Spokesperson workshop: Five tips for a good spokesperson

A communication crisis can erupt in a company or institution when least expected. Since these events are very difficult to foresee, the spokesperson(s) should be prepared in advance to meet the requirements of the press, because in a moment of crisis the demands of the media will not be long in coming.

| By Constanza Bisquertt, Partner B12

There are opportunities to be found in every crisis, and these cases are no exception. In these critical situations, spokespersons have the mission of establishing credibility, trust, and enhancing the reputation of the company. For optimal preparation, there is nothing better than working with professionals dedicated to the industry with prior training that enables them to successfully navigate this delicate process.

Review these 5 tips:

1-. Start with what is relevant: Regardless of your industry or domain, a story or event is typically told in a chronological manner. To immediately arouse the interest of our media colleagues and, therefore, of public opinion, start with the most important thing, that is, with the «title of the song». Then you can recount how this significant event came about.

2-. Provide hard data (ideally statistics or interesting percentages): Every institution deals with figures. Your interview will be much more focussed and fruitful if you say, for example, 40% of the population does this or that, rather than a large proportion of the population. This last figure is extremely vague and therefore less attractive to the media.

3-. Learn to be an expert at catchlines: A good catchline will allow you to stay in the public eye and even in the collective unconscious. The phrase «vertical ghettos» is an excellent example of that in Chile.

4-. Use clear and direct language without succumbing to colloquialism and avoid the use of technical terms: The aim is to not just reach the intellectual elite but the general public, therefore, language that is understandable to all must be employed. 

5-. Avoid personal opinions: Don’t forget that you represent an organization, therefore your answers must always be aligned with it — there is no room for personal opinions in this context.

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