If you could attach a dollar value to every word you say, would you make money or would you lose money?
Do your words in media interviews or even in conversation with clients, stakeholders, and colleagues enhance your profits, or destroy your revenue, reputation, and brand? The story I’m sharing here appears in my media training classes, as well as in my keynote presentations, “Don’t Talk to the Media Until…” and “Words Matter.”
How much do words matter? In this story, a company spokesperson destroys a $700-million dollar project in a 12-second soundbite. Watch this video to learn to mess up in private, not in public:
“A license to pollute.” Yikes. 4,000 construction jobs never created. 400 permanent jobs never created. Taxes were never paid. Safer roads were never built. The audience heard him say “We have a license to kill.” What should have been said? This spokesperson should have had proper media training to understand and communicate the three things he promises to protect. Preparation needs to be done before the real interview.
Ultimately, you should talk to the media to tell the story of your brand. The keyword is “until.” The key is to do it properly and understand the rules of engagement. The first lesson is don’t talk to the media, but talk to the media’s audience. The media are not your audience. The people at home are your audience. Talk to them. Manage their expectations.
To talk further about how to prepare to talk to the media or how this virtual presentation could benefit your boss or your colleagues, schedule a complimentary, confidential call with me https://calendly.com/braud/15min
Crisis communications and media training expert Gerard Braud, CSP, Fellow IEC is based in New Orleans. Organizations on five continents have relied on him to write their crisis communications plans and to train their spokespeople. He is the author of “Don’t Talk to the Media Until…”
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