Clichés are Good! … for media interviews

I know this sounds very counter-intuitive but stay with me on this one.  Journalist love to quote other people using clichés.  Did I lose you yet?

Ok. This is something that will help you with media interviews. It’s a big aha in media training sessions.  Just check out the video to hear how this works.


The following is an excerpt from the #1 International Best Seller, Media Secrets: A Media Training Crash Course

What Is a Sound Bite?

It’s— that short answer the media uses from your interview.

Traditionally, it is that one, bite-sized, portion of “sound” taken from the larger body of what you said. You’ve seen them as the clips used in TV news packages. In print, of course, they are called quotes. Sometimes, especially in the case of print media, they commonly highlight something important that was said and enlarge it on the page (referred to as a call-out.)

Why Sound Bites Matter

Creating memorable sound bites is another way to guide (i.e. take control!) of the interview process. When you create an irresistible quote (or quotes), you have the most control over the answers (answers/quotes) that the reporter chooses.

This is a learned skill. Again, these are answers that are within the paragraphs you speak.

In a chat-style interview, like you’d see on a morning show or cable news show, these phrases make your segment pop. They make you seem more polished, and add sizzle to what you’re saying. , AND, if you come across that way, you’ll get asked back.


Taken from the 14 elements:

9. Clichés

Clichés, believe it or not, are irresistible to the media. For this technique, you can attach a cliché to one of your messages. Or, you can use a play on a cliché.


“The bottom line is . . . [insert one of your messages].”

“Look, at the end of the day . . . [make your statement].”

You embed your message within the cliché. Doing so will dramatically increase the chance of getting that message out into the media.

Here are a few more:

“We know our team can win, and you can bet on it!”

“Well, when it comes to knowing this, time will tell.”

“That is certainly the name of the game.” That organization has hit some roadblocks, but luckily it looks like there’s a light at the end of the tunnel.”

All of these answers had a cliché attached to it. I want you to experiment with taking one of these clichés, or a different one, and attach it to one of your messages. See how it sounds. See if it jumps off the page and is attention-grabbing. Obviously, you ultimately need to be comfortable with any sound bites you decide to use with the media, and use only the ones you like most that you feel work for you.

Here’s a last one, which is a play on a cliché:

“We found ourselves caught between a rock and a good place!”

This is a play on the cliché “Between a rock and a hard place.”These are just as quotable and find their ways into stories every day.



What do you think? Comment below.

Or, check out the book Media Secrets: A Media Training Crash Course