Helpful hints or mollycoddling of the highest order?
A Highly Sensitive Person, or HSP, is someone who has a highly-strung nervous system and a creative mind, characteristics that many of today’s most well-known and so-called celebrities exude.
Top of mind has to be Kanye West and his Kardashian in laws (when thinking about precious personalities who have gotten bad reps for their ill-tempered behaviour).
But how much of this is down to their own egos and how much of these sensitive souls has been created by their mollycoddling handlers?
This week, DailyEdge.ie published a story on the bizarre interview demands of singer, songwriter, rapper, tech entrepreneur, actor, producer, philanthropist, Voice UK coach and candlestick maker, Will.i.am. While the MKC office had a good chuckle, particularly the part where Will’s HQ is referred to as ‘The Future’, the tips list brought to mind the topic of good interview prep and interview briefings.
Now not all interviews will involve a global megastar and, with a man as busy as he is, to get any time with Will.i.am at all is a coup. However, in any interview that is arranged, there are always going to be time constraints, be they on the side of a journalist or the person being interviewed.
This is where PR comes in. A PR’s role is not only to brief the client on the journalist but also to set the parameters of an interview with the journalist so that there are no surprises on either side. Their job is to make the most of an interview for both sides so that everyone leaves having achieved what they wanted (or thereabouts).
Briefings save unrealistic expectations. They’re good practice and extremely helpful, if done right. Again, not every interview will require a disclaimer about ‘selfie taking’ but the idea is that every briefing is tailored to the particular situation.
So, while including a point about not using interview time as an “appropriate time to pitch business plans” seems a bit mad (as in the Will.i.am interview regulations), it’s the same as not using an interview slot to offer advertising and therefore an entirely reasonable clause.
So, while intense interviews with Will.i.am., Kanye and his Klan of Kardashians might involve some irritating PR pandering and general mammying, for the most part it’s about setting the scene in a helpful way, or so we hope, so that both the interviewer and interviewee are on the same page… at least for a few questions.
P.S. if anyone out there has a similar doc from Kanye’s people, remember that sharing is caring!