Financial soundbites

My organization is often asked to serve as a resource for news media stories related to money management. Occasionally, I am asked to serve as our agency spokesperson. One of the greatest challenges I face as a spokesperson is how to effectively communicate an educational message in the very short time we are in the spotlight.

As I am sure you have noticed, television news is moving at a faster pace than it did in the past. In fact, in 1960, the average television soundbite lasted 40 seconds. Today, the average soundbite lasts less than 15 seconds. As you might imagine, 15 seconds doesn’t leave a lot of time for "ums" and "ahs"—this is particularly true if the interview is live.

In attempt to make the most of my interview time, I have collected and created a list of very short phrases that I hope are both educational and media-worthy. Here are some examples:

-The best place to vacation is somewhere near your budget.
-Far too many budgets are haunted by the ghosts of Christmases past.
-You can’t borrow your way out of debt.
-Credit is a privilege to be protected, not a right to be expected.
-Most consumers would rather have piece of mind than a piece of furniture.

Because I think it is important not to repeat myself, I would like to add to my existing list of financial education soundbites. If you have short, colorful educational messages that you are willing to share with a larger audience, I would love to hear them! Please share your “quotable quotes” through the comments section.

Kim McGrigg is the former Manager of Community and Media Relations for MMI.

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