Monday, September 08, 2008

Why I like it behind the camera

Last month I was asked by the producers of the MoneyTalk show to appear on the segment which is hosted by Patricia Lovett-Reid. The show airs on Canada’s BNN and it airs nationally three times during one week and then posted to the web site.

I was more than happy to be interviewed since the topic was right up my alley – women entrepreneurs. I can talk all day about entrepreneurship and women’s struggles and accomplishments, the do's and don’ts, the pitfalls and opportunities, the children and, of course, the whole work-life balance thing.

When I received the questions in advance of the taping, I knew I would be in my element and couldn’t wait for the gems to flow out of my mouth. When you know a topic inside and out, it makes any interview smooth as silk. I rehearsed in front of the mirror for a few days prior (I always prep in front of a mirror, stops me from frowning). I was confident and ready for my close-up.

I arrived very early in the morning at the BNN studios where I went directly to the makeup room. I was greeted by the effervescent Pattie (who is much cuter in person than on TV!). She’s a real fireball and one of the nicest people you’ll ever meet. She greeted me with a big hello and then said, “Julie, since you’re in PR and a branding expert, I thought we could talk about personal branding and what it means in business as opposed to corporate brands. Sound okay with you?”

Huh? Personal branding? What the heck does that mean? What happened to the entrepreneurial stuff you were gonna ask me? I know about corporate branding and messaging (heck, we do that every day).But personal branding? All I could think of was, “Geez. Am I ever f^$%!"

After an inch thick of pancake foundation was applied, I was led into the deep freeze of a studio where I was rigged for sound under my jacket, given a mug of warm water and was told to look at Pattie and not the camera during the 10-minute interview. Ok, I got that part. As for the interview itself, I had no idea what was going to come out of my mouth.

So if you want to have a good laugh, have a look at my interview here and watch me squirm. I have no ego, so be brutally honest with me. I think I managed a few good sound bites, too bad they can’t cut down the interview to 60 seconds. Check out my ummms and "you knows." Brutal!

This abysmal interview further validates my decision to stay behind the camera at all times. I mean, I can tell someone else what to do in front of the camera -- no problemo. But sweet baby Jesus – I can’t save myself.


JayD said...

Hi Julie, just watched your interview and it wasn’t that bad. As a speech writer and message alchemist for a few public figures I can say that I have seen worse – much worse. What gave you away was the hesitation in the inflection of your voice and a few too many pauses – your body language. As for the subjective matter, you sounded like a real pro with in-depth knowledge regardless if you were familiar with the topic or not. All that was missing was the portrayal of having confidence in the words that you were speaking. As you probably already know, live communication is 60% body language – not words.

Anyway, I empathize. Next time, do a quick Google of the revised topic matter; tie it someway into what you are familiar with; and make sure you take control of the conversation by constantly steering it back to areas that you know and are confident in speaking about.

And, always remember what Keith Richards said, “If you make a mistake, do it again with a straight face.”

Parker said...

Don't be so hard on yourself.

It is too bad that they changed the topics up on you with no notice, but I think you handled it pretty well.

At the very least, everyone had a chance to learn about Critical Accident Insurance before you came on.

Donna Papacosta said...

Julie, you sounded great to me and you looked fabulous too. Shame on them for changing the topic on you!

Julie Rusciolelli said...

You guys are very kind indeed. You must have had the volume turned down on your computers. Oh, and I forgot to mention the most hilarious part of the interview, the "super" underneath my interview on national TV read:

Julie Rusciolelli from
Maverick Pubic Relations!

They forgot the "l" in Public ... Can you imagine the laughs viewers must have had! I called the show right away and had them re-edit the super for the web site ...

Talk about grabbing your audience by the "short and curlies."

Maggie Kerr-Southin said...

Hi Julie, I have to add my comments to the conversation. I agree that your only errors were being hesitant in your answers and being stuck with a changed topic. What I saw was a very human, approachable woman who wasn't afraid to show a little vulnerability by using herself as an example.

My own experience after 20 years in the business is that we are so accustomed to being behind the scenes, we become hyper-critical of ourselves. Lay off and enjoy the ride. You were great!

And no, my sound wasn't off either.

ShirleyGirl said...

Hi Julie. You are a perfectionist, and likely wouldn't have been happy with anything short of perfect. :-)

I think you did fine - considering that they switched the topic on you at the 11th hour. I mean, really! As a former client of yours, and one that used to speak to the media, if they did this to me, I would have called YOU to fix it or at the very least develop a few soundbites. But who do YOU get to call? No one! Yikes! Way better to be a client, girlfriend!

Patricia didn't mess around with the first question either...Difference between brand and reputation? Honestly, most marketers wouldn't be able to answer that question.

You nailed a number of really good soundbites though, including a good plug for Maverick.

ZoeyBella said...

I really liked your interview. You seem very natural and comfortable talking about something that you obviously know a great deal about. :)

I totally agree about 'personal branding' as I've always strive to have that in my life and career.