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First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, Pink Elephant communications, media training Edinburgh

Media training Edinburgh: First Minister Nicola Sturgeon

This weekend, we saw an honest assessment of the handling of the Covid-19 crisis.

“I’ve made mistakes…

“Everybody involved… will make mistakes”.

But what’s remarkable is that these are the words of a senior politician.

Proving that honesty really is the best policy.

It’s a message we underline on media training in Edinburgh.

And in our courses all around the world.

Read on.

Candid and honest

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, Pink Elephant

We’re used to politicians ducking and diving.

And our frustration as an audience growing.

Which is why we advocate direct answers to direct questions.

With answers being candid and honest.

So when Nicola Sturgeon appeared on Andrew Marr’s BBC programme, she earned my immediate approval.

For saying this:

“We’re all trying to make the best decisions we can…

“Undoubtedly getting things wrong.

“As every government in the world will do.”

The First Minister of Scotland continued in open vein.

“I’ve been very clear from the outset.

“I’ll make mistakes.

“Everybody involved in leading these responses will make mistakes.

“But it’s really important we take the best decisions we can at every stage.

“And try to learn from that as we go.”

A refreshingly honest appraisal from a political leader.

So what can we do?

Media training Edinburgh, Pink Elephant, what can we do

Every business, department and charity can learn from this attitude.

In three words, it’s this:

  • Plan
  • Act
  • Debrief

Each government is planning its response.

It’s enacting that response as best it can.

But it must then debrief and learn what worked well, and what needs to improve.

Then, share the findings publicly.

We take a similar view in getting a message across.

Through newspapers, radio, TV and social media.

On media training in Edinburgh, at our studios and across the world.

The three stages

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, Pink Elephant communications, the three stages

It goes like this:

  • Stage one – plan what you want to say.
  • Stage two – express it to the best of your ability.
  • And stage three – debrief to discover what went well, and what needs to improve.

To get on top of this devastating pandemic, Governments need to be open and honest.

But they need to share what’s working and what needs to be improved as we go along.

That way we’ll trust them.

To act in our best interest.

And all of us need to look at our businesses in the same way.

It’s the only way to learn as we enter a landscape unfamiliar to any of us.


Bill McFarlan is co-Founder and Executive Chairman at Pink Elephant Communications in Glasgow.

You can read his full profile here.

And click here for our Pink Elephant vlog on handling a crisis.
Screenshots in Media training Edinburgh blog courtesy of BBC One.
Media training Edinburgh blog edited by Colin Stone.

Media training Edinburgh

28th April 2020 Featured in: Blog, Our courses blogs By:

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