Randy Siegel builds the people who build organizations.

Organizations hire Randy to transform high-potential employees into a new generation of leaders. Randy gives them the leadership and communications skills they need to rise through the organization.

CEOs hire Randy to help them become more charismatic leaders, spokespeople, and ambassadors for the organizations they serve.

His work is based upon a proprietary process that facilitates self-discovery to clarify personal perspective, true purpose, and professional image.

For more information, contact: Randy@buildyourleaders.com

Asheville, NC
Atlanta, GA
Washington, D.C.
Phone: 828.236.0045
Toll Free:

Visit my blog

Sign up to receive weekly blog entries!

Postcard from Asheville, N.C.

You win. Close to 70 percent voted to lose the “creepy photo” on my home page. I hope you like the new photo better. If you have not already, be sure to check out my new blog.

San Miguel de Allende (in Mexico) was wonderful. A small group of friends and I went at the end of January to celebrate best-selling author (widowofthesouth.com) Robert Hicks’ birthday. I did manage to squeeze in a drawing course and attend Joseph Dispenza’s (josephdispenza.com) amazing dream group before returning to the States. Best of all, I am exploring offering a week-long workshop on “Me, Inc.” in San Miguel with the folks from LifePath Retreats.

Upon my return, I was off to San Francisco to train the wonderful folks at PeoplePC. Gosh, I love San Francisco.

From time to time, clients request media spokesperson training. Although I am happy to provide informal counsel, I prefer not to conduct comprehensive seminars on the subject. This year, I am teaming with one of the best media trainers in the business, Debbie Wetherhead, to offer spokesperson training.

Backed by twenty-five years of experience, Debbie has conducted hundreds of individual and group media trainings for Fortune 500 companies, healthcare and academic institutions, as well as entrepreneurial businesses. She’s been a featured speaker at national and regional public relations conferences and her byline article, “How to Deliver Compelling Messages,” was recently published in PR News Media Training Guidebook.

When preparing for an interview with a journalist, Debbie offers these suggestions.

How to Manage the Media

Before an interview, prepare three key messages. Two or three sentences in length or fifteen to thirty seconds when spoken, these statements provide spokespersons with direction, as well as help them prioritize and put things into perspective. They should:

  • Describe and differentiate their core product, service, or position;
  • Provide a strategic message showcasing their leadership;
  • Focus on the benefits to their target audience.

During an interview, introduce and reinforce your key messages. Use supporting information that distinguishes and adds credibility to your main points, such as facts, statistics, references to external subject-matter experts, stories, and personal experience.

Because people often recall what they hear first and last, base your closing statement on a key message. Preferably, focus on your benefit statement as it is most relevant to and should resonate with your target audience.

Debbie warns us against these common traps set by reporters.

If you do not want a statement quoted, do not make it. When you agree to be interviewed, don't assume you can tell someone that part of what you say is "off the record." Also, "off the cuff" statements made in the hallway or on the way to lunch run the risk of becoming headlines.

If you don't know an answer, say so. Don't speculate. Refer the reporter to someone who can answer the question or tell the reporter you will get back to him or her later -- and do so, respecting the reporter's deadline.

Never say "no comment.” It can make you or your organization appear evasive or guilty. Instead, provide a three-part answer that says, “I’m sorry I can’t answer that,” and then explain why, such as “for competitive reasons our organization doesn’t provide that information,” and follow with “but what I can tell you is” and then share information pertinent to the original question.

I used to work with a fellow at Fleishman-Hillard, Rick Gove, who said that going into a media interview without media training is like going lion hunting without a gun. Rick was so right.


Copyright Randy Siegel 2007. All rights reserved.