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Speaking live on City Radio FM March 15, 2009

Posted by Richard Aucock in What I learned today.
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Today, I was a guest speaker on City Talk Liverpool radio. The presenter, Rob McLoughlin, had Eddie O’Hara MP in the studio, and brought me in for some journalistic insight.

They’d got my name from reading the news pieces I’ve been writing for Car Dealer Magazine. All this fuss kicked off on Wednesday, you see, after the BERR assembled car industry chiefs, Ministers, bank folk and other senior people. For a heads-up on how to get the industry into gear.

Like the industry, the meeting stalled. The RMIF emerged and screamed that it had ‘failed’. Mandelson came out and said the Treasury and, in particular, the Bank of England were dragging their feet. The Bank of England responded by biting its tongue, kicking the cat, then saying it was ‘puzzled’ by Mandelson’s comments.

Even the BoE press release seemed fit to explode… I can only imagine what the language flowing through the meeting was.

speaking-live-on-city-radio-fmHence, McLoughlin’s interest. First, he grilled O’Hara, on what the Government was going to do. ‘It’s going to cost you votes!’, he said. This is going to cost me nerve endings, I thought.

After a short while, it was over to me. ‘Which plants are at risk in the UK?’ Heavens above. No time to respond though, as McLoughlin quickly added the Liverpool-specific line. ‘What about Ellesmere Port and Halewood?’ In all honesty, I ventured, things are more positive for them than most. Both have secured a green future model, in the Ampera and LRX. This alone opens up a big chunk of green Government cash. Back to O’Hara. Phew.

The debate continued, and we discussed the future model, the sheer oddness of Mandelson’s comments, what can be done to revive the market and, broadly, my insight on the industry’s view of things.

Pleasingly, it went well. Haven’t done much radio chat, but I quite got into it by the end.

But, for a bit of insight, what happens to guys like me on the line? Well, they call you up a few minutes before, then you hear a live feed to the broadcast station. There’s no warning that you’re ‘live’, so you simply start chatting when you’re name’s called. Listen to talk shows from now on – all those mentions of the guests’ names is vital, to elicit both concentration, and a response!

At the end, the feed cut, it was a quick thank you from the producer, a swap of mobile numbers, and back to reality. My summary? As I reviewed in the news at the end of the week – Land Rover’s green future is positive, and the key to it getting a shot right now is confidence.

Maybe, just maybe, I’ve played a small part in boosting that. If not, the call from Land Rover will be first in tomorrow…