Why do experienced news guests screw up?
Former Senator Phil Gramm, a top economic advisor to John McCain , told us the only recession was a "mental recession" and called Americans "whiners." (He later said he was referring to the news media.)
How could two intelligent, articulate, media savvy guys get in so much trouble? Why does any spokesperson who "should know better" slip up?
The famous Pogo cartoon of several years ago suggests the answer. "I have met the enemy, and he is us."
In 3 decades working with the news media, I've observed 5 conditions that trigger most self-destructive media interview behavior. These 5 also
wreak havoc in many business and personal communication situations, as well.
As a media trainer or communications adviser, you can warn the client about these conditions.
You can create mock exercises to give the client practice in controlling the situation.
Sometimes you can plan around the situation.
But ultimately, the client decides whether to keep the trigger lock on and remain safe...Or to remove the trigger lock and become his or her own worst enemy.
We'll examine the 5 trigger conditions later this week in Part 2.