While there are numerous things you can do once this happens, here are four things to consider before any interview happens:
- Avoid the bot: yes, you want to have your spokespersons media trained, but you don’t want them to sound like they’ve been trained. It’s like trying to pass yourself off as being a native in Mexico when all you’ve learned and practiced in a lab is Castilian español – you come off as a big faker and have people listen to your textbook Spanish and not your message.
- Don’t bring a knife to a gunfight: if you know that this reporter has a reputation for being a little combative and your main spokesperson handles these kinds of personalities by trying to ‘outdo’ them, bring in another spokesperson. Make sure that this person can keep themselves cool when the questions get heated and are good about keeping their emotions in check.
- Learn how to fall: one of the first things they teach you in tae kwon do is how to fall. You have to experience this to keep bruises to a minimum and to know how to pick yourself back up…quickly. Like this, in an interview, when something does go a little off-topic or when the interview begins to stray, your spokesperson has to know how to bridge back the interview to some focus.
- Keep the ‘blunder’ in perspective: not everything will require ‘all hands on deck;’ in fact, a good portion of interview foul-ups include a minor slip of the tongue. Normally, this kind of thing can be cleared up with some humor (quick wit goes along way) or a quick phone call. So be sure to keep your spokesperson a little loose……and know what to do when you accidentally hit yourself with a hammer.
What do you do to keep your spokespersons ‘on the ready’…? How do you keep your spokespersons loose and relaxed…?