The Emmys are the who’s who of television and a night of glamour, glitz, champagne and caviar. And although the 2013 Emmy Awards may have come and gone, there was an acceptance speech this year that broke the mold. The following is an in-depth (albeit not dissertation-length) analysis of why every company spokesperson can take a few tips from this said actress:
Merritt Wever – Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series – Nurse Jackie A+++
It was the acceptance speech heard ‘round the world that gained instant ‘buzz-worthiness’ in all corners of the internet. As the ‘underdog’ on the night, Wever became a PR reps’ dream as she delivered what is surely the shortest Emmy acceptance speech of all time. Beating out industry heavyweights such as Modern Family’s Julie Bowen and Sofia Vergara, and Jane Krakowski from 30 Rock; a blatantly shocked and overwhelmed Merritt gave a heartfelt: “Thank you so much!” Then she whispered: “Um… I gotta go… Bye,” before hastily exiting stage right.
Despite its apparent brevity, there are many reasons why this speech was so amazing and helped catapult Merritt’s name into the limelight. For starters, Merritt took the unbeaten path with acceptance speeches. Instead of rattling out a list of producers, directors, writers, fellow actors, friends, family, neighbors down the street (you get the idea…), Merritt gave in to the human emotion of surprise in the best way – avoiding anything along the lines of: “I can’t believe this. I’m shocked. I’m speechless.” Instead, she let her actions do the talking, and the ingenuity of it all was a breath of fresh air from the canned acceptance speeches of Emmys past.
At Aspectus PR, we counsel our clients to give thought-provoking and unique industry commentary to journalists. That way, they are viewed as an unmatchable source for the press. Merritt gave a speech that was unlike any other, and she got noticed for it. Moments after she left the stage, journalists across the world were instantly looking up if it was Merritt with two “t’s” and Wever with or without an “a”.
We also advise our spokespeople to stay concise during interviews. To take a page out of Merritt’s playbook, providing “soundbytes” during the call increases your chance of getting quoted in their story. Why use seventeen sentences to answer a reporter’s question when you can give a snappy and quotable answer in three? Merritt’s speech became a soundbyte that will surely be used in Emmy montages for years to come. And speaking of soundbytes, we can’t help but agree with Emmy host Neil Patrick Harris’ quip afterwards: “Merritt Wever, best speech ever.”