Sound-bites and what counts for every media


The bottom line is – you could get with crowd into some magnificent, inspiring places by communicating directly, but still be ridiculed through a sound-bite that media distilled/created from your message. And it could be done not really on purpose.

There are two main thoughts I want you to consider. First one is a time-span of your audience being fully aware (opposed to be bored or drifting away with thoughts) of what you are saying in direct conversation/direct public speaking. The second is similar – what part of your message will eventually be remembered/sold by news anchor.

The trick is to make your message engaging, interesting or… shorter, when you speak directly to people so it (the message) could successfully affect them. Some may argue that subliminal messaging could work, but it is always a good (and proven) idea to make people focused on you and then eventually enter some subliminal content. One of the best ideas of how to focus audience attention back to message is a joke or anecdote. You need more of them the more you presume audience is not interested in topic you’re covering. Good rule of thumb – one every 7-8 minutes in 30 minutes talk. Other great idea is to equip your topic with a context – a story, practical examples, some interesting metaphors or catchy one-liners. Next one is a concept of not overloading your message – keep things simple as long as possible. Put a minimalistic structure and explain it to your audience. Make your talk easy to digest intellectually. Say what are you going to say, say it and then say what you just said.

What do media want? A sellable one-liners/sound-bites that draw attention and provoke reaction. Positive, negative, whatever, it has to be media-friendly. Tabloidization is real even in “serious journals” and you have choice – deny it and suffer or accept it and deal with issue. Generally speaking – as we will be surrounded with more and more useless information the more aggressive titles will become. Hence be aware that if your words could be taken out of context they are most certainly going to be taken that way. Prepare your message, equip it with some good lines to quote, put a short press release ready just to copy-paste and ease-up work for journalists that way – befriend the beast rather than fight with it. Answer some few simple questions – who, what, why, how and what was the effect, put some eloquent ready-to-quote line there and be open to follow up questions. Journalists working with you will like it, cause their work is easier, you will like it, because you still have some of the control over message, and the message itself will ultimately be more successful whatever its purpose is.

Whether you’re active blogger or just consuming you effectively “make” the media. What is your take on this topic? Please, share.

In the meantime, take care

– Przemek Kucia

P.S. This may not be very informative, but it’s very media-friendly this video underneath 🙂

4 thoughts on “Sound-bites and what counts for every media

  1. tracycembor says:

    I got so uncomfortable watching the first minute of the video that I almost stopped. I’m so glad that I didn’t. The video was hysterical.

    Social media is a mysterious creature. An author whom I enjoy, Jim C Hines, discusses many issues on his blog. He did one post about improbable positions women pose in on genre fiction covers, and the Internet nominated him to make that his cause. He could have been upset about it, but instead he embraces it and uses his influence to raise money for charity.

    • Przemek Kucia says:

      Ohh, you have a great point there. Think about Baauer – artist behind Harlem Shake, does he really appreciate that his music is so popular only because of internet joke? Yet he has to deal with it and make most out of it despite being defined by meme.

  2. Cristina P. says:

    Hi, well as far as I remeber from my comm classes and my direct experience, infotainment gets really well with the media. You may have a one-hour press conference and the headline in the news may just be about the precise room in which the conference was held or the last joke on the menu, so it depends. In Romania, the more exceptional your information is, the more likely it’s going to get through, but it’s not always about tabloidization. It’s up to the media-maker to know what exceptional looks like in a particular context. So, you just have to be creative.

  3. Przemek Kucia says:

    There is nearly infinite amount of possible courses of events, I demonstrated the extreme one 🙂 My point is – either way you’re losing control over message, but if you are aware of what media wants you can preserve some of it (control) so you can communicate more effectively 🙂 Thanks for pointing out, and have the nicest day 😀

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