Tuesday, March 26, 2013

What Every C.E.O. Can Learn from the Movie "PHIL SPECTOR"

Reading Time:  one minute

Don’t miss the HBO movie “Phil Spector” starring Al Pacino and Helen Mirren, not for the convincing portrayal of an egomaniac rock legend but for the back-story on his murder trial.

For me the best scene was his attorney’s mock courtroom cross-examination of Spector, subjecting him to what was surely going to happen in his real trial. 

The actors in the mock-trial challenge Spector in every possible way, cross-examining him to the point of breaking.  Pacino’s depiction of Spector’s meltdown was classic, with even his character realizing that his team’s grilling showed his weaknesses as a witness.

Which is exactly what we do in media training.             

 Our clients aren’t facing life in jail on murder charges but a trial of a different sort in the media and the court of public opinion.  

Our job is to dig deep and find every possible weakness, subjecting those clients to realistic but challenging interview role playing.  Our mock interviews (on-camera and for print) are probably harder than they’ll ever get from real reporters.

That role playing and the subsequent critique give us a chance to anticipate real reporters’ challenging questions and hone the best answers possible.  We tell our clients to never lie, but to focus on the story they’d like to tell.

That’s what good media training should be:  not “charm school”, but facing the tough issues head-on.


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