Is your spokespersonready to face the media? Obama, XL Foods and othersshow what happens when you’re simply not ready.
. region,The The President Wasn’t Ready! Insiders say Obama didn’t get the prep he needed before the debate 2
The warning signs ….The New York Times reports that Obama’sdebate preparations had to be cancelled orcut short.On stage, the president seemed frustratedand thrown off by Romney’s moremoderate style and moderator Jim Lehrer’slack of pointed questions. (lack of prep) 3
How the presidential debate changed the campaignOctober 9, 2012UNDATED -- Political observers say PresidentObama’s lackluster performance in the presidentialdebate has fundamentally altered the race.National polling from Pew and Gallup suggests thereis evidence to suggest that the race has shifted, withMitt Romney now pulling into the lead with less thana month to go before voting day. 4
Even the president’s biggest fan, talk show hostDavid Letterman, couldn’t resist lampooning Obamawith a top 10 list of excuses for his dismalperformance during the debate.http://www.mediaite.com/tv/letterman-presents-obamas-top-ten-excuses-for-his-lackluster-debate-performance/
Alberta cases•XL Foods•Stephen Duckett•Edmonton Arena 6
XL Foods limited public response antithesis ofMaple Leaf Foods actions in 2008Posted: Oct 9, 2012 5:04 AM ETBROOKS, Alta. (CBC) -- XL Foods Inc. is in the midst of the largest beefrecall in Canadian history.But the limited public response from the company since E. coli wasdetected in beef products at the plant has garnered widespread criticism.At this point, XL has released only a few media statements and sofar and no XL manager has come forward to speak directly toconsumers.This is nothing like the wide regard Maple Leaf Foods received fortheir accountability and leadership during a similar situation in 2008. 8
Head of XL Foods plant apologizes Oct. 12, 2012 9
An apology nearly a month after the meat recallPostmedia News October 12, 2012OTTAWA — The head of XL Foods apologized unequivocally tothose who were sickened by eating tainted meat and vowed to―making sure this doesn’t happen again.‖In his only interview since XL became mired in the largest everbeef recall in Canadian history, a contrite Brian Nilsson said XLFoods will invest whatever is needed to make sure the foodsafety gaps at the plant never recur.Nilsson has weathered blistering attacks in the media forremaining mum for so long. 10
But this week, the CFIAannounced yet another recallof beef from the plant, thistime involving brands soldunder different product namesin B.C. and Alberta. 11
Beef workers laid off again in Alberta asCFIA announces another recall The XL Foods cattle processing plant in Brooks, Alta. 12
Beef recall was likely ‘death knell’ for XL FoodsCALGARY — Just three years ago, Brian and Lee Nilsson paid $145 million US tobuy the Brooks packing facility, feedlot and fertilizer operations that made XL FoodsInc. Canada’s largest domestically owned meat processor.But amid the country’s biggest ever beef recall, the brothers are now handing thekeys for their shuttered plant to a multinational processer for less than $100 million. 13
After building goodwill with a public apology,Daryl Katz does not meet the mayor’s deadlineEDMONTON - The downtown arena deal ishanging by a thread after Oilers owner DarylKatz refused to appear and tell city council whathe needs to complete the project.“Perhaps with more time and politicalleadership, this project can still be saved,”Katz wrote in a letter to the mayor. 15
Council votes to cease negotiationswith Katz Group on downtown arenaEdmonton city council voted Wednesday to cease negotiations with the Katz Groupon a downtown arena and will explore the possibility of building an arena themselves. 16
Discussion: •How is Katz’s communications style affecting the way the public and the media feel about the arena deal? •What advice would you offer Katz or the mayor at this point when it comes to communications? •Is there one thing we can take away from this as a lesson for people negotiating in public? 17
THE COOKIE MONSTER:The former head of Alberta Health Services,decided to use a cookie as a shield to ignorequestions from the media after an importantpublic meeting.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5DxeCK5Ne_Q 19
•Reading key messages in the back of thecar simply doesn’t cut it!•Spend at least as much time prepping aswas spent building the messages.•Never take the public or the media forgranted.•Speakers need to be reminded oftenwhat’s at stake – brand and reputation. 21
What to do with speakers who are reluctant to practice keymessages:• Get them to answer one tough question. Put them on the spotin the same way that a reporter would do if given the chance. Ifthey can’t put together a solid answer that uses the keymessages, then you’ll both know there’s a problem.• Get them on camera. Show them how they look, how theysound and what mistakes they’re making. Be firm but gentle.Also use the camera to show them how they are improvingwith practice and coaching.• Show them what’s at stake if they’re not prepared or if theyignore advice on how to stay on message. Show them theTony Hayward clip (―I want my life back!‖) 22
The last resort when all else fails:• Stage an intervention. Bring in your mosttrusted colleagues and make your case firmlyto the person who won’t take the time topractice key messages.• Or you can always call in a consultant. 23
Is your spokespersonready to face the media? 24
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