07 October 2007

Behaving like the next Prime Minister

I watched the entire interview given yesterday afternoon by David Cameron, presumably outside his home in Witney. According to Iain Dale, he was "statesmanlike". I disagree. I have no complaint with the substance of what he had to say, but I did not feel that Cameron looked like a Prime Minister in waiting as a result of the way the interview was given. Here are my tips to DC on making statements/giving interviews on television:

1. Be sparing. Stick to the important stuff. Let your team/spokesmen deal with the nitty gritty issues and low politics and show that you are above the crap.

2. Be even more sparing on exclusives. if you do them, make the broadcaster work hard. Only speak to a "name" and preferably someone who will be a least a little sympathetic. Gordon Brown got Andrew Marr in Downing Street. Who did Cameron have yesterday? Some unknown journo with an Irish accent who showed little respect (asked Cameron "what your Tories are going to do next" in the same way as hemight have asked Lord Sutch (RIP) about "his" Monster Raving Loony Party). If you have something to say, it must be worth getting a crowd along and having an impromptu press conference.

3. Choose your ground. The Oxfordshire garden is not a good look. If you can't easily get to a TV studio get somewhere set up near your constituency base where you can give a press conference in dignified and professional surroundings - this might just involve upgrading the local village hall. Menzies Campbell gave his interview yesterday via video link from Edinburgh direct to the presenter in London and this just looked more dignified.

4. Deep breath. There was no need for Cameron to react so quickly yesterday - lots of people were piling in and if Cameron had to comment personally (see 1, above) it could have waited at least until this morning - and Cameron's interview with Andrew Marr this morning, ticks all the above boxes.

blog comments powered by Disqus