Executive media coaching consultancy Primedia Solutions is offering Jeremy Corbyn a top five tips master class on how to manage his media profile as he celebrated his leadership win and kicked off the latest Labour Party Conference.
Pointing out that his failure to win over those other than the staunch left wing side of the party, Primedia initially cites his lack of political finesse.
Their top five tips for building a Blair type following starts with him having to adapt to the audience he is addressing.
1. Create an imaginary image of the specific audience. If need be physically stick a picture of a typical audience member above the camera lens or autocue, and talk to that person, on their level, in a language they understand. Anticipate their perception of you and respond to their expectation. Allow them the common courtesy of having a different opinion to you, acknowledge that and explain that you also have a view going through your logic. Adapt to them, don’t ask them to adapt to you.
2. Create an appearance that your audience will understand and respond to. In other words, to attract those not yet in your camp, buy a second suit (or is it simply, buy a suit… preferably a dark blue one with creases in the trousers!), a decent shirt and a tie to go with it. Then comb your hair and trim the beard neatly.
Look at the picture above the camera lens or autocue. Would that person be happy standing next to you for a photo call? If not, go and scrub up again.
3. Get your body language right. Go and have a look at how one Baron Peter Benjamin Mandelson literally conducts his interviewers. Eyes, mouth and hands are the three props he uses. Do the same and you will have the audience giving you their full attention.
4. Reply to the questions, don’t duck them. It is legitimate to disagree with an interview, but do respect that others have a differing view to you and from a political leader want to know your position. To generate trust with the audience, acknowledge the fairness of the question they ask, before ramming your rhetoric down their throats.
5. Stay serious. A smiling politician is neither believed nor trusted. So avoid the closing grin.
As President Obama powerfully noted in his initial acceptance speech, “You may not have voted for me, but I will represent you as if you had”.
Good luck Jeremy, not all the rungs on the ladder are secure, and there are plenty of snakes around.