Tag Archives: key messages

Don’t Die on the Vine

I’m far from being a technology early-adopter, but I think that Twitter’s Vine might catch on.  The service allows users to shoot only six-second audio/video clips, which are looped and can be shared through social media.  Its ease and forced brevity makes sense, since I believe people prefer a six-second update on some things, versus a longer YouTube clip.

If a picture is worth 1,000 words, well then a Vine must be worth 6,000.  Marketers, media  and celebrities are already swinging on the Vine.  Agencies like Ketchum are providing guidance.  And clever members of the public are already showing how artistic the medium can be.

Will the service spread and menace like kuzdu, or become an irritant like poison oak?  Time will tell.  Either way, the service may already have implications in accelerating crisis management situations and helping manage these situations.

In the spirit of the service, here are only six quick examples: Continue reading Don’t Die on the Vine

The bridge from nowhere

If you’ve been through a communications coaching or media training session, it’s likely you’ve heard the importance of this formula when asked a difficult question:

Answer  →  Bridge  →  Message

During coaching sessions I’ve conducted, I’ll often get asked “Is this what politicians do?”  My stock answer:  “Some adopt this formula.  Many do not answer the questions, however.  They simply bridge to their messages regardless of the questions.  And you shouldn’t do that.”

This week, Rep. Anthony Weiner provides a vivid example of why “bridging from nowhere” is not recommended:

The public is tiresome of these shenanigans.  It’s spin.  I suspect most news outlets will only take a representative seven-second clip from this.  Kudos for ABC News for showing the entire interview.  In doing so, the public can see how Weiner tries several times to completely avoid the questions, often using the same (weak) bridges. 

Continue reading The bridge from nowhere

Buffett makes good

Like many, I was a little surprised by the initial under-reaction of Warren Buffett’s response to the David Sokol resignation.  In case you missed the full story, Sokol personally bought a boatload of shares of a company that he soon recommended get acquired by Berkshire Hathaway. 

Buffett responded with a rather vanilla quote in the initial press release:  “Neither Dave nor I feel his Lubrizol purchases were in any way unlawful.”  

Quite a flaccid response from the man who once reportedly opined: “Lose money for the firm and I will be understanding; lose a shred of reputation for the firm, and I will be ruthless.”

However, rather than rush to WordPress with a damning blog post, I decided to wait until more facts were made public.  On Monday, an article by Andrew Ross Sorkin restored some of my faith in the Oracle of Omaha.

Continue reading Buffett makes good

Three Tough Q’s: Judy Hoffman

When I first formed the mission of this blog, I knew it would be an interesting experiment.  Crisis management experts and communications coaches are a spirited bunch.  Encouraging dialogue and debate on these topics should lead to interesting, educational places.  That’s the goal for all ye who browse here. 

What I didn’t count on, however, was how interesting the networking has become in such a short time.  Take Judy Hoffman, for example, founder of JCH Enterprises.  The blog was a few posts old when Judy reached out, sent warm complements and also offered me a copy of her book, Keeping Cool on the Hot Seat.  It’s a solid read of the foundations of dealing with (mostly local) media in times of crisis.  Check it out, if you get the chance.

We’ve traded emails and my fellow North Carolina neighbor graciously accepted the offer to answer Three Tough Q’s:

Continue reading Three Tough Q’s: Judy Hoffman

Media Interview Numbers Game

For spokespeople, being as repetitive as possible in a media interview is generally accepted as a pathway to success.  Why?  Perhaps the answer lies in 7s and 13s.

A spokesperson can reasonably expect a broadcast media interview to last around seven minutes.  An interview with a newspaper or blog lasts a little longer, about thirteen minutes, since that medium allows for deeper analysis and probing.  

Continue reading Media Interview Numbers Game