Relating via TV

A few weeks ago we had folks from the Leadership Institute to teach a class for some of the staff on media relations and messaging.  The instructor/facilitator for the 1 1/2 day class was Beverly Halberg of the District Media Group:

District Media Group (DMG) will help you develop the skills and confidence necessary to interview with impact. Learn the proven techniques to present your “best self” on camera and maximize every interview opportunity.

Source: District Media Group | Turning complex issues into simple conversations

Beverly did a great job of walking us through the preparation process for both live and recorded interviews, and how we should structure and time our answers.  We spent a good part of the day doing mock interviews, which were recorded, and critiquing ourselves and each other.  The first run though I was amazed at how out of practice I was at putting together concise answers in front of a camera.  The second set was much better and when I had a taped TV interview the following week it went much better because of it.

One of the striking thoughts in doing interviews is realizing that when you’re on camera you and the reporter do not likely have the same goals.  That doesn’t mean that the interviewer is an enemy, but in some sense (like in a chess game, for example) he or she is an adversary.  The goal of the TV interview is to provide a good story that will attract viewers and ratings.  The goal of the person being interviewed is to accurately represent his or her topic or organization.  Sometimes those goals are parallel, and other times they’re not.  So things like not answering every question just as it’s asked, while rude in everyday conversation, need to be considered so that your goals in the interview can be accomplished.

I highly recommend District Media Group if you want to up your media relations and public relations game.  Beverly was a great facilitator and was able to grasp what we do and how to communicate it very quickly, and had a ton of practical advice for us going forward.

I’m Not Sure I Could

Fun article from a few months back in the WaPo:

The panel cited minimal health risks associated with drinking between three and five cups per day. It also said that consuming as many as five cups of coffee each day (400 mg) is tied to several health benefits, including a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.

“We saw that coffee has a lot of health benefits,” said Miriam Nelson, a professor at Tufts University and one of the committee’s members. “Specifically when you’re drinking more than a couple cups per day.”

via It’s official: Americans should drink more coffee – The Washington Post.


I could drink more coffee, but I don’t think it would be wise. I’m right on the edge of “not quite an addict” and nowhere near “sorry I don’t drink coffee.”

It’s always fun when science, at least for this month, validates a life choice as healthy. Don’t count on it happening too often.

Police Misconduct: The Worst Case in October | Cato @ Liberty

These stories always make me cry…there are good cops out there but the system is currently working against law abiding citizens holding rights.  What happened to Mr. Hooks in this story could happen to anyone:

Some of the rounds were shot blindly through a wall at Hooks, without regard for whom or what they were firing at and killing. As you might expect from a search warrant based almost entirely on the tip of a meth addict who may or may not have been high when giving it, a 44-hour search of the Hooks home produced absolutely no contraband whatsoever.

via Police Misconduct: The Worst Case in October | Cato @ Liberty.

In the News…My Bradley Cohort!

Today I head in for my last session of Global Environment and Issues where we’ll debrief from the India Trip.  And so it seems appropriate to post some news items related to our presentation at the Tirupur Exporters Association.  Here’s a snippet from on at Business Standard:

The strategy was developed by Rajesh Iyer, an associate professor of marketing and director of the international business programme at Foster College of Business, Bradley University, Illinois, and his Executive MBA students.

A list of recommendations was developed after the students gathered primary and secondary data from potential and existing customers, conducted market research to understand the customer, and performed analyses relating to competitor overviews, mode of entry, and marketing strategies, Iyer said.

via US varsity crafts business plan for Tirupur exporters | Business Standard News.

Oh and here’s two most of you won’t be able to read:

TEA Article 2

TEA Article 1

Memories Can Fool You

What is below is a snippet from a “political” article about the Affordable Care Act and the recent DC Circuit decision.  Most of the article, though, is about better discourse and the way memories work, and I think it’s worth your time to read, no matter what your opinion is about the new health care law.  Enjoy!

This is particularly true when there is an answer people very much want to get to. It’s called hindsight bias: Once we know the “correct” answer, we tend to believe that we would have figured that out even without being told. In fact, if we’re asked to predict the answer in advance, we will often edit our memories of what we did believe, to show that “we knew it all along.” This is not a conscious attempt to deceive someone else; it is part of the mind’s unconscious mechanisms for deceiving itself. Elizabeth Loftus theorizes that this has self-protective functions, helping to tamp down distressing memories and boosting our self-esteem. But of course this mechanism probably gets a powerful boost when you add in the sort of motivated cognition that we see around political topics.

via What We’ve Forgotten About Obamacare – Bloomberg View.

Trendy=Poor Investment

Last weekend in marketing class Dr. Bond made a comment about being aware of when you get into a market.  Nobody would have given capital towards a big investment in knockoff Pet Rocks or Beanie Babies because it was obvious that they were going to fizzle quickly.

A market which is dependent on a trend continuing for a long time probably isn’t a good place to invest.  Certain trends can be counted on to continue for a while, but most cannot.  If something is trendy, it lacks depth as an investment as a new market entry.  At least it most likely does.  Consider a more recent trendy investment, Alpaca ranching:

How did prices get so high? The U.S. alpaca market is a classic example of a commodity bubble, like the Dutch tulip bubble of the seventeenth century. As with any bubble, explaining the irrational behavior of the investors in the market is not entirely possible. Part of the explanation is television advertisements like this one, which exploit the elderly and uninformed. Saitone and Sexton write that most of the speculators were smallholders and amateurs without access to objective agronomic analysis, and that other species of livestock that inexperienced farmers can raise in a backyard have also generated bubbles, such as emus, ostriches, chinchillas, Merino sheep, Shetland ponies and Berkshire hogs. They also note that there is no way to short an alpaca as you would a stock, which removes one check on the exuberance of the market.

via What alpaca ranching in rural Oregon reveals about fraud and finance.

People lost their shirts on this.  I read about this a while back because some family members were getting into it.*  My skepticism on the investment was that it costs more to feed and take care of an alpaca than the fleece is worth, not counting the amortization of the initial investment, which isn’t small.  The goal, I was told, isn’t to sell the fleece but to raise and breed and to sell the offspring to other breeders.  It struck me a lot like a multi-level marketing thing, which I tend to be really skeptical of since people who get in near the end of one of those tend to go broke while others get rich if they got in early.  And now you read stories like the one above where people are abandoning their animals to the elements because it’s hard to give them away when you realize you’ve lost your investment and don’t want to sink any more money into them.

So be careful about anything where you can make “a lot of money, quickly, with little effort.”  It may actually be too good to be true.   Especially be wary if it’s “trendy.”



*These are relatives that I had no reason to believe would listen to my financial advice, by the way, so I didn’t lend it.  I hope if any of them are reading they won’t consider this a version of “I told you so.”   Predicting the future of a market is a dicey game and so I don’t tend to give financial advice to others unless they ask, and before my EMBA program I would have been a lot less knowledgeable or credible on the advice in the first place.

Liberty, Equality, Discrimination

Last week a bill went through the Arizona legislature (later vetoed by the governor) that received quite a bit of national criticism.  The bill (SB1062, that’s a link to the actual bill text) was, depending on who you listened to either going to:

  1. Cause widespread, awful discrimination against gays
  2. [or] protect religious people from being forced to perform acts that violate their consciences

The impetus for the bill, according to some legislators and proponents, is to keep what happened to a photographer in New Mexico and a baker in Oregon from happening in Arizona.  This is a knotty issue, to be sure, because discrimination is a difficult nut to crack.  Here’s something a pro-gay marriage libertarian over at the Cato Institute wrote last week:

The prototypical scenario that SB 1062 is meant to prevent is the case of the New Mexico wedding photographer who was fined for declining to work a same-sex commitment ceremony. This photographer doesn’t refuse to provide services to gay clients, but felt that she couldn’t participate in the celebration of a gay wedding. There’s also the Oregon bakery that closed rather than having to provide wedding cakes for same-sex ceremonies. Why should these people be forced to engage in activity that violates their religious beliefs?

For that matter, gay photographers and bakers shouldn’t be forced to work religious celebrations, Jews shouldn’t be forced to work Nazi rallies, and environmentalists shouldn’t be forced to work job fairs in logging communities. This isn’t the Jim Crow South; there are plenty of wedding photographers – over 100 in Albuquerque – and bakeries who would be willing to do business regardless of sexual orientation, and no state is enforcing segregation laws. I bet plenty of Arizona businesses would and do see more customers if they advertised that they welcomed the LGBT community.

via For Marriage Equality, Religious Liberty, and the Freedom of Association | Cato @ Liberty.

The big issue here, from a liberty standpoint, is where does it stop?  Certainly I have a lot of sympathy for the two business owners who share my religious views, but I would be just as opposed to a gay photographer being forced to photograph a ceremony at Westboro Baptist Church.  The bill in question was a minor amendment to the Religious Freedom and Restoration Act (RFRA) for Arizona, which many states and the federal government have passed.  The federal law was signed by President Clinton.  The words “refuse service” and “gay” did not appear in the bill, but that did not change the national media’s characterization of the bill.

Even many people who support allowing the word marriage to be applied to same-sex relationships understand that there are lines that should not be crossed for personal liberties.  Sadly, there is another agenda at play here, and there are those who will suffer for conscience’s sake in a land that once protected religious freedom.  Freedom protects many things that you or I may disagree with, and in some sense freedom even protects someone’s right to do something foolish or outright stupid.

An issue where strong Christians and true libertarians agree:  No one should be compelled to serve against their personal convictions.