the early pioneers
  • “Testaments” – a historical drama of Christ’s visit to the America’s from the Book of Mormon
  • “Joseph Smith The Prophet of the Restoration” – a film on the life of the Prophet Joseph Smith

LDS art can be in many forms, and one great form of art is film. LDS people love film and believe that it is a medium for sharing their faith with others as well as to strengthen their own testimonies.

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Digital TV Antenna Basics

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You may laugh and say that TV antennas are a leftover from a forgotten time. With your 500 channel satellite package or your 14 premium cable movie channels, you’d be right to scoff. Until you get your bill. Many viewers are embracing digital TV antennas to get the same audio quality and stellar that you pay big bucks for; all for free. There are several advantages to OTA (over-the air) reception and I’ll discuss those along with how to choose the best antenna for HDTV in your area.

Broadcast HDTV channels are the best of the best

The digital television transition is bringing with it solutions to the 2 most annoying troubles of analog broadcasting; snow and picture ghosting. Digital TV channels allow for a crisp, ghost-free picture and clear sound. All local content is not yet broadcast in HDTV, so it’s typical for stations to broadcast their digital TV channels in standard definition during the day and switch to a full widescreen HDTV broadcast during the “prime time” hours.

If you’ve never experienced what a digital TV antenna can do for you, here are a few reasons to consider one:

  • Over-the-air (OTA) digital TV channels are free. With the exception of the costs you incur for your antenna, receiving digital stations with an HDTV antenna is free.
  • You get access to all your local channels. Many satellite and cable companies will not carry all of the local stations in your area. On many systems, you have access to some of your local stations in exchange for an extra monthly fee.
  • Free access to out of town stations. It’s possible that with the right equipment you can receive out of town stations and often be able to catch sporting events that are “blacked out” in your area.
  • Local digital TV channels are everywhere. Although the largest concentration of digital TV stations are in metropolitan areas, 90% of US viewers can easily get 6 or more digital TV channels.
  • OTA reception has the best picture quality. While your satellite or cable company may offer 500 channels, this comes with a price. They use data compression techniques that lower the audio and image quality of your broadcast often adding distortion or artifacts.

Of course in addition to your HDTV antenna, you will also need some sort of HDTV tuner to receive these digital TV channels, more often than not on newer TVs this ability is already built in. If you have an “integrated” HDTV, or it mentions an ATSC tuner, you are ready to rock. Also, if you currently subscribe to an HDTV package from DISH or DIRECTV, your receiver almost certainly includes an over-the-air HDTV tuner.

Finding your OTA digital TV channels

One of the best ways to find specific digital TV information for your address is the AntennaWeb.org website. You simply put in your address and it will return a list of the digital stations in your area. It allows you to look at both analog and digital TV stations in your area, or you can filter it to show digital broadcasts only. Since many stations broadcast from the same area, they will be clustered together on your results page. Now that you know what digital TV channels are available in your area, it’s time to pick your antenna.

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22 Tips on What to Wear For a TV Interview

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Recently one of my author clients was featured on FOX News Boston. Before he was interviewed on camera he was nervous but was able to recall the media training that we put him through a few weeks earlier. That, along with a pep talk, and he was good to go.

What about YOU? Are you ready to be interviewed by local or national TV? If you’ve not had media training, believe me it’s too late once you get the call. You may have to get in a car or on a plane within an hour’s notice. It’s too late to get the training then. That’s why you need to be prepared before you get the call.

My experience as a publicist has convinced me that one of the greatest concerns about being interviewed on television is what to wear. For radio or newspaper interviews, fashion doesn’t matter but how you appear is critical for TV. When my clients agree to media coaching, my first choice for them to work with is TJ Walker, CEO of Media Training Worldwide.

TJ Walker is one of the leading authorities on media training in the world. With more than 20 years of media training experience, Walker has trained thousands of CEOs, authors, and experts, including leading government officials in the United States, European Prime Ministers, and African diplomats.

Here’s a quick list of “What to Wear and Not Wear!” that TJ Walker and other media coaches have developed that I share with you now so you can look terrific for your TV interview.

1. Don’t wear white, black or red. White glows and becomes the most noticeable thing on the TV screen. Black is too harsh and can suck up all the light. Reds “bleed” on camera and are distracting.

2. Pastel shirts work well on TV.

3. The safest color on TV is blue.

4. Don’t wear dangly earrings. They distract.

5. Remove jewelry that moves, makes noise, or could hit your microphone.

6. Be wrinkle-free.

7. Don’t wear stripes, herringbone, small intricate designs, or flashy jewelry. They are hard for a TV camera to pick up on.

8. Don’t wear checks.

9. Dress in a simple, boring manner, unless you are a fashion designer.

10. TV viewers should focus on your face and what you say, not your clothes.

11. Men should have about an inch of their shirt cuff showing.

12. Avoid light colored pants.

13. Wear over-the-calf socks so your skin doesn’t show if you cross your legs.

14. Don’t wear more than one ring per hand.

15. Women shouldn’t wear short skirts if you want people to focus on your message.

16. If you wear a dark shirt, dark suit, and dark tie, you will look like you are auditioning to be a hit man on the “Sopranos.”

17. Vests look stuffy on TV.

18. Don’t wear stripes. They dance around on the screen and are distracting.

19. Avoid hair products that add shine.

20. No visible logos or companies or brands, except for your own company logo.

21. People shouldn’t judge you by your appearance, but they will.

22. If you do or wear anything distracting on TV, people will remember that and nothing you say.

Clothes are the major factor in controlling how you appear to viewers. While appearance is critical for success on television you also must be concerned about the words that come out of your mouth, the knowledge you display, and the self-confidence you demonstrate. Media coaches like TJ Walker and marketing experts like myself will make sure you are fully prepared for your big day!

The bottom line: RELAX, you’ll do fine. The butterflies you’re feeling are what will drive you to do your best! Remember, it’s not like they are going to ask you the square root of 656! They’re asking you about your book, your company, your story which you obviously know. Just follow these helpful tips, talk things over with your publicist and you’ll look as good as you sound.

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All Media Is Fiction

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All media is fiction. Every thing you see, hear and read, in print and on any screen anywhere is a fabrication that has been altered, edited, censored, and pointed towards a preconceived agenda. It is not true, it is not real, it is not the whole story by any stretch of the imagination-which it is, but it’s not really anyone’s imagination either.

It is a corporate product; a mind game conceived of by faceless committees meant to dupe anyone within view or earshot into complacent consumerism. It is calculated manipulation with no genuine content that can remotely be thought of as the truth. It only appears real after it has been focus grouped and cut to fit commercial standards, no matter how amateurish or incompetent the final results appear. It has been approved-and that alone determines it as fake.

From cartoons to pornography, from news to soap operas, to game shows and antacid commercials, it is all contrivance. You will never see anything truthful or even factual in the media. Even the weather is approximate. The weather is taped. File footage is not news. The latest trend is ‘reality’ TV not ‘truthful’ TV. There is no one in the media or Hollywood interested in the truth, regardless of being ‘breaking news’ or ‘based on a true story’. Truth is simply one buzzword among many used to conceal and distort reality.

By its very definition media cannot depict reality because media is not real. At its best it resembles the most pedestrian dinner theater; at its worst, it simply is what it is, a transmitter and signal. It is not a mirror, though it uses mirrors, lenses, cameras, tape, film, lights, overrated actors, make up, under appreciated writers, whatever. The fact is so obvious that making the very point becomes painfully tedious-and moot, since for all of the interactive, real time, ripped from the headlines, video game chat rooms, no one seems to care one bit. The entire investment is in making the delusions of others tangible in one’s own life. One must believe what one is fed through the media, or else…or else what?

Let me give an example. War. War is not real for you and me but it is for the people in a war zone. When we turn off the set or change the channel, all of that suddenly disappears. Reality does not suddenly disappear. If you’re of a certain age you remember what TV looked like before black people existed. If you’re of another age you remember what MTV looked like before black people existed. I suppose if you’re even older you remember what war looked like before black people existed. That was a long time ago, but my point is this; war looks like whatever the media tells you it looks like and that is war. Nowadays war looks like a video game, except, of course, to the people in the war.

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Hospitality IPTV – Adding Interactivity to Hotel TV

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Internet Protocol Television(IPTV) is creating a big impact on the mainstream TV industry. It has much wider applications than just in the entertainment field. In this article we shall take a peek at one such niche IPTV segment – the Hospitality industry, and how it can change the Hotel Guest user experience and benefit Hotel Operators.

Conventional Television systems in most of the hotels around the world offer two major features –

  • Live TV Channels
  • Movies on demand

Background

The features are limited by the coaxial cable TV technology that has been prevalent for the past 30 years. It broadcasts the TV media, meaning pre-scheduled programs are run irrespective of user’s individual preference on a particular channel. The provider offers a set of content and the user can tune to the choice of his/her channel.

Why change to IPTV? Existing analogue cable TV technology has limitations –

  • Poor Quality of TV channels
  • Lack of personalization for guests
  • No support for getting guest’s inputs
  • Limitations of number of TV channels offered
  • Lack of offering convenience to guests
  • No personalization of TV services
  • Inefficient utilization of the audio-visual medium to generate additional revenues

Hotel IPTV Technology

In the past 20 years the Internet has created a big impact in the user habits. Today most Hotels include the “Internet services” as part of their default offerings, though it may come at a small premium price. The Internet has made it possible for users to “search what they want” at the click of a mouse. The free flow of information gives users more choices and it has heightened the expectation levels. The IPTV technology can help Hotel operators to to offer wider options of infotainment and making the services more personalized for their guests.

Highlights

  • IPTV Channels
  • Video on demand (VOD)
  • Time shift TV
  • TV on demand
  • Games
  • Bookmarking
  • Personalized services
  • Infotainment
  • TCommerce – Interactive shopping

Guest Experience

The hotel IPTV system or Interactive TV can change the Guest experience in many ways. The most important areas it can create difference are –

  • Personalization of User Interface based on guest preferences
  • Localised infotainment platform
  • Ability to feedback to Hotel management

Benefits for Hotels

  • Better video and audio quality of the TV content
  • Improved customer satisfaction
  • Additional revenue sources
  • Tools that Improve quality and efficiency of room services and staff
  • Interactive Advertising platform for Hotel Services

In the next few articles we shall see each of these benefits in detail.

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Latest Trends in Smart TV – Could Apple Win?

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Smart TVs are television sets that can retrieve content from the Internet and offer built-in applications for streaming music and movies, apps for social networking, apps for news, weather, sports, games, YouTube and more. In addition to using apps, one of the most appealing factors for tech-savvy consumers is voice activation technology to control TV sets.

According to DisplaySearch, a leading provider of reliable information about the display-related industries, connected TVs are forecast to grow to over 123 million shipments in 2014 (at a 30% compound annual growth rate). The market is now developing beyond mature regions like Western Europe and Japan. Emerging markets play a major role in this growth. With the improvements in the broadband infrastructure, the adoption of connected TVs is a natural next step in TV feature innovation. Eastern Europe is expected to grow from 2.5 million connected TVs shipped in 2010 to over 10 million in 2014. In addition to that, 33% of flat panel TVs sold in China in 2013 will have the Internet capability.

DisplaySearch also forecasts that the connected TV market will become fragmented and increase in complexity. One group of TV sets is supposed to feature basic video on demand and appeal to consumers who expect television to remain a passive experience. Those who want something more substantial will find interesting other TV sets offering configurable apps, sophisticated search and navigation engines, as well as advanced user interfaces.

The main contemporary connected TV platforms include Samsung Smart TV, LG Smart TV, Mitsubishi Stream TV, Panasonic Viera Connect, Sony Bravia, Toshiba NetTV, Apple TV, Google TV, TiVo, Liberty Global’s Horizon and Yahoo! Connected TV. Samsung, with around 20 million apps downloaded by the end of January 2012, is the segment leader, followed by Panasonic and LG.

However, the biggest shake-up in the television industry is going to cause Apple’s much-talked-of TV set. It promises to revolutionize television like once the iPad hit the market. Steve Jobs was quoted in his official biography saying that he “finally cracked the case” of an integrated TV. The new iTV (alleged name) is expected to be completely easy to use, seamlessly synced with other Apple’s devices and with the iCloud. At the moment Apple with its $99 set-top box Apple TV seems to be doing very well, with 2.8 million units sold in 2011.

We are constantly hearing rumors related to the expected Apple’s product, its features, price, and release date. CLSA Group views Apple TV hardware as a 2013 event. According to the estimations of ITG Industry Investment Research, the new iTV set could increase the company’s market cap by 10%, or $60 billion. Apple, already the world’s most valuable company, has recently hit the $600 billion level.

Analyst Peter Misek from Jefferies, a global securities and investment banking group, doesn’t expect the device to be called iTV. He suggests the new television could be called “iPanel” which can reflect its potential as a hub for gaming, media and more. The iPanel name also follows the “iP” format of other Aplle’s products, like the iPod, iPhone and the iPad. However, it is just a guess from the analyst. Misek expects that an Apple television will have a $1,250 average selling price.

The success of Apple’s products, like the iPod, the iPhone, and iPad, are much about the design. The iTV (let’s take this name) is supposed to have superior quality and excellent design. The list of possible features includes the following ones:

  • An aluminum construction;
  • FaceTime video calling;
  • Siri-based remote voice control;
  • 42-inch HD screen;
  • iOS operating system;
  • iCloud support;
  • Control from the iPhone or the iPad;
  • Access to Netflix, YouTube, Flickr, etc. (same as on the existing Apple TV);
  • Content sharing and media streaming from Apple’s devices.

Obviously, we’ll soon witness the appearance of a new smart TV from Apple that is going to bring new changes to the TV market. And, yes, Apple may win!

Industries and Technology Areas:

Industries: mass media, television

Technology Areas: Smart TV, connected TV, Smart TV applications, TV application development, software development

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