05 May Executive Coaching or Coaxing? Staying Ahead of the 2021 Media Landscape
Whether it’s as part of a business media interview or a town hall in response to a crisis, executives are expected to perform well, delivering their key message and manage questions in a manner that is focused, brand-affirming, and intentional – and connects with audiences on a human level. Achieving this success requires discipline and ongoing coaching, ideally on an annual basis to help stay abreast on the constantly evolving media landscape.
Quality media coaching helps executives refine their key messaging, align their body language and delivery, control the communication transaction and make important messages stick.
“The media and audiences have changed significantly in 2021,” says Clara Mattucci, EVP at GillespieHall (GH). “We see trends toward more audience resistance and segmentation, more biased and agenda-driven media channels, a surge in influential but thinly-credentialed ‘journalists’ (bloggers), a more confrontational (‘gotcha’) form of reporting, and skepticism toward authority. Our approach to ready executives now is significantly different from what we did three years ago.”
“This specialized form of communications coaching helps media-facing leaders anticipate media behavior – whether it’s during a live in-studio video session or a remote interview. This allows them to avoid common traps and confidently focus on their messaging,” says Bridget Paverd, senior partner at GH.
“We aim for authenticity, not perfection – and this takes practice. And patience. We have to be cautious about the emergence of ‘fake authenticity,’ where people are trying so hard to be themselves that they overreach and over curate. We teach our executives that they are always in control of what they say and how they say it. Their most critical goal is to weave their key message throughout the media interview or town hall,” says Paverd. “It’s very easy to get sidetracked during an interaction – and then no one wins.”
The media landscape is perpetually shifting, making it crucial to regularly refresh your media training in an era when there are more writers and news “reporters” than ever before. “Communication is dynamic and ever changing, but you can never go wrong with messages anchored in precision, truth, humility and empathy,” Paverd says.
Are you ready for that town hall or media interview? Call us.
Public relations specialist Bridget Paverd (L) is the founding partner at GillespieHall, and with the PR team manages local and international PR projects. Paverd also teaches crisis communication at Wharton. Behaviorist and partner Clara Mattucci (R) manages the overall running of the agency with a focus on research, project execution and metrics.