Should you avoid the mainstream media and use YouTube?

It’s becoming more than a trend.  People are avoiding or ditching the mainstream media and using YouTube to get their message out to the public.

Wondering if  YouTube is a viable platform?

Actually, it is.



Paula Deen’s apology and the Cleveland kidnap victims reaction to being freed went straight to the web and received millions of YouTube views.  The videos were also picked up and shown by every just about media outlet in the country.

I was recently interviewed for a story on The List on why celebrities are skipping the session on the couch with Oprah or Dr. Phil for a YouTube video and there are plenty of good reasons.

  • If you have the cyber audience and a fan following this is a great option.
  • You can get your message out fast without worrying about holding a press conference or waiting on the press.
  • YouTube is also free and easy to use.
  • The best reason to blow off the press and use YouTube is the ability to control your message.

When using YouTube, you’re not going to get misquoted or have soundbites taken out of context.  If you didn’t like what you tried the first time, there can always take 2, 3, 4 or more.

For celebrities, avoiding the mainstream press can be a great idea, and we will see much more of this.

A number of businesses and people could take advantage of this, but be sure you’re not wasting you time.

You can have a great message, but it’s not effective if only a handful of people see you on YouTube.

How to Overcome a Crisis Situation

By: Jeff Heisner

So you opened up your mouth and let something slip out you should have kept to yourself.

Or maybe you said something that wasn’t very PC and now your paying for it in the press.


The good news is you can resurrect your image.

Golfer Phil Mickelson recently ticked off a number of people with his comments on taxes in California.

Mickelson complained he would have to pay 62 or 63 percent of what he made in taxes.

According to Forbes, Mickelson made nearly $50 million in 2012.

The last thing people want to hear is a rich guy complaining and whining about his plight and what he owes Uncle Sam.

Mickelson was blasted by the press and killed on message boards for a couple of days, until he got in front of the media.

What he did next was brilliant.  Take a listen to the link below…

Mickselson Apology, Courtesy: ESPN

Here are three things you can learn from Mickelson on how to handle a crisis situation.

1. Admit mistakes and apologize – He accepted responsibility by stating “I’ve made some dumb, dumb mistakes and talking about this was one of them,” and went on to apologize saying it was, “insensitive to those without jobs and those who live from paycheck to paycheck.”

2. Poke fun at yourself – Mickelson the  made the entire press tent laugh by comparing this mistake to one of the most infamous choke jobs in golf, his collapse at the U.S. Open.

3. Make yourself likable.  With his smile and self-effacing humor, Mickelson disarmed and charmed a room that was ready to pounce on him for his comments.  Coming off defensive in this situation would’ve been disastrous.  He knew that and was as slick in the press conference as one of his improbable and extraordinary flop shots.

An ill-timed rant or slip of the tongue doesn’t mean your image has to walk the plank or even wind up plugged in a bunker.  Surviving and transforming that crisis situation can happen.

What Separates Melba Toast From Some Great Football Coaches

By: Jeff Heisner

Watching a number of football games over the holidays (or as sports fans like to call it “The Bowl Season,”) prompted me to write this blog.

As the clock wound down to 0:00, I saw one head coach so over-joyed he was high steping to mid-field after being drenched by a gatorade shower and seconds later dead-pan, refusing to make eye contact with the reporter and even frowning during his post-game interview.  And this was the winning coach.

I went from feeling good about his team and what just happened to wondering what’s wrong with this guy?


Whether he likes it or not, the coach is a salesman for the university.

He needs to bring in the donors, and players to have any kind of success.

The monotone and robotic answers while staring at the ground at one of the highest moments he could have is not going to sell his program.

This situation was awkward and the lessons you can learn are limited to the sports world.

When you get interviewed or give a speech, you are representing yourself and your business.

You want to be likable and approachable in public, a pleasant smile and eye contact go a long way.

A smile during an interview or a speech can usually take care of a lot of problems you might have.

It will make you look and sound better, as well as bump up your energy level.


While some football coaches like Nick Saban, Chip Kelly, and of course Bill Belichick have enjoyed great success on the field, their media interviews are as boring and bland as melba toast.

Don’t make melba toast seem exciting, SMILE!

Paul Ryan’s run in with my old station

By: Jeff Heisner

A station I worked for in Flint, Michigan is in the news for what took place during the final moments of an interview involving Mitt Romney’s running mate.

Paul Ryan and his people took exception to a question in this video.

They stopped the interview and Ryan told the reporter, “that was kinda strange, trying to stuff words in people’s mouths.”

Ryan is right, the question and reporter’s leap from gun laws and public safety to tax cuts was not done well.

Paul Ryan

Here are three things we can learn from Paul Ryan on how to handle a situation like this…

  1. 1. Not every question is going to be wrapped up with a nice little bow and is easy to answer.  You are going to get questions that might make assumptions or they may be coming from way out in left field.  What you consider, a bad question can easily turn the focus on you, if you don’t handle it the right way.  Ryan did a nice job deflecting the assumption back to the reporter calmly, which was a smart way to handle this exchange.
  2. 2. Ryan has been outspoken about what he believes is a biased media.  That is not a myth.  Reporters are biased.  Whether it’s right or left leaning, or for or against a specific cause, often a reporter will come into the interview with preconceived notions and loaded questions, so be prepared and know how to handle these situations.
  3. 3. Ryan did a nice job keeping his cool during interview, but was caught on camera being combative when the interview was “finished.”  What Ryan did was not terrible, but it could have been worse.  The interview may have been over, but the camera was still rolling.  Had Ryan gone a little farther, it could’ve been a PR nightmare.  It is disaster for anyone caught lecturing, scolding, or yelling at any reporter.

Learn How to Communicate to a Middle Schooler

By: Jeff Heisner

If you want your message to be well received the next time you are speaking channel your inner-middle schooler.

I’m not asserting you should bust out OMG, LOL, or BFF in your next speech or media interview, however I am saying you need to make sure your message is understandable to as many people as possible.


Courtesy: Mytown Mercury News

Don’t think of this as dumbing your down message, nor that your audience is stupid.

Newspapers aim their writing at an 8th grade level.

Network TV shows aim their programming at a 6th grade level.

They understand the message needs to be simplified with relevant and relatable references and analogies.

Remember Dennis Miller?

The comedian made his living on obscure references that made you laugh out loud like, “one man’s Voltaire is another man’s Screech.”

Other times it was just plain confusing, leaving you wondering “what did he just say.”

Some of Miller’s analogies were so obscure the old Britannica (encyclopedia) couldn’t help.

Somehow, Miller made it work, but he may be the last person to employ so many cryptic jokes.

For your next speech or media interview leave out Millerisms, you don’t want your audience scratching their heads.

It’s also a good idea to get rid of the jargon, and technical talk.

And if you are thinking about trying to impress your audience with an expansive vocabulary… don’t!

You should be looking for mass appeal, so break it down like a middle schooler.