BBC Interview Goes Awry & Viral

vBruce Hennes, Managing Partner, Hennes Communications

The blogosphere lit up with smiles last week after a toddler photobombed Robert Kelly’s Skype interview with the BBC from his home in S. Korea. Kelly, a political-science professor, was discussing the South Korea impeachment scandal from his home office with a door closed behind him. As the questioning began, the door opened. A child toddled in and, as they say, fun ensued.

Moments after the video went viral, the bloggers went into criticism overdrive. Some tried to shame those who erroneously assumed the woman trying to fetch the kids was a housekeeper when she was actually his wife. Other suggested he was a bad father and that he should have had the smarts and common-sense to simply pick the first child up and continue the interview uninterrupted, along with many other suggestions for actions he should have taken. Other, more constructive commenters, used the video as fodder for advice to others that one should always do Skype interviews from home with the door locked and call waiting suspended.

Indeed, all interviews are fraught with peril, especially those done outside of professional studios where care must be taken to ensure the best sound and light, with the avoidance of distractions.

That said, we have a different take on the video that we’ve not read elsewhere. The interviewer at the BBC – and those of us in the audience, as well – had about seven extra seconds to process what was going on before the dad did. That’s an awful lot of time to second-guess. A person can make many quick decision-tree decisions with just those extra few seconds, which he didn’t have.

The movie, Sully, the story of Chesley Sullenberger, an American pilot who became a hero after landing his damaged plane on the Hudson River in order to save the flight’s passengers and crew, provides an excellent example of that. In the court trial at the end of the movie, multiple experts testified that Captain Sullenberger had plenty of time to make the decision to land at a nearby airport instead of crash-landing on the Hudson River.

But those experts had hours to review, over and over, all of the electronic evidence, gaming each one out one at a time. Sully only had about 90 seconds to make a decision, which turned out to be the right one.

The professor in the BBC video didn’t make the wrong decision. He just made the best one he could make in the time he had under the stress of a live interview.


About the Author: Bruce Hennes is managing partner of Hennes Communications, one of the few firms in the U.S. focused exclusively on crisis management and crisis communications. Active in his community, Bruce has served for seven years on the executive committee of the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association and he’s a member of the board of the Cleveland Leadership Center.

8 Ways To Overcome “Blog-block”

Dian Griesel - featuredBy Dian Griesel, President of Dian Griesel International

Finding ways to keep your blog fresh can be a real challenge…especially with a new blog popping onto the scene every half a second. That’s a lot of content to compete with out there! Here are several actions you can take to renew and refresh your blog’s content:

1. Participate in the blogosphere. Read and comment on other blogs in your field. Get involved in the conversation, and build your authority on the subject with readers. Find inspiration from the hot topics being discussed in your field. Chances are something will strike a chord with you and you’ll be able to take the idea and run.
2. Engage your readers. Get them involved in the conversation by asking them to comment on your blog. Maybe even pose a question to your readers in your blog post to get a response and start a dialogue amongst readers. Turning your readers into active participants on the blog makes them feel personally invested. If a reader is concerned about his/her privacy, have the option to submit questions or comments via email.
3. Survey your readers. Learn more about who your readers are and what interests them. This is another method to actively engage your readers while learning valuable information about your readers. The survey doesn’t have to be anything too formal, just a fun, casual “Buzzfeed” style quiz to help you get to know your readers’ preferences, experiences and interests.
4. Run a contest or giveaway. Everybody loves to be a winner! Holding a contest is a fun way to get your readers to play an active role in the blog’s content. Building this bridge between a brand’s followers and your followers is beneficial to both sides.
5. Create a ripple effect: Connect your blog to other social media platforms. Utilize the vast network of potential new readers by engaging Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and Tumblr communities. Encourage your readers to follow you on these various platforms and share your content with their followers. Follow your readers back to stay in tune with their interests and any trending topics in your field.
6. Check your blog’s site meter stats. Examine these numbers to show you which of your articles are the most popular. Use this information to guide your future posts; expand on the topics and subtopics that capture the interests of your readers.
7. Mix it up. Some people like to get their information visually while others prefer more auditory methods. To reach all types of learners, switch up the style of your posts. Try a video entry, image-based post or even a solely auditory podcast. Cover your bases and give all formats a try.
8. Reconnect with your passion. It can be easy to get bogged down with the statistics and lose sight of what’s really important: your passion, the original inspiration for it all. There was something that ignited your interest in this topic and lead you into the blogosphere. Remind yourself of this and write from that place of genuine enthusiasm for the topic.

Blogging takes discipline and dedication. Constantly coming up with new, creative posts can be a daunting task, but if you remember to stick to your passion, engage with your readers and stay connected to both the industry and the community, you will always have something to post about. Get generating!

About the Author: Dian Griesel is a strategic visibility expert, an author of several business books on corporate communications and the president of Dian Griesel International, a public relations firm that delivers traditional, digital and social media visibility for greater engagement with desired audiences.