“Public sentiment is everything. With public sentiment, nothing can fail; without it, nothing can succeed” – Abraham Lincoln
A few years ago, while preparing for a press conference with a well-known celebrity, I was given the task of media training the actor to ensure correct messages were delivered. Confident that she knew the company and its messages well, she refused any support.
At the conference, while promoting the soft drink, she was asked several questions by the media which the actor dodged masterfully, constantly bringing the attention back to her personal life. A journalist, exasperated by the constant refusal to answer direct questions, asked what was her favourite soft drink. To which she responded, ‘I do not like carbonated drinks; they are not healthy’. A major facepalm moment for the marketing director!
The next day’s headlines went something like this – ‘XYZ says no to carbonated drinks at the launch of ABC drink’!
You might read this, and think it does not apply to you because you know better than this actor. The reality is, when faced with journalists who are constantly on the lookout for controversy, every spoken word needs to reflect the correct sentiment or else it can result in a seriously misunderstood quote.
Common sentiments after a media interview
Think about it, how many of you have experienced this:
‘We made an important news announcement about our project. It did not print on the front page.’
‘The article was OK but the headline was misleading.’
‘I spent an hour speaking to him and he has misquoted me!’
There are several reasons behind the above scenarios. The message was not focused, so the journalist did not know what to pick; your body language opposed the words you spoke or the “news” you offered was interesting to you but not to a dispassionate journalist.
Whether you are in the preliminary stages of your project or well underway into production or commercialization, stakeholder sentiment for your project will remain to be crucial throughout. The media helps enormously in this regard as they provide third-party testimonial for the actions of the company, be a credible channel of communication with the target audience and most importantly they can influence public opinion in a crisis.
Most times, in-depth knowledge about the company is not enough. How you package that information and deliver it, is the key to successful media stories.
We are conducting a media training workshop for miners and mining professionals on November 7 and 8, 2017 in Vancouver. Through this media training workshop, we aim to educate and empower you, whether media coverage is your top priority, your darkest fear, or something in between.
Contact us today to know about the early bird discount and we’ll save a special seat for you!