Amy Goodman, host of "Democracy Now!", was on "The Colbert Report" (Comedy Central) recently. Of course it's on YouTube. She is truly a firebrand, as Colbert called her. I saw her speak at a Green Festival in DC last year and was moved, nearly to tears. She should be president.
But watching this segment (and a recent morning show appearance — don't remember which one — filmed outside with an audience in which her approach was pretty much the same), I couldn't help but feel for her. Her approach works great with the choir, but what about shows like this? If you get a chance to watch this segment, do you think she was effective? Are those that aren't already part of the choir going to consider the teachings of the church? If you were to coach her before appearing on the show, would you advise her to change her approach?
Colbert is liberal and the show is satirical, of course, but it's entertainment. Is there a better way to use pop culture?
I'm reminded of a Progressive PR Professionals event early last year with the ED of The Fortune Society, Joanne Page: "Working with the Media When the Topic is Not Warm and Fuzzy." She's gone mano-a-mano with O'Reilly and gave these pointers (quoted from the event summary):
On adversarial programs, such as "The O'Reilly Factor," representatives get their few minutes of say, but then the name of the game is to interrupt as often as possible to make your points. Her specific advice for these venues:
* Speak to the audience, not to the interviewer. * Build your case on "shared common sense decency perspective" to hook the viewing audience, who have not thought about your issue from that angle. * Shift the frame. "If you use their frame, then you're dead in the water." * Create the context. * Learn to speak in their rhythm, pace. * Try to make only three points and keep returning to them.
But what about programs that aren't truly adversarial but are in a satirical sense or are simply pop-culture fluff. How important is context in framing and delivering? Speaking to the audience applies, and when the audience is tuning in for entertainment, shouldn't you wrap the messaging with pretty paper and a bow?