In conjunction with PR News, Jerry Doyle, principal of CommCore, will provide exclusive insight and analysis on what senior managers are doing right—and wrong—when engaging the media.
The first installment is an interview by Shantanu Narayen, CEO of Adobe Systems, on Australian television. It turns out that Narayen, may need some more media schooling.
Concede, Then Go To Your Message!
In our first edition of Executive Critique, we see the CEO of Adobe Systems, Inc., Shantanu Narayen trying, feebly, to avoid answering a straight-forward question on price comparisons in a specific region (in this case, Australia). In this media coach’s opinion, Mr. Narayen fell victim to a CEO’s temptation to try and completely avoid conceding any point and instead head straight to a key message. This rarely works.
The Result?: Mr. Narayen looks and sounds like he is trying to pull a “shell game” on the audience.
The Lesson?: Every spokesperson must decide in advance what points he must concede. My advice when faced with such a question is to answer it concisely without hesitation and then bridge immediately to a positive key message.
As you can see in the video, the reporter is not fooled. In fact, he presses on and the CEO’s refusal to answer the question continues to make things worse. His credibility is hurt, the company’s reputation sustains some damage and the message never gets through.
Stay up-to-date with future installments of Executive Critique by monitoring PR News website.