Friday, July 17, 2009

The Art of the Sound Bite

My pal Rachel Weingarten talked about the future of Crocs on "The Today Show" this morning and in yesterday's Washington Post and while it was fun to see her on TV, it was more fun reading her comments in the Post:

++ Maybe in a decade nostalgia will set in, said Weingarten, author of "Career and Corporate Cool." Then a pair of hot-pink Crocs dug from the back of the closet might inspire misty-eyed memories: "Remember when we had ugly, Flintstone-looking feet?" ++

Rachel does lots and lots of media interviews and I'm sure that while part of her appeal as a source is that she can provide informed commentary on a wide range of topics, an equally big component is her ability to deliver great sound bites. She can be counted on to say something clever, ironic, funny, or thought-provoking. While someone else might have said to the reporter, "Crocs were a fad whose time has come and gone," Rachel says that in a way that is so much more entertaining. Flintstone feet? It's perfect.

I'm going to twist Rachel's arm to do a Q&A here on how to talk to the media in sound bites -- it doesn't come naturally for everybody -- but in the meantime, how do you approach the process?


Anonymous said...

Sandy, I'm honored to have inspired the post and would be happy to do the Q&A, no arm twisting or Croc wearing necessary.


Pam Perry, PR Coach said...

I look forward to the Sound Bite session too.

Cara Lopez Lee said...

I spent 10 years as a TV reporter, anchor and producer, and I can attest: you'll create a more dynamic public image if you learn to sprinkle colorful phrases throughout your answers, which still honestly represent your overall philosophy, approach or idea. TV news is limited on time, and if you don't break your ideas down into bite-size pieces, reporters will do it for you, sometimes in ways that will disappoint you. Great reminder, thanks!

Cara Lopez Lee
Author of ”They Only Eat Their Husbands”, a memoir, coming soon from Ghost Road Press

Sandra Beckwith said...

You are so right about the potential for disappointment, Cara. Thanks for your helpful comments here! By the way, you've got a GREAT book title!