Hey Coach...Any Questions?
We're not sure how many more interviews we can read or watch leading up
to the Super bowl because it's hard to get anyone to actually answer the
questions. However Coach Jim Harbaugh takes the non-response to a new art
A recent post in the Wall Street Journal
analyzed his media day
press conference. Coach Harbaugh totally dismissed 12% of the questions, 5% were answered with another question, and he simply avoided 22% of the
we consider ourselves to be connoisseurs of the Q & A
process. Clearly the coach can get away with his interview style, however
the rest of us have to be more responsive. We always advise our clients
that while you don't have to answer every question exactly in the way it's
asked, you have to at least acknowledge and try and bridge to a message when
However if you’re in a tight spot and don’t really want to answer any
questions directly, turn to the 49ers coach for help:
- IT'S THE QUESTIONER'S FAULT
- WHEN IN DOUBT, SPEAK GIBBERISH
- A QUESTION FOR A QUESTION
- UM, NO
- WELL, MAYBE, POSSIBLY, KINDA
Labels: 49ers, CommCore, CommCore Dallas, crisis communications, Jim Harbaugh, media training dallas, public relations
Video: Five Media Training Tips from CommCore CEO Andrew Gilman
The Big Bangs Theory
We acknowledge that at this week's Inaugural events in
Washington predictable attention was paid to the famous designer gowns and hairstyles worn by
women at all the events, and particularly at the star-studded balls. (How
much can you say about a man's classic white tie tuxedo?)
But the "news coverage" of First Lady Michelle Obama's choice of gowns and the new bangs she sported, for example, also
highlights a longstanding theory that is supported by a
2010 study by the Women’s Media Center and She Should Run. It showed that
even in this day media scrutiny of
newsmakers' physical appearance – though it does include men – still
disproportionally focuses on women, and often in what many accomplished women
consider to be an overtly sexist and negative light.
Cynics might tut-tut about the importance of emphasis on HER fashion selection over
HIS. But the truth remains stark: as
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and other female leaders will attest,
accomplished women are judged on their overall physical appearance more than
To us at CommCore, the lesson for our clients is clear:
Leadership is not just about ability, it's about perception, especially for
Communication Style (Public Speaking, Media
Non-Verbal Communication (Gestures, Eye Contact,
Appearance (Dress that is appropriate for the
occasion and natural for the wearer)
As Michelle Obama seeks to take on a more visible role in
her husband's second term as President we'll
be watching to see how she fares in news coverage, and not just about her bangs.
Labels: bangs, CommCore, Hillary Clinton, Inaugural Ball gown, Leadership, Michelle Obama, public relations, sexism, She Should Run, Women's Media Center
Is it Live or is it Memorex (21st Century version)
Her opening paragraph reads: "The Internet can be a blunt
and brutal place. It's built on unruly mobs moving across the virtual terrain,
digesting stories and leaving behind carcasses. But it is also one of the last
vestiges of wide-eyed, unfettered belief." Hesse goes on to warn: "One of the interesting aspects of the
Internet is the way that the veil of anonymity has come to provide a false
sense of authenticity."
And therein's the
rub – like in the old
Memorex video tape commercial, is it live or not? To us at CommCore,
the old adage, "If it’s too good to be true it probably isn't," requires a 21st
Century re-do. Perhaps it's something like, "Beware: If it's on the Internet,
it doesn't matter if it's true or not; it can take on a life of its own."
behavioral psychologists. And we won't be the arbiters of whether T'eo was a
victim or a party to the hoax. Certainly the mainstream
media ate his story up. But it doesn't take a Phd to recognize that
somewhere between the instant interactivity of the Internet and the need for
recognition by social media users is a toxic place when it comes to truth and
want to be first, we want to be recognized, we want to be validated.
don’t verify enough before believing because we want to believe first,
maybe even NEED to believe first. And with the blurring of the line between
online innuendo and the shrinking pool of fact-based journalists, what sources
to trust is an increasingly difficult decision.
behind the bizarre T’eo story, we at CommCore will re-double our advice to our
the Internet at all times for postings about your brand, company or issue. You
can't contain what you don't know.
engagement may not stop the proliferation of a bogus or inaccurate item, but
you will have the opportunity to get your side online early, which might limit
media is about engagement, not news releases or lecturing. Find out all you can
about the source of a posting before you take it at face value. All some
Internet posters want is simple acknowledgement.
of response in today's real-time world is important, but speed without some
measure of authentication is a trap that can be avoided with good judgment.
Just ask Manti
T'eo. Or ESPN.
Labels: CommCore, corporate communications, internet integrity, Manti T'eo, Monica Hesse, Notre Dame Hoax, social media, The Washington Post
How to Use Storytelling as a Leadership Tool
Check out this great article in Forbes
about the many useful ways to use storytelling as a strategic leadership
tool. As a coach, I strongly agree with the concepts and see the
realization of storytelling’s great value in many critical professional
One particular point hit home for me. The author, Paul
Smith who is Director of Consumer & Communications Research at Procter & Gamble
says of storytelling: "…it’s also good for…giving people coaching and
feedback in a way that will be received as a welcome gift." I couldn't agree more. Imagine how much more a person
would embrace your feedback and be motivated to take corrective action if you
packaged that critique within a helpful and relevant story.
It works far better when we’re coaching CEO's other
executives and thought leaders for addressing a variety of
audiences. What do you think? Have you had a similar
Labels: Forbes, Lead With A Story, Leadership, Leadership Tools, Paul Smith, Procter and Gamble, Skills, storytelling
Is "I’m Sorry" Ever Enough?
Seeing Oprah and Lance Armstrong together reminds us that the
latest celebrity apology tour is now underway. Despite the overwhelmingly
negative response to his actions, the real question is: what's the long term
prognosis for Lance Armstrong’s resurrection?
There are lots of top ten lists out there ranking recent celebrity
apologies. What's remarkable is that from Tiger Woods to Netflix, many
have come back. Sometimes all it takes is time. Those who return
stronger often follow the lyrics to Brenda Lee's 1960 hit song
"I'm sorry, so sorry that I was such a fool."
we recognize that mistakes are made. We advise our clients when faced
with a crisis, speed and transparency are two important weapons that can help
mitigate long-term damage.
Labels: Brenda Lee, CommCore, crisis communications, dale weiss, Dallas, Lance Armstrong, media training dallas, Oprah Winfrey, public relations
Dan Edelman: A true pioneer, an enduring partner and a truly inspiring example
I've had the privilege to meet Dan a few times during my
years at Edelman-NY and fondly remember those "Dan-o-grams" he’d often send. It is so sad to hear of the
passing of a legend, one of the "fathers of PR." Obituary.
Another of our senior professionals, Margo Gillespie, "apprenticed" at Edelman as well, which has prepared us both so thoroughly to
carry out the good and positive work of public relations. All of us at CommCore have enjoyed an
enduring partnership and wonderful collaboration with the people at Edelman for
many years now. Through the years, Dan
has elevated public relations to an essential part of an organization’s ability
Dan was a thoughtful, modest and generous person and that
is what inspires us above all. RIP.
(Edelman Alumna, ’94-’99)
Labels: CommCore, Daniel Edelman, Edelman PR, Jerry Doyle
Recipe for Success? One person’s tale.
There is no set receipt for success. From experience and all our years of coaching at CommCore, we believe it's a combination of talent, learning, inspiring teachers and attitude.
Justice Sotomayor is the first Latino to be
confirmed as a Supreme Court Justice. Her story is both unique and a
classic American success story. She overcame many obstacles including family
issues, a less than privileged early education and ethnic prejudice. What
comes across is an image of a striver, a positive person who when faced with a
challenge tackled it head on.
Form your own views on her judicial philosophy
and decisions. But if you want a little inspiration, listen to the Judge.
Labels: Andrew Gilman, leadership skills, My Beloved World, Nina Totenberg, NPR, sonia sotomayor, Supreme Court Justice
Projecting Leadership in 2013: A Communications Challenge
We would bet that a New Year's resolution for any senior
executive is to be a better leader in 2013. A recent survey by the Center for Talent Innovation provides
research that the measure of leadership is more than the results from
on-the-job performance – it's also the appearance of leadership, or what
can be called "Executive Presence."
The survey confirmed that strong communication ability is
what Winston Churchill called the Language of Leadership. The study also
reinforced that appearance and stature (what the study called "gravitas") are
as important to the perception of leadership as the ability to speak well and
convincingly. It also found that woman and minorities feel they are held to a
stricter standard of leadership skills than their Caucasian counterparts
because they struggle to blend their gender and cultural traits with the need
to assimilate. The study encompassed 18 focus groups, 4,000 college
degree professionals and 268 senior executives.
At CommCore we remind our clients that there are three
essential elements that have to be considered equally and simultaneously in effective
communication: The Message, the Audience, and You (the Speaker/Leader). The "You" includes both visual and auditory impressions
-- voice, tone, pace, pauses, eye contact, gestures, posture,
Last year CommCore CEO Andrew Gilman helped Chief
Executive Magazine compile a list of eight management styles that can get in the way of superior CEO performance
and one’s perception as an effective leaders. Having the self-awareness and
confidence to work one’s weaknesses is in itself a mark of strong leadership,
says Gilman: "Too many CEOs are surrounded by supporters who don't give candid
advice. The best CEOs know their strengths and try to shore up their weaknesses."
Our blogs for 2013 will cover many topics – leadership will
one of the key themes.
Labels: CEO communications, CommCore, Executive Leadership