"Being prepared for every public-facing communication takes coaching, discipline and practice."
Professional success is inextricably linked to how you or your organization responds to a crisis or a public conflict. Communication coaching is a key ingredient in facilitating this success. Whether it’s a town hall in response to a project that negatively impacts a community or a business media interview, executives are expected to perform well. Their job is to deliver their key message and manage questions in a manner that is honest, focused, brand affirming and intentional.
Executive coaching is an investment that pays consistent dividends. Forbes’ researcher and writer William Arrunda reported that there is a direct correlation between individual coaching and organizational financial performance. He said that a 2015 survey from the ICF and the Human Capital Institute showed that 51% of respondents from organizations that invested in coaching reported higher revenue than that of other similar organizations. That’s no surprise.
Achieving communication success requires discipline and a commitment to ongoing coaching. And by ongoing we mean at least a yearly refresh. Coaching, like a crisis plan must be revisited annually.
The media and audiences have changed significantly since 2020.
In 2022, we are seeing trends such as increased conflict, more audience resistance and segmentation, innate biases from most media channels, a surge in influential but thinly credentialed ‘journalists’ (bloggers) and a more confrontational ‘gotcha’ form of reporting. That makes for a tough crowd. Our approach to ready executives for a crisis today is very different from what we did three years ago.
This specialized form of communications coaching helps public and media-facing leaders anticipate behavior, avoid common traps, and confidently focus on their messaging.
The communication landscape is perpetually shifting. There’s renewed importance in refreshing your executive coaching in an era where everyone with a mobile device is a purveyor of news is important.
Coaches like us aim for authenticity, not perfection. We encourage our executives to always be themselves and provide them with the strategies to keep them in control of what they say and how they say it. It is very easy to get sidetracked during an interaction – and then no one wins.
GillespieHall Partners behaviorist Clara Mattucci (left) and PR specialist Bridget Paverd lead a C-suite media coaching workshop for a large Washington, D.C., corporation.
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