- Hi All --
The act of feeding the live images to television networks is the crux of the FEMA "news conference" and should have been the lead in every story. It singularly demonstrates the intent to deceive. Had the event taken place in privacy and conducted as a training sessio, there would not be a story here. However, because of the sequencing, many current and potential users in government of spokesperson training will be gunshy. As background, I was one of the first to offer media training, I designed and conducted the media-interview and presentations training for Johnson & Johnson for the Tylenol(tm) Crisis working personally Chairman, Jim Burke. Over ten years ago, HarperBusiness published three of my books in one year -- including one on news-media interviewing,
When Eliot Frankel interviewed me for the "Washington Journalism Review" article, "Learning to Conquer 'Mike Fright,'" (July/August, 1982) I said that executives owe it to their organizations to spend a few hours preparing for the Mike Wallaces of the broadcast business. Wallace's response? He agreed, saying, "It makes perfect sense to me because people should have every opportunity to make the best case they can for themselves."
The same article quoted Irving Shapiro, then chairman and chief executive officer of DuPont, whom I had counseled to appear on "The Donahue Show." Said Shapiro: "You wouldn't drive a car without practicing, and when you go into the world of professional TV you ought to know what the experience is like. If you don't know that, you're at a huge disadvantage." Shapiro was named "Communicator of the Year" by the International Association of Business Communicators following that interview, and I spoke at the same conference.
BTW -- After nearly 30 years in spokesperson coaching and counseling, I am still actively coaching, writing, researching, and teaching.
Stephen C. Rafe, APR
Offering behavior-based counsel and coaching
in all aspects of written, spoken, and non-verbal communication
for nearly three decades.
P.O. Box 523
Germantown, MD 20875
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