Tuesday 16 July 2013

(Last week's) Mis-Communicator of the Week

After basking in the glow of last week's award, Andy Murray had a part to play in this week's choice on his way to victory at Wimbledon on Sunday. 

The setting was just off centre court, moments after Andy Murray had come back from two-sets down to beat Fernando Verdasco. Strangely during the match, despite compelling scenes on the court, the BBC coverage - and their commentary team - seemed obsessed with showing pictures of Sir Alex Ferguson sat in the Royal Box. 

This theme continued when the BBC's post game interviewer Garry Richardson asked Andy Murray the following, “Sir Alex Ferguson was in the Royal Box today watching you. He’s been known to go into the dressing room after matches and give his players a bit of hairdryer treatment. Will Lendl say some things to you Andy to sort of gee you up or do you not need that? Do you know it all yourself?”

Murray, although not overly happy, kept his cool and answered well. Many in that situation, tired after a long, tough match, would not.  

I don't want to be too critical of Richardson who apologised to Andy Murray after the interview. Who knows, perhaps their is a back story we are unaware of with Richardson's producer suggesting stupid, Alex Ferguson themed questions in his ear as he was live on air. Whatever the reason Murray proved his communication class by taking to Twitter to defend the BBC reporter saying  "Don't be too hard on Garry Richardson he had a bad day".

That said, there are lessons for anyone about to conduct an interview with a journalist. First, expect the unexpected as increasingly journalists are not experts in their field and, if you're asked a really stupid question, do not be afraid to seek clarification as to what they mean. Then, keep cool, the journalist might be having a bad day as Richardson was and, if live on TV or radio showing anger or sarcasm will undermine your credibility. 

Happily Andy Murray coped well but he shouldn't have been put kin this position by poor coverage and sloppy questions which is why the BBC's Garry Richardson is my Mis-Communicator of the Week. 

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