This week has seen the fall of what was once of the UK's leading PR houses Bell Pottinger. On Tuesday the founder Lord Bell who left the agency a year ago gave what was described as a 'car crash' interview on newsnight.
What everyone remembered was not what he said but what he looked like and what he did. Everyone remembered that his phone went off twice and that he showed the screen to interviewer Kirsty Wark . Television and video is a visual medium and how you come across is really important. Because it is visual, only 7% of what people remember is content, the majority of what people absorb is what people are wearing, doing and how they are reacting. Yet content is what everyone stresses about.
Those first impressions really count so do think about what you are going to wear so that it compliments and doesn't distract. Jangling jewelry is a mistake as are bright ties. If you are doing a vlog remember to think about personal space, a close up of your face can be quite intimidating and being that close up and personal and could put people off from watching.
Its a powerful medium and it can be be used very effectively to get your message across. The old silent movies were very good at doing that as the frenetic activity on screen kept the viewer engaged. The new frozen face and frozen language does exactly the opposite. So do think about what you might do to enhance the interview or vlog from a visual. It is no coincidence that TV companies show long and winding roads when they talk about pensions or other stuff that involves a complicated journey.
During a rambling, six-minute appearance, Lord Bell was asked where the business had gone wrong. He quoted Sir Walter Scott, saying: “Oh what a tangled web we weave when first we practise to deceive.” After the first interruption from his mobile at the start of the interview, Lord Bell showed the screen to Ms Wark. When it went off a second time, later in the conversation, she said: “You’re a popular man tonight obviously.”