By Sofie Skouras
You’d be pretty chuffed with appearing on BBC World News. Ideally, you’d want to be interviewed at a prime time slot and then have the clip widely shared on social media. What you might not envisage happening is that your interview goes viral and you win the heart of viewers around the world in the process.
Of course, Professor Robert E Kelly’s interview was the hot topic last week. I think six people individually mentioned and showed the video to me. Yet, what many people weren’t talking about is the huge silver lining in this comical slip-up. For instance, think about what this has done in terms of increasing Pusan National University’s profile. Many companies pay big bucks to create viral videos – take the Mannequin Challenge for example.
Although Kelly might be slightly embarrassed about his children running in screaming during a live interview; it led to him capturing the world’s attention. #BBCDad was trending on social media and the video was covered by most major news outlets. Why? By making viewers do of the most precious and underrated things of all: engage.
Many business leaders strive to appear professional at all times, but this is a prime example of what can happen when you let the corporate mask slip and show viewers some personality.
And if you mess up it’s not the end of the world. In a warm, family-filled follow-up interview Kelly said his immediate fear, post ‘kid crashing’, was that the BBC wouldn't invite him back again – which of course they did! If anything, this works to Kelly’s benefit – helping him stand out amidst a sea of other experts and becoming a journalist favourite.
Experts often come across stiff and smartly dressed – with a lot on their mind and wanting to hit key messages you can understand why. But perhaps this example shows experts are humans too, and showing your softer side doesn’t make you weak. It just makes you relatable.
It’s time for a new sort of expert. One that shows – like the rest of us – they’re human too.