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Liam Malone my media spokesperson of the year

14 December 2016

My media spokesperson of the year award has never gone to a sportsperson. That is until now. This year it goes to Paralympian star Liam Malone.

Why?

He clearly stood out among all sportspeople in 2016 with his ability to generate interest in his sport and give journalists fantastic sound bites and quotes to bring their stories to life.

Who could forget this one. “I felt tired. I was just saying to myself 'kick it up a gear mate, your mum battled cancer for six years with chemo and looked after you'. I just had to step up." That was after winning Silver in the 100 metres.

Most athletes would have said something like, “I knew I had to push myself harder if I was going to get a medal.” But how much more interesting was Malone’s language? He not only made that point in a far more attractive way, but he gave us some insight into what he was thinking.

Sports fans want this. They don’t want the mundane answers they are used to. They want to learn something about their heroes that they didn’t know before the interview. Malone understood this and gave them what they wanted.

Here’s another example. When asked about himself, he didn’t give up some boring and detailed answer about his history. Instead he said, “"I'm just a goofy dude from Nelson who just runs in circles and reads books." That’s the sort of answer reporters need and people want to hear.

Obviously his exploits on the track did wonders for Malone’s future and the interest in Paralympic sport. But the interest he generated through his media interviews will have done just as much.

I hadn’t planned on giving my award to a sportsperson or athlete, but Malone stood out so far above everyone else that I had no choice. Spokespeople from all sectors could learn from him how to get a point across by dressing it up with interesting language and using elements like emotion and analogies.  

If you want to learn the five steps to pain free media interviews, download my White Paper at this link.

Filed under Media Training

Written by

Pete is a leading New Zealand media trainer and regular blogger for his company, Media Training NZ . He has helped leaders from all sectors of society communicate with the media and other stakeholders. Pete is a former daily newspaper reporter and press secretary in the New Zealand government. From these roles, he understands the media process from both sides of the camera.

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