Just why are the Conservatives ahead of the field in the General Election?

Could it be the “Boris factor”? In spite of all his faults, his comments comparing Burqas to letter boxes and women who wear them to bank robbers, the lack of trust around “selling the NHS to the US”, his attitudes to and relationships with women, he is ahead in the polls and even persuading “Workington man” to change the habit of several lifetimes and vote Tory.  

There is more to it than Brexit. There are two factors – how he comes over on television linked to a simple, clear message “Get Brexit done”, which is straight out of a media headline writer’s handbook.

For all the focus on Social Media campaigns, the main reason why we are likely to see a Conservative majority at the Election is how Boris comes over on television.

One of the leading PR practitioners in the North East has a very simple media strategy for getting his message across – “Get it on BBC Look North and the whole region sees it”.

Whatever you think of Boris as a person, or his politics, more people are relating to him and his simple, clear message and sound bytes (“The deal is oven ready, stick it in the microwave”).

The proof of the pudding is in the numbers. After nine years of austerity Labour should be miles ahead in their heartlands. Instead, they are in danger of losing seats which have not voted Conservative for over 100 years.

Yes, Brexit is a factor, but that still comes down to messaging. Get the message right (headline writer’s skills, media trained sound bytes) allied to coming over well on the telly and you have a winning combination.

After twenty years in the business our media training boils down to authenticity and simplicity – come over well on the telly and keep your media interviews simple with a clear message which people can understand.

It sounds simple, but it takes a full day media training to iron out bad habits and deconstruct over-complicated attitudes and then practice, practice and practice, until it looks effortless and easy.

For Boris it may appear to come naturally, but handling the media well can also be a learned skill and that is what we do, day in, day out.

If you are considering speaking to the media, or coming on a media training course, speak with Media Friendly. We offer crisis media management, media training and presentation skills in London, across the UK and worldwide. Don’t let your media interview turn into a media disaster.