Robbery, murder and firing of a
supervisor had landed a fast-food franchisee in hot water. A
bad local story was about to become a bad national one. My job
was to make sure that didn't happen.
The franchisee refused to talk
with the media, but offered up a young manager who was
terrified at the prospect of facing a reporter and camera crew
that were sitting in the parking lot.
Before leaving my office I
called the media producer
in New York and bargained for more time in exchange for a full explanation
of decisions made by the franchisee and permission to video
inside the facility. Traveling to the airport I listened to
explanations of events and decisions and in the air I
formulated a strategy. At my destination I met the young
manager who would have to face the camera and gave him a two-day
spokesperson training course in two hours.
The manager was a quick learner
and his comments not only neutralized
the bad news, but helped reporters understand why his actions
deserved praise not scorn.
I taught the young man
techniques to reduce anxiety and gain respect of those to whom
he would be talking. I also showed him how to ensure that his
message would effectively be communicated to customers and
opinion makers in the community and across the nation.
Call me and let's discuss how I
can help you become a better spokesperson for your
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