Category: Presentation Training


Reader Responses: How Would You Answer This Question?

A few weeks ago, I posted a video of a particularly challenging media question and asked readers how they would respond to it.

The clip featured Bob Diamond, who was the CEO of the British multinational bank Barclays at the time. During the interview, the reporter asked Diamond to defend his high compensation package—he was reportedly


Question Of The Week: Is This A Smart Or Risky Strategy?

If you’re a regular reader of the blog, you know that I generally advise spokespersons to return a call well before a reporter’s deadline.

Returning calls from reporters on the early side—before they begin writing their stories—can give you influence over the way they view your topic. Your early conversations may lead them to examine angles


How Do You Manage a Loose Cannon?

You’re a seasoned public relations professional.

You know all about the need to stay on message in the presence of reporters. You create talking points for your clients. Perhaps you even provide them with media training. 

So what do you do when your client decides to abandon your talking points and “wing it?” What can


The Toughest Media Question You Will Ever Face

I’ve conducted mock interviews with thousands of spokespersons since 2004. There’s one question that no trainee has ever answered particularly well, and there’s good reason for that – it’s a killer question.

Here’s the set-up: I’m working with a top executive from a not-for-profit association, a quasi-governmental organization, a membership group, or a utility company.


Never Argue With A Man Who Buys Ink By The Barrel?

Last week, I asked readers to weigh in on this question: In the age of social media, is it a good idea to occasionally pick fights with the press? Does the expression “Never argue with a man who buys ink by the barrel” still apply?

That old expression, which traces back to the 1960s, advised spokespersons


Is It A Better Time Than Ever To Pick Fights With The Press?

Never argue with a man who buys ink by the barrel.

That old adage, most frequently attributed to writers H.L Mencken and Mark Twain, wisely advised spokespersons to avoid picking fights with the media. (In fact, the expression traces back to the mid-1960s, when former Indiana Congressman Charles Brownson quipped, “I never quarrel with a man


Question of the Week: When Did You Stop Beating Your Wife?

If there’s one cliché question that people associate with media training, it’s this one: “When did you stop beating your wife?”

It’s offered as an example of an (almost) impossible question to answer well, since most people will look guilty when they deny the charge. Imagine, for example, that Senator Smith answers the question by


Your Worst Media Nightmare Stories

Every P.R. professional who works with the media long enough has a media nightmare story to share.

Last week, I asked you to share your worst media nightmare stories – and you had some doozies to tell. Here are some of the highlights (lowlights?) you shared, along with a tip or two to help readers

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