Volume 1, Edition 2 – 26 May 2010
For Aker it must have seemed like a good idea at the time
When Corporate Media Services conducts media training courses, we make the point over and over: Why are you engaging the media? Why are you giving up your time to conduct a media interview? What’s the point?
There are generally only two reasons why you would speak to the media:
1. To be proactive – promote a positive message.
2. To be reactive – manage a crisis.
In both of these situations, it is absolutely essential that you understand what you’re going to say, how you’re going to say it, why you’re going to say it and what the likely fallout will be from your comments.
You should never speak to the media unless you are absolutely clear, or as clear as you can be, in relation to these points.
There has been an enormous amount of publicity given to the comments made by AFL Western Bulldogs Forward, Jason Akermanis, about gay football players revealing their homosexuality. He suggested there was “gay hunting going on” in order to encourage gay footballers to come out.
In one interview he said, “Football is seen to be at the peak of masculinity, which of course then makes homophobia almost at its peak. So we, as footballers, need to be more open if there is, and accept people if they would come out, but at the moment, I’m not sure that while you’re playing, it would be a safe thing.”
The storm these comments created is clear to even the most casual media observer. It even created the ‘crisis ripple effect‘ that we spoke about in the last e-Bulletin.
So what was the point of all this? Maybe we will never know.
What we do know is that his public comments were not clear or focused, they were confusing. Most importantly, what was the point he was trying to make and what was he trying to achieve? His message was ambiguous and his stance unclear.
Never fall into this trap. If you are going to engage media, know what you want to achieve and why. What is the benefit to you and your organisation?
If your comments are going to be controversial, understand that they may create a media frenzy. Be ready for that and know how you are going to handle it.
Make an enquiry now or call us on 1300 737 913 or +61 412 298 905