More from PR and personal presence guru Bronwyn Saglimbeni in the 2nd of our 3 part interview. Today we tackle unexpected calls from reporters and how to deal with them.
RS: Hi again Bronwyn. Early in my career during a crises, I got an unexpected call where a reporter tried to catch me off-guard – and I completely panicked, gave out too much info and got misquoted! How should entrepreneurs – or any businessperson, for that matter – handle an unexpected call from a reporter, especially if there is a crisis going on?
BS: The best thing to do is to ask for as much information as possible. Put aside your panic about whatever crisis is afoot, (or if you are not in a crisis, put aside your thrill at receiving that coveted call from the New York Times) and focus entirely on what the reporter is looking for, and the timing of his needs. It reminds me of my first fishing trip with my grandfather. He had finally caught a huge fish, and shouted to me, “RUN! Get the net!!” I was so gob smacked by the fish slapping around on the line, all I could do was stare. Needless to say, the fish got away. This reminds me of how people sometimes approach a press inquiry. They fail to hear the most critical pieces of the request, and spend the next few cycles navel gazing about what THEY want to say. By the time they’re ready, the reporter has moved on.
For over 15 years, Bronwyn has worked with clients to improve their public speaking and media relations skills, challenging them to bring out more of themselves in their communications. Bronwyn is known for her playful, irreverent approach to coaching, combined with her knack for delivering “tough love” in a way that allows executives to achieve true breakthroughs. Bronwyn encourages clients to be authentic, engaging and approachable, which has resulted in successful interviews for clients in publications such as the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Businessweek; and successful television appearances including The Oprah Show, Home Shopping Network, CNBC, and American Idol.
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