Abigail Bimman is an award-winning journalist and an Ottawa-based correspondent for Global National. Most recently, Bimman was based in Kitchener, leading CTV’s local investigative unit. Before that, she spent five years as their weekend anchor and producer.
An unprepared or untrained spokesperson can be a ticking time bomb for your brand. The company spokesperson represents the voice and personification of your brand, so it’s imperative that they be informed, prepared, trained and knowledgeable. This extends to the media contacts listed on your news release or website; are they ready?
In a previous post, we talked about the tactic of pivoting, or bridging, back to your story in the face of adverse questioning from a skeptical audience, moderator or journalist. The prospect of fielding questions from a reporter can be intimidating but, if handled correctly, engaging in a media interview can prove to be beneficial to all parties.
The pundits covering the U.S. presidential and vice-presidential debates have commented on the candidates’ ability, or inability, to pivot or transition from one topic to another in a seamless and conversational manner. Media skills trainers call this “Bridging” – i.e. building a verbal bridge from a negative topic to your positive key messages.
Jeff Jones, Energy and Finance Reporter at The Globe and Mail, recently shared what he requires from PR pitches. “I don’t want excitement. I want clarity and context. I can come up with my own excitement.”
When a crisis occurs, be prepared for public scrutiny. Designate a senior leader or subject matter expert who can stand up for the company while the heat is on, whether it’s coming from investors, customers or reporters.