PR, image is everything. Whether a grassroots event, a
story pitch, an interview, or a public appearance, how
you handle yourself can make or break an entire
campaign. A prime example: the recent media flap
involving Kansas basketball coach Roy Williams following
his team's loss in the national championship game.
Williams is a well-spoken, highly regarded coach with a
great deal of influence on his players and colleagues.
Still shell-shocked immediately after losing one of the
most important games of his life, he was asked about
coaching at another school. His reply was polite but he
made it obvious that he resented the question -
especially the timing of it.
question was repeated in another form, and he went
ballistic, losing control of his emotions and uttering
an epithet on national television. His abilities and
reputation quickly came under fire.
dealing with the media and public, it's imperative to
steel oneself for any and all questions and allusions.
Understanding a journalist's prime function (see related
article below) can help keep the focus on your agenda -
not the media's.
this common technique that has saved many a gaffe:
before responding to a tricky question, rephrase the
question in terms you understand and repeat it back to
the questioner. This not only clarifies the intent of
the question for you, but provides time to craft an
appropriate answer and not answer in haste.