Just because you’re a star baseball pitcher doesn’t mean you’re a good pitchman. The New York Mets’ Matt Harvey – on injured reserve and potentially facing Tommy John surgery – needs more than a physical trainer these days. He needs a media trainer.
Harvey embarrassed himself on national radio this week when he awkwardly tried to focus his live interview with sports radio host Dan Patrick on his sponsor, wireless technology giant Qualcomm, rather than on his injury or baseball topics.
After Harvey refused to talk about anything other than Qualcomm, Patrick let him have has say, said goodbye, and then spent the next few minutes disparaging both Harvey and Qualcomm on the air. “That was bad, that was bad. We just wasted people’s time here,” Patrick concluded. Patrick’s co-host even called the interview a “Qual-bomb” on the air.
At CommCore we always remind our clients that effective media interviews are a skill:
- Understand the rules of the road — answer the reporter’s questions (or at least acknowledge them if you can’t answer them), and then they will let you get your pitch in….one time
- Prepare and practice how to bridge seamlessly from the media’s topics of interest to the brand message you want to get in
- Develop a news hook for the brand message so it doesn’t appear to be a shameless plug
Harvey had such a bad day that when he tried to apologize afterwards to Patrick via Twitter, his first tweet was sent to the wrong Dan Patrick, a Texas State Senator.