Sitting in a conference room watching her conduct a mock interview with C5 Georgia Executive Director Jeff Cohen, I am reminded that Jean Creech-Avent, Vice President at Write2Market, is herself an industry leader in her field of expertise–public relations. I have been through media training as a collegiate athlete, but the constructive criticisms she offered Jeff were immensely more helpful and surprisingly simple.
Jeff has his “elevator speech” down when it comes to explaining what C5 Georgia does for youth living and learning in challenging environments. His face tensed as he articulated every last detail of the C5 Georgia program–in his first answer. After his first mock-interview attempt, Jean had Jeff change his approach ever so slightly, but it made all of the difference in the world.
Jean advised Jeff not to try to answer all of the interviewer’s questions before they are asked. After applying this advice to his interview and seeing the difference that it made, Jeff said he planned to use this approach in his “elevator speech” as well.
By giving Jeff permission to touch on C5 Georgia’s core message without going into every detail immediately, Jean’s advice allowed Jeff to open the interview up to a dialogue–not a monologue. Jean and Jeff’s interview became an easy, yet incredibly insightful conversation about the work that Jeff loves to do. Jeff’s face relaxed as he became more comfortable with the interview. He found that he no longer had to cringe to remember the points he wanted to make because they came out naturally in the conversation.
Watching the second interview was more enjoyable and Jeff seemed more approachable than in the previous interview. He seemed friendlier. As the viewer, I was able to see myself having an in-depth conversation about C5 Georgia with Jeff if I ever ran into him, say, on the elevator.
See how Jean’s media training paid off in an excellent local news interview with C5 Georgia’s Program Director Mashona Council by clicking on this link.