Interview with Mary

Why did you write "Six-Word Lessons on Winning With Today's Media"?
So many people--business owners and executives, organization and community leaders, political candidates--could benefit from talking to the news media but don't. Others don't do it well. If you have a business, project or community cause, the news media can be the most efficient and cost-effective way to reach an audience. People don't do it because they don't have the skills, or they lack confidence. This book was written for them.
What's your background in media relations? How do you know this stuff?
I was lucky enough to do some things at a relatively young age that garnered me media experience early on. Professionally, I began doing campaign management and political media relations, including being the primary spokesman for a statewide campaign in California. From there I became the Vice President for Media Relations at Deaver & Hannaford, a major public relations firm in Los Angeles, where I handled media for a wide variety of clients. Later, I served as Director of Public Affairs and media spokesman for the U. S. Department of Commerce, with its 14 separate and diverse agencies. Eventually, I started Waldmann & Company, specializing in speech and news media communications training. So I've both been on the firing line myself and also trained hundreds of individuals in how to communicate more effectively.
In your book you talk about how to get positive news coverage, but have you ever been "burned" by a reporter.
Yes, but only once. A reporter wrote a story that was based on bad information and didn't contact me for the facts. Reporters are human and if you're dealing with them day in and day out, you may eventually encounter one who's inexperienced or lazy. When the publication got the facts, they retracted the story. There are two key points here. "Six-Word Lessons on Winning With Today's Media" provides a lot of tips and strategies for reducing the odds of a negative story. And it's very foolish to forgo all the positive press opportunities on the unlikely chance that you might encounter a bad apple.
What would you say are the two most important media lessons?
First, always be prepared with a positive message. Second, never, ever lie or tell half-truths. You don't have to tell everything you know, but if you mislead a reporter it will come back to haunt you.
Why did you use the six-word lesson format?
I wanted the book to be clear and very concise. The six word limitation enforces a certain discipline and forced me to make every word count. You don't have to devote a lot of time to reading it,but it provides a wealth of information. You'll find the basic ground rules, good advice and insider tips---all you need to become an effective media spokesman.
What prompted you to write "Six-Word Lessons for Compelling Speeches: 100 Lessons to Deliver Speeches that Move Your Audience"?
So many people are afraid to speak in public. In fact, public speaking always ranks right up there with death, flying and paralysis in surveys of what people fear most. The common denominator is the fear of being out of control. With public speaking, there's the additional fear of looking foolish or inept. Yet, the ability to make a good speech or presentation is a very important professional and personal skill, whether you're doing a company PowerPoint presentation or making a toast at a wedding. It's a skill that can be learned and that's the purpose of "Six-Word Lessons for Compelling Speeches"--it gives you all the tips and techniques you need to become and accomplished speaker.
The book gives lots of very specific little tips---how did you learn all this?
In my case , it was really a matter of learning by doing over many decades. I started doing public speaking while I was still in high school and continued to make a lot of speeches over the years to many different kinds of audiences. I've distilled all my experience into "Six-Word Lessons for Compelling Speeches" so that anybody can benefit from what I learned.
You taught public speaking and interview skills for quite a few years. What kind of people came to you for help?
My students have included a quite varied spectrum of individuals from high government officials to corporate leaders, even a "Miss Washington" candidate! That's part of what made it fun. No matter who you are or why you're speaking, the skills you need are always the same and they're easy to learn. It's been very rewarding to see the big improvement and increased confidence levels in my students.
Published 2014-07-30.
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Books by This Author

Six-Word Lessons for Intentional Parenting: 100 Timeless Lessons to Help Your Kids Learn, Laugh and Love
Price: $8.99 USD. Words: 7,490. Language: Commonwealth English. Published: November 21, 2017. Categories: Nonfiction » Parenting » Reference
Timeless wisdom and practical suggestions for parenting your child from toddler to age ten. 100 concise lessons with positive tips as well as mistakes to avoid. Raise happy, caring, successful adults.
Six-Word Lessons for Compelling Speeches: 100 Lessons to Deliver Speeches that Move Your Audiences
Price: $8.99 USD. Words: 6,100. Language: English. Published: July 29, 2014. Categories: Nonfiction » Business & Economics » Business communication / meetings & presentations
Six-Word Lessons for Compelling Speeches gives you 100 lessons to make you an effective and interesting speaker, whether you’re representing an organization or yourself. You can be engaging, entertaining and even have fun doing it. This book has all the tools you need to communicate a compelling message that will change and move your audience to action.
Six-Word Lessons on Winning with Today's Media: 100 Lessons to Control Your Message & Avoid Media Blunders
Price: $8.99 USD. Words: 6,850. Language: English. Published: June 20, 2014. Categories: Nonfiction » Business & Economics » Public relations
Become an effective media spokesperson for your business, organization or community group. Six-Word Lessons on Winning with Today’s Media gives you 100 simple and practical insider tips for working professionally with reporters and other interviewers, and making sure your message is communicated effectively, whether in print, radio or television.