At Calacus, we undertake a lot of media training with our clients.
Knowing what to say and how to say it is vital in today’s 24/7 news cycle.
But being authentic is also fundamental with social media now ensuring that any interview can go viral across the world within moments of its completion.
For Premier League footballers, the scrutiny is always intense, with national and international media keen to find an angle that will make their story stand out.
As a striker for Swansea City, Tammy Abraham is just starting his professional career but has already learnt a great deal about handling interviews.
“My earliest memories of facing the media were in the UEFA Youth League and having to do so many interviews with different reporters from around the world. I had to mature quickly and prepare myself,” says Tammy.
“I know interviews can be tricky but I always try and think about what I am about to say and approach questions as carefully as I can but remain true to myself.
“I have had a few media training sessions growing up, but even though you practice these things, it’s very different when you are doing it for real. You have to stay calm and answers questions as best as you can. Even if the questions annoy you, you have to stay relaxed and in control.”
Being mindful of your brand and who you represent, be that an employer, a club, a charity or a sponsor, all needs to be taken into consideration when facing the media.
“As a professional footballer, I am well aware that a lot of people listen to what you have to say, so it is best to speak the truth and be sensible even if you’re tired after a game, when it can be even harder if you’ve just lost.
“You are always in control of what you say, so don't let anyone try and twist what you say or make you answer something different. You can always take a moment to think about what you are saying.”
Abraham, 20, who is on loan at the Swans from Premier League Champions Chelsea, is also well aware of the pitfalls of social media.
Social media gives sports stars a very public and direct line of communication to their fans – a potentially huge audience – which means that their online activity has to be appropriate at all times.
There are so many instances of professional footballers tweeting or sharing other forms of content that can be damaging, embarrassing or even result in fines or suspensions, something all young players are reminded about in this digital age.
“We have a lot of meetings where we are reminded about what we post and how careful we have to be as footballers and individuals. People look up to us and they look up to what we're posting, so we have to be smart about it and remember that these days everything we do or say will be scrutinised.”
Tammy Abraham was speaking on behalf of Swansea City sponsor LeTou. To find out more, click HERE