4 interview lessons from ‘The Jinx’

The subject of the documentary series, Robert Durst, made some catastrophic mistakes in his talks with the filmmakers.

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HBO’s acclaimed documentary series “The Jinx,” about accused murderer Robert Durst, is a case study not only for legal eagles and law enforcement types, but also PR people. It’s a master class in what not to do in interviews.

Durst makes several costly PR miscalculations in his dealings with documentarians. Here’s what you can learn from his mistakes:

1. Avoid excessive hubris. Durst seems to think he can talk his way out of anything. When he was on trial for murdering his neighbor in Texas, he testified on his own behalf, helping earn an acquittal. Durst thinks he can outsmart the filmmakers, too, until it eventually backfires. If you’ve been in PR very long, you’ve probably had clients like this. Their arrogance isn’t likely to get them arrested for murder. However, unless they learn to respect the power of the press, they’re headed for trouble, too.

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