Monday, October 1, 2018

This morning it begins! Zone 1 is first up; Tuesday is Zone 4 (see weekly recycling schedule below).

Get prepared for press and news media ahead of this week’s change in recycling methods in the City of Lake Worth.

How to do a TV news or
press interview.

Two very easy-to-learn and highly
effective techniques.

Those two very easy techniques explaining how to do a press and/or TV news interview is a little later in this blog post. And also explained below is how to handle the hostile reporter and those asking leading questions trying to get a certain answer or a misleading quote.

So why is learning how to an interview important?

This is why:

There will be a lot of press and news media here in the City of Lake Worth starting tomorrow (Monday) and all week interviewing people who are upset and maybe claiming they were unaware of the change in recycling methods in this City, going from single- to double-stream recycling.

The Solid Waste Authority has been getting information out to the public about this change in recycling methods and this has also been national news in the industry publication called Waste Dive, an article by journalist Katie Pyzyk. Some local press and media outlets have picked up on this story. Others have not. But it will be a very big story next week.

One can say the public has been informed. But there will always be some who are not informed. Or claim they were not informed.

Here is the schedule for next week, where to expect the press and news media scouring for interviews with the public:

  • Monday: Zone 1.
  • Tuesday: Zone 4.
  • Wednesday: No recycling pickup.
  • Thursday: Zone 2.
  • Friday: Zone 3.

In this City each “Zone” is the same as a Commission District. To see the map of Zones/Districts 1–4 click on this link.

Without further ado. . .

Once Again.
A Timely Lesson.

This blog post includes instructional videos (see below), and according to feedback from my readers, many have found this information to be very helpful. Two years ago prior to the City of Lake Worth’s Neighborhood Road Bond referendum in Nov. 2016 a certain member of the local press (to go unnamed) was showing up around the City trying to get negative responses and spin the referendum in a very negative way.

That effort, am happy to report, ended up in vain. The referendum to fix our roads and potholes passed by a whopping 69%. But the problem remained: When a reporter is bent on spinning an issue negatively or making the City look bad, how should the unsuspecting public react?

For example, have you or someone you know ever been approached by a reporter asking for comment and maybe were surprised to see on TV or in the paper your positive comments went unreported but the one negative thing you said is what appeared in the news!

Or. . . Are you a seasoned pro dealing with the press and news media? How does one quickly teach the average person in the public how to give a TV news or press interview? It’s easy!

Rephrase the question
Give to Get.

To learn these two very effective techniques. . .

All you need to practice and become proficient is
a full-body mirror and 10 minutes a day.

Understand that most reporters in TV news and the press are a good bunch and highly professional. When you see a reporter don’t hesitate to walk up and say, “Hi” and strike up a conversation. If they’re in a hurry the best of the best will hand you a card and apologize for not being able to stay.

Keep the card handy to contact the
reporter later on.*

A little trick: Most of the time you’ll find the video crew or an intern following along to be very polite and respectful. Sometimes the best way to get information to a reporter is to “bend the ear” of the crew or intern. They’ll pass that information on if he or she thinks it’s important to get the story narrative correct.

But what do you do if you’re approached by a reporter asking leading, hostile questions?

First pause for a moment! Never respond quickly. Take your time and think it out for a moment. Then. . .

  • “Rephrase the question”
  • “Give to Get”

This short 2-minute video explains how these techniques work:

Don’t let any of the press or the media “spin” what is happening in and around our little City. Try this technique if a reporter approaches and asks you a leading question: Take a deep breath, pause, and remember what to do.

Rephrase the question and then “Give to Get”. 

Now for another example: A news crew showed up at Lake Worth City Hall (see video below) during the discussion at the City Commission about moving forward with the referendum to fix the roads and potholes late in 2016. However, despite all the efforts by one particular former commissioner to put a negative “spin” on the referendum, he failed. That referendum later passed overwhelmingly with 69% saying, “Yes” to the bond.

The positive messages won the day at
that Commission meeting.

If you see an interview in progress and hear false and/or misleading information being given to a reporter don’t hesitate to walk up and get the facts out. Approach the reporter and ask to be interviewed and remember to be polite, respectful, stay calm, and don’t get too excited. Just stick to the facts.

However, study the body language closely in the video below of a former commissioner, Chris McVoy, PhD, who opposed the Neighborhood Road Bond in 2016, e.g., the hand gestures, posture, reassuring facial expressions, smiles, and try using these techniques the next time you’re interviewed by the media and press (please note, if you’re short on time, watch this three-minute segment of the video below and practice these techniques yourself in front of a mirror).

FYI: The TV news reporter in the video above is Kathleen Walter, formerly at CBS12 (WPEC). Walter is now the spokeswoman for the City of West Palm Beach. The news report produced by CBS12 in Oct. 2016 was very fair and accurate leaving out the open-ended questions posed by those interviewed and keeping to the facts.

*When interviewed by the TV news or press ALWAYS GET THE REPORTERS CONTACT INFORMATION, either a business card or write down their phone number and/or email. When the news hits the print edition or airs on TV and there is a reporting error you want that corrected as soon as possible.