Business Continuity Tip of the Month

Three point turn

When an organisation finds itself in the media spotlight, it’s not unusual for the person put forward as spokesperson, however senior they are, to be nervous about being drawn into answering questions that they’d rather not answer.

Clearly this person really ought to have had some crisis media training before the event but, unfortunately, this isn’t always the case.

A technique that can help enormously in the cut and thrust of a hostile media interview is to think, before entering the fray, of three (and only three) points that you want to get across, to rehearse them and to stick to them during the interview. You’ll need to give careful consideration to your three points, but they should probably focus on 1) concern for the people involved 2) the fact that you’ve activated your pre-prepared plan and 3) reassurance that everything’s under control.

This can help enormously in focusing the spokesperson’s mind and in wrestling control back from an aggressive interviewer. Whenever an awkward question is asked, rather than getting flustered or drawn into answering it, they can simply fall back on their three points, perhaps saying something like "that’s not the important thing here – what is important is…" and repeating one (or more) of them.

And if you want proof, next time you see a politician or other media-savvy person being grilled, just take a look at how well they execute their three-point turn.



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