You are previewing When the Headline Is You: An Insider's Guide to Handling the Media.
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When the Headline Is You: An Insider's Guide to Handling the Media

Book Description

Proven strategies for managing all types of media encounters!

Award-winning journalist and Fortune 500 consultant Jeff Ansell provides a how-to guide for leaders, executives, and other professionals whose high-visibility requires frequent contact with the media. Drawing on nearly four decades of media experience, Ansell presents tested techniques for responding to challenging questions and delivering effective messages. In addition, he reveals lessons learned and pitfalls to avoid by referencing recent news events from around the world. Valuable features include:

  • A behind-the-scenes look at how news is made

  • Complete guidelines to creating compelling messages

  • Specific messaging formulae for building trust when the news is bad

  • Step-by-step strategies for managing hostile or relentless questions

  • Insider tips on how to identify and handle misleading questions

An essential resource for navigating both traditional and online media, this book prepares readers for even the most challenging media events.

Table of Contents

  1. Copyright
  2. Foreword
  3. Introduction
  4. 1. WHAT IS NEWS?
    1. 1.1. If It Bleeds, It Leads
      1. 1.1.1. News Is . . .
        1. 1.1.1.1. Conflict.
        2. 1.1.1.2. Good Versus Evil.
        3. 1.1.1.3. Winners and Losers.
        4. 1.1.1.4. Bad Decisions.
        5. 1.1.1.5. Irony.
        6. 1.1.1.6. Rumors.
        7. 1.1.1.7. The Unusual or Absurd.
        8. 1.1.1.8. Offensive Comments.
        9. 1.1.1.9. Uninformed Politicians.
        10. 1.1.1.10. Failed Jokes.
      2. 1.1.2. Reporters Cast Characters
      3. 1.1.3. In Defense of Reporters
    2. 1.2. Social Media Raises the Stakes
    3. 1.3. Much Can Go Wrong
      1. 1.3.1. Where's the Rest of What I Said?
      2. 1.3.2. You Took Me out of Context
      3. 1.3.3. It All Comes Down to the Edit
    4. 1.4. Biojax Part 1: The Dynamics of an Interview
    5. 1.5. Telling Your Story
    6. 1.6. The Public Is Losing Trust
    7. 1.7. The Media Training Model Is Broken
    8. 1.8. Chapter Talking Points
  5. 2. YOU ARE THE STORY
    1. 2.1. When Reporters Make Contact
      1. 2.1.1. 1. Be Friendly
      2. 2.1.2. 2. Create a Buffer Zone
      3. 2.1.3. 3. Ask the Reporter Questions
      4. 2.1.4. Be Careful What You Say
      5. 2.1.5. The Truth About "Off the Record"
    2. 2.2. Image Consciousness
      1. 2.2.1. Know What Others Are Saying About You
      2. 2.2.2. Know How You Come Across
    3. 2.3. Building Trust
      1. 2.3.1. What's the Right Thing to Do?
      2. 2.3.2. Look to Your Values
    4. 2.4. The Value Compass
    5. 2.5. Biojax Part 2: The Value Compass in Practice
    6. 2.6. Chapter Talking Points
  6. 3. HOW TO ADMIT BAD NEWS
    1. 3.1. Bad News Basics
      1. 3.1.1. Be Accessible and Forthcoming
      2. 3.1.2. Be Among Those Most Upset
      3. 3.1.3. Know That Facts Will Never Win Over Emotion
    2. 3.2. Providing Reasons to Trust
      1. 3.2.1. Show Humility
      2. 3.2.2. Answer Honestly
      3. 3.2.3. Acknowledge Skepticism
      4. 3.2.4. Couple Concern with Commitment to Action
    3. 3.3. The Problem Solution Formula
    4. 3.4. Biojax Part 3: The Problem Solution Formula in Practice
    5. 3.5. Chapter Talking Points
  7. 4. CRAFTING COMPELLING MESSAGES
    1. 4.1. Messaging Maxims
      1. 4.1.1. Use Simple Words
      2. 4.1.2. Keep Sentences Short
      3. 4.1.3. Create Stand-Alone Sentences
      4. 4.1.4. Avoid Qualifiers
      5. 4.1.5. Scratch Your "But"
    2. 4.2. Media Message Types
      1. 4.2.1. "Your News Is" Message
      2. 4.2.2. Tell Your Story Message
      3. 4.2.3. What News Means to Stakeholders Message
      4. 4.2.4. Fact Message
      5. 4.2.5. Color Message
        1. 4.2.5.1. Context Color Message.
        2. 4.2.5.2. Concern Color Message.
        3. 4.2.5.3. Absolute Color Message.
        4. 4.2.5.4. Figurative Color Message.
      6. 4.2.6. Call to Action Message
      7. 4.2.7. If Asked Message
    3. 4.3. The Compelling Message Creator
    4. 4.4. Biojax Part 4: The Compelling Message Creator in Practice
    5. 4.5. Chapter Talking Points
  8. 5. DELIVERING YOUR MESSAGE
    1. 5.1. Slow Your Racing Brain
      1. 5.1.1. Breathe In . . . Breathe Out
      2. 5.1.2. Speak Slowly
      3. 5.1.3. Power of the Pause
    2. 5.2. Body Language Speaks
      1. 5.2.1. Use Your Face
      2. 5.2.2. The Eyes Have It
      3. 5.2.3. Talk with Your Hands
      4. 5.2.4. Beware of Body Language Leakage
    3. 5.3. Vocal Motion
      1. 5.3.1. Make Your Voice Interesting
      2. 5.3.2. Say It Like You Mean It
    4. 5.4. Optimizing Message Delivery
      1. 5.4.1. What to Do
        1. 5.4.1.1. Say Your Messages Aloud.
        2. 5.4.1.2. Use Your Messages in Your Answers.
        3. 5.4.1.3. Anything to Add? Say Yes.
      2. 5.4.2. What Not to Do
        1. 5.4.2.1. Don't Do a Brain Dump.
        2. 5.4.2.2. Don't Repeat Negative Words.
        3. 5.4.2.3. How Not to Start Your Answers.
    5. 5.5. Messages as Mantra
    6. 5.6. Message Delivery Development
      1. 5.6.1. Practice, Practice, Practice
      2. 5.6.2. Message Delivery Exercise
        1. 5.6.2.1. Step 1: Say Your Message(s) Aloud.
        2. 5.6.2.2. Step 2: Say Your Message(s) Aloud and Focus on Breathing Properly.
        3. 5.6.2.3. Step 3: Say Your Message(s) Aloud and Focus on Breathing Properly and Pausing between Thoughts.
        4. 5.6.2.4. Step 4: Say Your Message(s) Aloud and Focus on Breathing Properly, Pausing between Thoughts, and Using Your Hands.
        5. 5.6.2.5. Step 5: Say Your Message(s) Aloud and Focus on Breathing Properly, Pausing between Thoughts, Using Your Hands, and Making Strong Eye Contact.
    7. 5.7. Biojax Part 5: Message Delivery Skills in Practice
    8. 5.8. Chapter Talking Points
  9. 6. WHEN THE GOING GETS TOUGH
    1. 6.1. Surprise Encounters
    2. 6.2. When the Problem Is Bigger Than You
      1. 6.2.1. The Share the Blame Formula
    3. 6.3. When You Say Something Stupid
      1. 6.3.1. The Fluster Strategy
      2. 6.3.2. The Closure Strategy
      3. 6.3.3. The Cluster Strategy
    4. 6.4. Be Prepared to Sincerely Apologize
      1. 6.4.1. Apologies That Don't Work
        1. 6.4.1.1. The Nonapology Apology.
        2. 6.4.1.2. The "It's Not Our Fault" Apology.
        3. 6.4.1.3. The "It's Your Fault" Apology.
        4. 6.4.1.4. The "I Drank Too Much" Apology.
        5. 6.4.1.5. The Groveling Apology.
        6. 6.4.1.6. The "I Won't Say Why I'm Apologizing" Apology.
    5. 6.5. Biojax Part 6: An Interview Done Correctly
    6. 6.6. Chapter Talking Points
  10. 7. TWENTY WHAT-IFS
    1. 7.1. You Don't Know What to Say
      1. 7.1.1.
        1. 7.1.1.1. What If You Don't Want to Answer the Question, But You Have to Say Something?
        2. 7.1.1.2. What If You Don't Know How an Accident or Mistake Happened?
        3. 7.1.1.3. What If You're Asked for Hard Numbers and Don't Know the Answer?
        4. 7.1.1.4. What If You Don't Know the Answer, But a Colleague Who Is with You May Know It?
        5. 7.1.1.5. What If You Need to Pause?
    2. 7.2. You Shouldn't Answer at All
      1. 7.2.1.
        1. 7.2.1.1. What If There Really Is Nothing to Say?
        2. 7.2.1.2. What If the Answer Is Confidential?
        3. 7.2.1.3. What If It's a Question about a Rumor?
        4. 7.2.1.4. What If the Answer Is Personnel-Related?
        5. 7.2.1.5. What If the Question Pertains to Lawsuits or Lost Sales?
    3. 7.3. You Have to Be Careful When Answering
      1. 7.3.1.
        1. 7.3.1.1. What If It's a Question about a Competitor?
        2. 7.3.1.2. What If It's a General Question about a Specific Private or Privileged Situation?
        3. 7.3.1.3. What If the Question Is Offensive?
        4. 7.3.1.4. What If You Are Asked for Your Personal Opinion?
        5. 7.3.1.5. What If the Issue Is Ugly, But You're Not the Appropriate Spokesperson?
        6. 7.3.1.6. What If You Don't Like What You're Saying?
    4. 7.4. It's a Trick Question
      1. 7.4.1.
        1. 7.4.1.1. What If It's a "Yes or No" Question?
        2. 7.4.1.2. What If It's an "Is It Possible" Question?
        3. 7.4.1.3. What If It's a "Can You Guarantee" Question?
    5. 7.5. Quotus Interruptus
      1. 7.5.1.
        1. 7.5.1.1. What If You're Interrupted Mid-Answer?
    6. 7.6. Sign Off
  11. A. Media Messaging Toolkit
    1. A.1.1. The Value Compass
      1. A.1.1.1. Value Compass Instructions
      2. A.1.1.2. Value Compass Words
    2. A.1.2. The Problem Solution Formula
    3. A.1.3. The Compelling Message Creator
  12. Notes
    1. Introduction
    2. Chapter 1: What Is News?
    3. Chapter 2: You Are the Story
    4. Chapter 3: How to Admit Bad News
    5. Chapter 4: Crafting Compelling Messages
    6. Chapter 5: Delivering Your Message
    7. Chapter 6: When the Going Gets Tough
    8. Chapter 7: Twenty What-Ifs
  13. Acknowledgments
  14. The Authors