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Liam Malone shows value of media skills to his sport

22 September 2016

If anyone has demonstrated how valuable great media skills are to their sport, its paralympian Liam Malone.

So often we see athletes and sporting greats give boring media interviews that almost detract from the success they’ve just had. I think lots of sporting organisations even try to keep them out of the media for fear of them saying something wrong.  This is a huge lost opportunity for them to promote their sports.

Liam Malone has single-handedly proved my point over the last few weeks. It’s not just his amazing results on the track, but the interest in Paralympic sport he has created with his excellent media skills.

Malone is one of few athletes who dresses up the points he wants to make into interesting language that make fantastic sound bites for the media. You just need to go back through media stories and his Tweets over the last two weeks to see this. Here are a few examples.

After winning one of his gold medals he said, “My dad wasn't excited to see my medals. All he could say was "don't lose them" knowing how disorganised I am.” Most athletes would just say they are pleaded to have won and thanks a few people for their support. But we don’t want to hear that. We want to hear something different that we don’t already know. That’s what Malone gave us with that quote.

When asked about himself, he didn’t give up some boring answer about his history. Instead he said, “"I'm just a goofy dude from Nelson who just runs in circles and reads books." How much more interesting is that?

There are many other examples. The point is that Malone is one of very few athletes who understands how to make his points in interesting ways. He makes them exciting. In the process, he grows the profile and reputation of disabled sport. It’s a pity other athletes and sporting organisations don’t recognise the benefits this creates and put some time into media skills training.

If you want to grow your media interview skills, download the free White Paper, “5 Steps to pain-free media interviews" 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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