Apply your Media Training or risk being bowled by a googly

We all know the expression ‘think before you speak’ but when you’re under the media spotlight, it can be easy for even the best spokespeople to forget their media training and the importance of keeping mum. Interviewed shortly after a resounding victory in Hobart which saw England’s women cricketers retain the Ashes, team captain Charlotte […]

Crisis management: The art of listening

Effective communication in a crisis isn’t about what you say – it’s also about how you listen. Gut instinct may be to hunker down in the ‘war room’ and get on with managing the incident but shutting yourself off from the outside world can result in strategies that fail to take account of public opinion […]

A POLITICIAN’S GUIDE TO PROTECTING AND ENHANCING REPUTATION

If business people find managing their reputations a tough challenge, spare a thought for the politicians.  As party conference season draws to a close, across the UK politicians will be evaluating their performance in a bid to discover whether they’ve emerged with their reputations intact or even enhanced. Given that the good name of MPs […]

Why your crisis media spokesperson must be the genuine article

  It’s part of my job to analyse how the media and companies deal with crises. Whenever I am researching major incidents I never lose sight of the fact that real people have been affected. Sadly, I think this human reaction to tragic events isn’t always evident in the corporate world’s media response.  Just take […]

Getting the basics right: looking good for TV

This amusing clip of a BBC weather forecaster, whose smiley face turns into a frosty glare when she’s finished her report, shows it’s best to assume you are still ‘on camera’ until someone tells you otherwise. It’s a simple thing to remember but what you do and how you and your surroundings look on TV […]

Why answering the tough questions is an essential skill for today’s CEO

With interest in and scrutiny of business at an all time high, today’s CEOs must also assume the role of CCO – chief communication officers.  With the value of trust at a premium, corporate reputation management should now be high on the agenda for all business leaders. This means that the most successful CEOs will […]

McDonalds CEO gives textbook performance

After watching countless spokespeople over recent weeks dodge the issue of the food industry’s ever expanding supply chain it was refreshing to see Jill McDonald, CEO of McDonald’s, tackle it head on in an interview for BBC Breakfast on Friday. Not only did she answer the questions asked (a rare thing indeed!) she showcased all […]

“Enjoy your lunch” – Pope Francis shows CEOs how it’s done: guest blog post from Peter Heath

It seems the Vatican has a media rock star on its hands. Pope Francis is, from the earliest moments of his Papacy, displaying communication skills the Catholic Church has long been in dire need of. His early teachings extend way beyond the theological. As CEO of one of the most traditional, inflexible and hide-bound institutions […]

Why crisis media training is about more than just the message

As the horsemeat saga rumbles on, it is becoming clearer and clearer which organisations invested in crisis management training beforehand…and which didn’t.  This manifests itself most obviously in the performance of company spokesperson in their television and radio interviews. I was asked by The Grocer to assess the crisis communication efforts of the big supermarkets […]

Effective communication is not an option, it’s a must

At Insignia, a considerable part of my work relies on Internet research – be it during stakeholder mapping work that we do for our clients or in the business development activity. On a daily basis, I visit a myriad of websites which, more often than not, are owned by companies I have never heard of […]