PR: The Good, Bad and Ugly
The Importance Of Staying Positive During A Media Interview
by Jordan Smith on 10/24/2012
Whether you are a top executive for a Fortune 500 company that is receiving bad press or a team leader for a squad that is having a disappointing season, it is critical that you stay positive when talking to the media.
Anyone who knows me is well aware that I am a diehard Carolina Panthers fan and have been for quite some time. Along with most Panthers fans, I am excited about the young, talented quarterback named Cam Newton, who was drafted in 2011, and for the skills that he brings to the organization.
However, the Carolina Panthers struggled before he joined the roster and not much has changed since he was named the starting quarterback of the team. Some of his post-game press conferences have left fans disappointed in Newton, with many even questioning his character. Since his rookie season, negativity has been a reoccurring theme of Cam Newton’s press conferences. In his most recent post-game appearance following a 19-14 loss to the Dallas Cowboys, it was Newton’s critical and negative remarks in addition to his fidgeting and apathetic demeanor that really seemed to rub Panthers fans and sports media the wrong way.
The Carolina Panthers are off to a 1-5 start to the 2012 season. There is no doubt that Cam Newton has reasons to be frustrated at this point, but he is supposed to be the team leader, and it is part of his job to fulfill this role, not just for his teammates’ sake, but for the public as well by staying positive.
Here are just a few things that Cam Newton has done during press conferences that have tarnished his image:
• Looking down throughout the entire press conference
• Shrugging his shoulders before responding to a question
• Rolling his eyes
• Constantly shifting his position and moving around in a distracting manner
• Speaking softly in a monotone voice indicating that he is less than happy to be part of the press conference
• Making comments questioning the ability of his team and organization
Here are a few tips that Cam Newton should consider during his future media interviews:
• Keep your head up and look the media in the eyes
• Stand up straight, making sure not to slouch (a person’s posture can say a lot about their attitude during an interview or press conference)
• Make positive comments like, “We are going to fix this and get back on track” or “I trust that we will get this figured out and find a way to win.” These types of statements show that he has faith in his team, his organization and in himself.
We know that it is asking a lot to expect a perfect interview every time the 23-year old quarterback is on camera, especially when the team is 1-5. However, if he wants to be taken seriously as a leader of his team and keep a positive image, he will need to lose the negativity and adopt a much more optimistic outlook and attitude.
At MMI Public Relations, we offer a media training program that provides our clients with critical coaching that will result in powerful conversations with reporters. After completing this training, many people have gone on to have successful interviews during which their messages were clear and right on track with what their companies wanted to see in the press.
Have you seen some of Cam Newton’s interviews? What advice would you offer to the young quarterback to help his image?