Should your company attract the attentions of the national media an appearance on live television could prove unavoidable. Yet how do you avoid the infamy that one ill-timed remark can afford?
Help is at hand. Diana Mather, author of Surviving The Media (published in February by HarperCollins), offers the untutored advice on how to turn in a performance more worthy of Oliver North than Oliver Reed. Some of it is routine stuff - don't, for example, drink heavily beforehand or confide in studio staff that your plant is an ecological time bomb. Some, however, is distinctly Zen. To achieve a calm, authoritative voice, for example, Mather recommends breathing in while humming: 'Fill the passages in your head, feel the head throbbing.' If this fails, arm swinging, wrist shaking, and sticking out your tongue can all apparently work wonders before going on air. For those who baulk at such methods, the alternative can be the kind of public relations disaster that becomes an albatross for its owner. Gaffes, as Gerald Ratner needs no reminding, are expensive things.