New book rejects 'staying on message' approach to media interviews

TORONTO, July 30, 2013 /CNW/ - Yorkland Publishing ( today announced the publication of a ground-breaking media interview guide that rejects the standard practice of "staying on message" in favour of a responsive approach in which the spokesperson directly answers reporters' questions.

In the Spotlight - The Essential Guide to Giving Great Media Interviews by media trainer and former journalist Ed Shiller, "is a must for anyone who wants to face the media with poise, confidence and credibility," said Rosemary Sibenik, Yorkland's editor and publisher.

Shiller begins In the Spotlight with a critique of "staying on message," the standard approach taken by most trainers.

He says the practice of "going into the interview with one or two 'key messages' that you will interject into each answer, regardless of how irrelevant that key message might be to the question," does not work. And he advises the reader to "forget using such techniques as 'bridging,' 'segueing,' "zooming,' (and) 'staying on message.'"

The reason, he says, is that "the behaviour spokespersons display when employing (these) techniques during an interview might well convey the message they are devious, manipulative and have something to hide."

In the Spotlight gives a detailed step-by-step explanation of how to include relevant information while answering each question "in a straightforward, candid and genuine manner." Doing this, Shiller says, will convey the positive message "you are openly honest, you believe in what you and the organization you represent are doing and you have the courage of your convictions."

Shiller has held senior editorial positions with the New York Times News Service and the Toronto Star; was the Copenhagen correspondent for Reuters News Agency, the Sunday Times of London and Newsweek, and has contributed to dozens of other leading newspapers and magazines. As a communicator, he has provided media training or acted as spokesperson for hundreds of public- and private-sector organizations.

In the Spotlight can be purchased online at

SOURCE: Yorkland Publishing

For further information:

Rosemary Sibenik - or 647-961-6684
Ed Shiller - or 647-407-2359

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