We all have something to say and a powerful message we want to get across. When the opportunity of a good platform to relay that message comes up, the need to present it in a compelling, eloquent way is vital. Too often, marketing professionals come across brands that, while they may be successful, are lacking the skills necessary to perform this crucial task.
Sure, these companies may be projecting record-breaking earnings and experiencing increases in their stock price. But many are still in the unfortunate position of trekking along with an Achilles heel: an executive leader that doesn’t know how to effectively communicate the company’s message to the public. This is the kind of nightmare scenario that puts companies in an extremely vulnerable position. How can they tread water in a flooded media landscape where reporters may be willing to twist their words in an effort to craft a more interesting story?
At the end of the day, a strong spokesperson can be the comfort shareholders, customers and audiences alike need to deter them from any misperceptions that may arise during times of crisis and confusion. They are the saving grace for companies when they find themselves in sticky situations that require a high level of clarity. Spokespeople can thwart any air of panic stemming from seemingly negative news stories that lead audiences to believe something is wrong.
Sending a strong message; not the wrong message
With the power of having an influential platform comes enormous responsibility, which is why any message that’s being communicated requires authenticity. The truth is the most important aspect of any strong message. It’s important for the spokesperson to be educated on how to effectively tell the truth without instilling a sense of fear to the public. Honesty and authenticity leads to likeability, as the public will see this person as trustworthy.
While identifying the key traits that make up the anatomy of the ideal spokesperson is important, it is only a piece of the puzzle. Knowing how to shape him or her into that hero is just as vital. Every good spokesperson needs to come equipped with these skills before making their next statement:
- Understand the media landscape: Have a firm grasp of a journalist’s role and know how to communicate with them effectively. This will help you to get your message across in the media.
- Deliver the business’ key messages: Before addressing the media or the public think about the three key points you want to convey.
- Clear and concise: Speak clearly and not too fast. No one likes misunderstandings!
- Stay on track and keep composure: Not every interview will go as swimmingly as hoped. In a difficult situation, a great spokesperson will keep their composure and not lose focus. Responding negatively to any disruption or question could give your business a bad reputation.
- Preparation: Ideally you’ll have time to review some sort of briefing document prior to any interview to give you a chance to come prepared with smart, concise, on-message answers for the interviewer.
- Relax: If it’s in-person (not a phone interview or written response) look like you are in control of the situation and you will ultimately appear more confident and credible.