August 19; Televised Champions In The Arena Speak For Millions
365 Daily Bible Verse &
One-Minute Management Lessons For The Busy Faithful


Chapter Eight: Communication; 19 August

Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves…

Proverbs 31:8a

Televised Champions In The Arena Speak For Millions

Talking Head

“The American people don’t believe anything until they see it on television,” said President Richard Nixon.

Charmaine_Yoest_CSPAN1She was selling the most challenging type of product — an intangible.

She was selling in the most challenging venue. Broadcast and cable television. Charmaine has been interviewed on each of the major news and debate outlets. The televised arguments are often maligned as ‘shouting shows’ (by those academics who are never invited).

It’s a big deal these days, but it was not always so,

Television viewing would never be popular it was claimed in 1939, because “it must take place in a darkened room, and demand continuous attention,” said Harvard Professor, Chester L. Dawes. (Manchester 1973) page 291

Today the manager and her company’s products must compete for attention in the marketplace. TV is the medium.

If you are marketing with success and making a difference in your business, you will be in demand as an on-air talent.

Get ready.

Here’s a compressed checklist Charmaine uses. It might be helpful for you for your big show-biz marketing break:

1) Talking points. Talk show host John McLaughlin will not allow any of his guests to have notes on the set. But a pro doesn’t need them. Your talking points, your elevator speech, will be memorized. The broader the audience — the simpler and narrower the message.

2) Practice. Roger Ailes, President of FOX News Channel, would evaluate a person’s likeability on camera by watching the performance on the TV. With the sound off. Ailes says that if, as he watched, he caught himself standing up to turn up the volume, he knew he had a client he could help. Most business marketing performances — presentations are learned, practiced behaviors.

3) Pre-interview. This is your audition where the booker/producer will run you through your paces. They claim they are looking for competence, of course. But this is show business — the producer is looking for entertainment. Are you personable? Are you likable? And can you still fit into the booker’s box. Remember, televised media is similar to print media reporters: the story is already written, already in the can. The writer or booker is merely looking for quotes. That’s why they’re called talking heads.

4) Logistics. Ask for the network to arrange for a car. Don’t burden your staff with driving — and directions.

5) Coach in Your Corner. Take your peeps with you — your entourage. This will give you a chance to practice your opening 8 second sound bites. Andrew Dice Clay would show up — joking and smoking — with his wife(!) two kids, publicist, agent, and assorted strap hangers. The driver and his dogs remained with the car.

6) Non-answer. You Don’t Have to Answer Questions. Especially if the segment is taped, you answer the question with the answer you want to convey. Your message. Remember, you do not have to be perfect. In 1940’s Fred Allen radio personality called television a medium because “nothing is well done.”

7) Time. The appearance is time consuming. Charmaines’s gig on Friday took up half a day. Here are numbers down the funnel:

3 hour notice

2 hours in traffic

25 minutes for makeup and mike-up

35 minutes taping

all for…

8 seconds of airtime

8) Cost/Benefit. Gore Vidal once said, “Never turn down a chance to have sex or to go on TV.” But it might not be worth it. (The TV part, I mean.) Only agree to an appearance if you can advance your agenda or as an expert witness.

There are some debates that cannot be debated. Or that you should not touch — outside your expertise or the interests of your company. There are a number of other topics that Your Business Blogger dare not put in print. And you never discuss in a short forum. Email me before you go on-air.

9) Feedback. Ask the producers and bookers how you did. Get a beta copy of the show or have your tech guy capture a digital copy. Get — no — demand, honest feedback. There is always something that can be improved.

10) Exploit. Be sure that your appearance is promoted. Clips of your appearances can be shown at board meetings. Company reports. Your bio. Your company blog and social media. This has become vital in our civilization,

In the early 1950’s Max Lerner said that television was, “the poor man’s luxury because it is his psychological necessity” Judges would agree: TV sets would not be seized by creditors for debts owed. (Manchester 1973) page 718

Mass televised media has become a public utility for delivering entertainment and information.

Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, Proverbs 31:8a



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8 Responses

  1. Molly M says:

    News media is currently in a perplexing state. With the lowest credibility ratings in years, and a president that decries reputable news organizations as “fake news,” there is almost no good way to go on TV and not be maligned by someone.

    These tips can be helpful to a point, but I think the most important part of being interviewed on TV is to be knowledgeable and truthful about your subject. So often cable news outlets tout big guests and interviews, only for that guest to dodge questions throughout the entire length of the segment, or have an inability to answer questions because of their knowledge base.

    Being interviewed on TV should not just be about getting a partisan message across, rather it should be to inform the audience. To do this, one should
    rely on facts relating to the topic, statistics from reputable sources, and a passion for the subject.

    It is yet to be seen where cable and network news go from here, but it will be intriguing to see how they handle a lack of trust and credibility

  2. Mike C says:

    Televised media is an exclusive medium that can be used for presenting individual (interview) and corporate brand recognition strategies. The goal is to inform, build awareness and reach a desired targeted demographic audience with a specific message. Messaging can be done for a product, service or as described in the article; to pitch or debate a political position or policy.

    The ability to reach millions of potential consumers exists. A brief summation or talking points must be crafted that will reach the intended audience and create a desire to listen, learn or buy.

    In the digital era, cable network affiliates continue to grow and expand into segmented markets. With the advent of the internet, live streaming and re-broadcasting can distribute your message 24/7. The web network is a very successful way of disseminating information. It is becoming more targeted (specialized audience) using demographic research. Ultimately, the message must be worthy of grabbing social or public interest and attention in a few seconds before the consumer skips to the next channel or website.

    Amateur and professional subject matter experts can deliver televised or video-based messages. The article highlights a few key ideas should I ever find myself passionate about a subject or become a subject matter expert in front of a camera. Will this day ever come?

  3. Lauren R says:

    News media–whether it be print, television, or radio–is inundated with people who call themselves experts, regardless of whether or not they actually deserve that title or not.

    We don’t have our Walter Cronkites or Dan Rathers anymore. Instead, you find the news inundated with so-called experts whom, if you were to cite one in an academic paper, you’d probably get dinged for posting an unreliable, biased source. It seems as if people no longer go on television to educate, inspire, and inform. Instead, you find most “talking heads” have one agenda and one agenda only: theirs.

    Regardless of politics, the public would greatly benefit from talking heads who weren’t afraid to be honest, truthful, and ethical in their communications, even if that truth doesn’t necessarily jive with their interests. At this point in class, one of the main takeaways I’ve gotten is how critical communication is; how communication, in every form, is what connects people, inspires people, and can either separate us or draw us together. In today’s media, it seems as if the modus operendi is the former as opposed to the later, unfortunately.

    It’s that selfishness, that inability to care whether or not the carefully crafted sound bites you delivered will have a positive or negative impact on people who genuinely don’t have a clue that underscores the problem with today’s media. Anyone who is visually appealing and can seemingly string a sentence together can get on television. However, in class, we talked about the importance of telling stories and using communication to convey positive, clear, ethical (if I could italicize the word, I would), and informative messages. Maybe these television personas should take this class.

    The tidbit about Roger Ailes stuck with me and speaks to the heart of the matter–your ability to make an impact in news isn’t necessarily based on your credibility, expertise, or honesty. Rather, it’s whether you can look entertaining enough without the sound off. This diluting of news does an enormous amount of damage to a general public who has proved themselves easily distracted by shiny things and bored with more intellectual messaging.

    Unfortunately, this phenomenon has been a long-time coming. Take, for example, the first televised presidential debate between JFK and Nixon. JFK is no shabby orator but I rarely hear what policy positions he or Nixon took during the debate. Rather, the memory that sticks in everyone’s minds is the visual of a young, bright, attractive Kennedy on stage next to a sweaty, stooped, older Nixon. Maybe that was the beginning of the end for an honest news media? Now, the question is: how do we take back our news so that it serves us instead of serving talking heads?

  4. Arturo Mancilla says:

    TV ads are still a key marketing source for managers in businesses. According to a study done by CNBC; Catalyst Google, Facebook and Netflix spent more than 60% of their marketing budgets on TV ads. Brands believe that advertising in TV creates, builds and makes brands grow. It keeps products on your mind for a long period of time. On the other hand, other advertising campaigns such as newspapers may not be as effective. Companies are now spending their budget on social media rather than on other medias, which used to be very popular 10 years ago such as newspaper, TV and radio.
    Managers nowadays may have different focus when spending budgets on advertising campaigns. The significant growth of smartphone and technology usage is leading companies to spend more money on Internet advertising. Social media is now helping to “spread the word” with friends and family.
    I believe that over time, technology and social media will probably make a stronger impact on customers than TV ads. However, it is smarter to keep investing on TV ads because they are more likely to be encoded in the long-term memory of your target group.

  5. “Mass televised media has become a public utility for delivering entertainment and information..”

    Television, radio, movies, the Internet and print extend their influence upon our culture, our behavior and our brains. What is behind the powerful force of modern media?

    We are witnessing a major cultural revolution that is having an incredible impact on our society. Yet, despite numerous warnings, few seem to understand what is really going on or where this surging wave of social change is taking us.

    In the last 50 years the electronic media—radio, television, movies, video games and now the Internet—have enveloped the globe and transformed nearly every aspect of our lives.
    However, this incredible power has a darker side. Because of its tremendous potential to influence culture, television is the most “effective propaganda vehicle” available today.

    Just how did the electronic media take over the world? What drives the spread and acceptance of this powerful medium? The bottom line is: money.
    When money takes over, truth, integrity and social responsibility of reporting to the public takes a back seat.

    Through it all, I have missed Harry Reasoner, Huntley and Brinkley who during those times gave us well rounded and informative news. We were given real news and not fake news. This is the type of news I wanted to listen to. You could rely on those reporters to exhibit professionalism, integrity and determination to do a job that was well done.

    If you are in the sales and advertising industry, tv reach is a major advantage with tv ads. Advertisers have the best chance to reach a large audience through television. Reach is the total number of people exposed to your advertising message. It is not uncommon for the most highly rated prme-time television shows to have 20 to 30 viewers on a given night.

    More than a generation ago, Marshall McLuhan predicted that television would bring us together into a “global village”. Today, with satellites and other technologies making it easier for television to cross borders, we are closer to that vision than ever. Our world is more and more a single “information society”, and television, as the world’s most powerful medium of communication, is a key part of that society.

    Television can be a tremendous force for good. It can educate great numbers of people about the world around them. It can show us how much we have in common with our neighbours, near and far. And, it can shed light on the dark corners, where ignorance and hatred fester. The television industry is also in a unique position to promote mutual understanding and tolerance -– with content that tells the stories not just about the powerful, but about the powerless, and not just about life in the world’s richest pockets, but also in the developing countries that are home to the majority of the world’s population. (United Nations World’ Television Day 2003)

  6. Debby L says:

    After reading the professor’s article, I was reminded of the 1960’s song “The Sound of Silence.” Towards the end of the song, Simon and Garfunkel sings “and the people bowed and prayed, to the neon god they made.” There isn’t much information in the song to define “neon god,” but it’s safe to assume they are speaking of television and the evolution of the entertainment industry. (

    Television has revolutionized the way we receive entertainment and information, to the point that some people idolize public figures that share their opinions on specific television programs or networks. There’s no doubt that there’s a myriad of television programs out there, each tailored to a specific audience. This presents a difficult situation for the audience who now has TOO MUCH information. Unfortunately, there’s a one-way interaction, in that, information is transferred in one direction: towards the audience. The TV presenter doesn’t “know” who the audience will be so they must always appear presentable and credible, in a limited amount of time.

    For those using television as a medium to convey message, they must consider the content they’re presenting. It’s one thing to appear “presentable” by doing hair and makeup, but the content must be relevant and relatable to the viewer. If you don’t have all these elements, you will miss out on successfully communicating your message to the intended audience.

  7. JMK says:

    The tips provided in the article are very helpful and they should be followed when interviewing or marketing an organization’s product on TV. TV has been an important marketing medium for decades; however, it is becoming less usable by many businesses nowadays.

    Marketing has changed drastically and become less reliant on informing the buyer and more focusing on building a two-way relationship with them; therefore, marketers started to use a more interactive tool in marketing their organizations products, which is the social media.

    Social media not only allows building that relationship with customers, but also it is a cheaper, quicker and more effective marketing medium than traditional marketing mediums like TV. Therefore, in my opinion, the use of TV in marketing will continue decreasing in the next few years and social media will be the leading marketing tool.

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