Lessons From Tim
With the tragic passing of Meet The Press Host, Tim Russert, have come many touching tributes and flashbacks of him and what he accomplished over his career - and shared with us each and every Sunday for 17 years. While Tim Russert was in a class all by himself, there is much we can learn from him and the approach he took with each and every episode of Meet The Press.
As marketing and public relations professionals perhaps the greatest thing we can learn from Tim Russert is the importance of preparation. Tim Russert was always prepared; he knew his topics, his guests and the direction in which he anticipated – or wanted – the show to go.
If a guest was unprepared or got off message, he or she was toast.
While we may never face the likes of a Tim Russert, preparation is no less important. But how does one prepare?
Three simple rules:
1. Know your message
2. Stay on message
3. Never ever stray from message.
Success in the above comes from being prepared. Tim Russert prepared to the extent that he anticipated the responses; Question A would lead to Question B which would lead to Question C and so on.
Well, if the moderator can do it, the messenger needs to be prepared to do it - but even better. But how?
One of the first (I think best as well) pieces of advice I provide during spokesperson training sessions is to develop a core message and several supporting messages designed to support that core. This is your way of delivering Message A to lead to Message B to lead to Message C – the most appropriate and effective response to the tactics of those who aspire to be as successful as Tim Russert.
Kudos to Tim Russert for sharing his genius with us and so many others each and every week, and for forcing those of us in our profession to prove ours.