This issue of Communication Command contains an interview about working effectively with the news media, as well as an article on what to do and what not to do during media interviews. We hope you will enjoy our e-Newsletter.

May / June
Global Vice Chair Nomination
C4CS® Senior Partner Dianne Chase has been nominated as IABC Global Vice Chair for 2015/2016. If elected, she will begin her term on IABC's International Executive Board in the summer and take over as IABC's Global Chair in mid 2016. The corresponding IABC news release can be accessed via this link.

Free Consultation
Please contact C4CS® at in regard to a free consultation concerning your organization's strategic communication and crisis management needs.
Issues Management Seminar
C4CS® Managing Partner Oliver S. Schmidt recently conducted an Issues Management Seminar at Berlin University of the Arts in Germany. The session focused on key issues management concepts and included case study material, role play, and group discussion.
Please contact us at if you would like to have a senior member of C4CS® make a presentation for your organization.
Our next e-Learning course on 'Harnessing the Power of Social Media in Crisis Management' will be conducted July 13 through July 24, 2015. Congratulations to those who completed the course work and obtained a Certificate in Social Media Crisis Management Planning accredited by ICOR. The course brochure can be downloaded via this link.
If you have questions concerning our e-Learning course, please contact us at

Communication Command e-Newsletter
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Five Questions about Working Effectively with the News Media 

Ronnie Bryant is President and CEO of Charlotte Regional Partnership (CRP), which promotes the 16-county Charlotte USA region as a premier location for businesses considering expansion or relocation.
Ronnie Bryant

What is Charlotte Regional Partnership (CRP) and what path did you take to your current role as President and CEO of the organization?

The Charlotte Regional Partnership, which is based in Charlotte, North Carolina, is an economic development and marketing organization that represents the two-state, 16-county Charlotte region and its approximately 2.8 million residents. Through mission trips and marketing initiatives, we help recruit new and expanding companies to the area, which results in new jobs and capital investments. In 2014 alone, CRP helped recruit projects that announced 3,900 jobs and $951 million in investments, including Sealed Air Corporation, Nestlé Waters North America, and Gordon Food Service.

I have more than 30 years of managerial and economic development experience and have been a certified economic developer (CEcD) since 1991. I am a graduate of Louisiana State University in Shreveport and the Economic Development Institute at the University of Oklahoma (OU/EDI) in Norman. Prior to joining Charlotte Regional Partnership, I was president and chief operating officer of the Pittsburgh Regional Alliance. Before working in Pittsburgh, I was the senior vice president of the Economic Development Division for the St. Louis Regional Chamber & Growth Association. In addition, I led the development team at the Shreveport, La., Chamber of Commerce, and held managerial and technical positions at AT&T’s Western Electric facility. I also lecture internationally and nationally on issues related to economic development marketing, professional development and organizational management.

As the CEO of Charlotte Regional Partnership, you also represent the organization in front of the news media. What skills do you see as important to effectively work with reporters to achieve organizational goals?

In addition to having many years of experience to draw from, I believe it is crucial to be prepared and well-versed in whatever issue you are discussing with the media. This takes some preliminary work and preparation, which I usually do with my public relations team. Every media outlet has its own objectives and goals. When you talk with a member of the media, it is important that you have an understanding of the tone and angle of the story—including, if possible, the reporter’s specific questions—so that you feel comfortable and are less likely to be caught off guard.        

Why and how are Media and Crisis Communication Training important to CRP executives and CRP member companies?

In today’s media landscape, where news happens instantly and one misstep can be tweeted around the world in seconds, being adept at talking with the media, including during a crisis, is very important. This includes having a detailed game plan with targeted messages in place. In the case of a crisis, it is important to be proactive and get in front of the story. Long gone are the days when you can just say “no comment” and hope the problem goes away. The media has a great deal of influence on how the public perceives a company or individual, so it is imperative that CRP executives and CRP member companies know how to communicate clearly and concisely with the media. Training is key to achieving this goal, and having a solid reputation helps CRP further strengthen its economic development mission and benefits our members.

Do you follow a specific process when you prepare for media interviews?

I work directly with our Director of Communications and Public Relations. He typically communicates with the reporter and gets as many details about the story as possible. He then provides talking points and background information and, depending on the nature and complexity of the story, we may discuss some of the main points to ensure we are on message and fully prepared.

Can you share an example of how media training led to success for Charlotte Regional Partnership and its member companies?

There have been many instances in the past year alone where our public relations team has developed and pitched story ideas about our various economic development initiatives, including mission trips. This allows us to discuss and give interviews on specific destinations and industries that we are targeting, as well as our overall mission and the benefit we bring to the region. Such efforts have led to hundreds of stories in local and national media outlets, and generated significant support among our member companies.

What To Do And What Not To Do During Media Interviews
C4CS® regulalry conducts media interview group training as well as one-on-one executive media interview coaching. Here are our top 10 tips for what to do and what not to do during media interviews.

What To Do

1) Be clear, concise, and truthful
2) Listen carefully and speak to your target audiences
3) Stick to the facts and your area of expertise
4) Take a moment to think before you answer
5) Assume that everything is "on the record"
6) Use soundbites and easy-to-understand language
7) Insert your key messages repeatedly during the interview
8) Maintain eye contact and use vocal variety and gestures
9) Say if you are unable to answer and explain why
10) Remain positive and professional at all times

What Not To Do

1) Guess, lie, or speculate
2) Say "no comment"
3) Share confidential information
4) Repeat negative information
5) Introduce new subjects or issues
6) Use acronyms or jargon
7) Come across as bored or uninformed
8) Forget on whose behalf you speak
9) Place blame, get upset or angry
10) Play favorites with reporters

If you have any questions concerning this article, please contact us at We look forward to hearing from you.

Food For Thought

"The number of news reports about the
Ebola outbreak compared to the actual risk
was quite disproportionate."

Joseph Acraci

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Leaders in Strategic Communication
and Crisis Management