For this week's blog, there was no doubt in my mind that SNL skit with Melissa McCarthy, appearing as Press Secretary Sean Spicer, was a perfect -- and hilarious -- segue into some bigger lessons.
While the tables are turned here - On SNL the press secretary is grilling reporters, while this piece is geared towards spokespeople responding to reporter's questions, the key takeaways for media spokespeople are the same:
1. Stay Calm: While you may face a "gotcha question" or feel ruffled inside, it's important that they never see you sweat (figuratively, and in the case of Zuckerberg, literally).
2. Stay on Message: Write down key points (3 max) and deliver them clearly and concisely (via quotable quotes). Be sure to answer the reporter's questions in a manner that will build a positive long-term relationship, using stats and annecdotes to support your narrative.
3. Stand firm on Accuracy: Don’t allow yourself to be paraphrased inaccurately. If a reporter says: “So in other words…” followed by something that doesn't align with your statement, your response should be “No, that’s not right. What I said was…” or “No. Think of it this way…”