Cameron’s slip means the end for pre-records

Posted on 24/03/2010


The majority of interviews for TV and radio don’t happen live, but are pre-recorded. This works well for everyone – spokespeople get to do the interview at a time and place to suit them and broadcasters can line these set pieces up in advance and get content for stories in the bag.

The other benefit for PRs is that it allows us to re-assure nervous spokespeople with the line ‘don’t worry it’s a pre-record’. The belief being that you can ask for it to be RE-recorded if it doesn’t go well (or you forget a key message). This also does mean that the interview will look better when transmitted.

Of course, in this social media age and with the volatile political climate, perhaps the Tory spin doctors should have used the adage ‘there’s no such thing as off the record’ rather than the ‘don’t worry, it’s pre-record’ line.

Yesterday we learnt that the age of the pre-record is over. And another old PR trick bites the dust. Sadly for David Cameron, he learnt this the hard way. For someone who prides himself on his media interview skills it really is awful…

Actually maybe the word ‘slip’ in the headline is being a bit generous…!