Conflict in the Boardroom?

By Eric Seidel, CEO
The Media Trainers®

Conflict and controversy.

Two staples of the news media diet. Even when neither exists, you might find them fishing for one or both anyway.

And when they dangle their hooks, often they try baiting you with something someone else might have said, suggesting there’s more to the story than you’re willing to tell. This third person technique is a favorite since it often can be used ambiguously yet seems credible and legitimate, as well.

Business reporters can lean on analyst comments, for instance, just as CNBC’s Mark Haines did recently interviewing the new head of Anheuser-Busch Inbev, the Belgium-based beverage company that recently bought the St. Louis brewery.

Is there a culture clash inside the company, Haines asked, where the new owners are more of a “fly coach” mindset as opposed to the former first class style of Bud’s executives? Haines, of course, attributed the suggestion to a Wall Street analyst.

But CEO Carlos Brito didn’t bite. Instead, he very smoothly lined up his company with its customers and a clear message to those amorphous analysts: “We try to emulate what our consumers do. They fly commercial, I fly commercial…They’re our bosses.” (Click on video below to see and hear the question and answer.)

Brito’s answer was an excellent example of focus. He had a clear vision of who were his real, and intended, audiences in this interview and Mark Haines was not among them. Haines and his co-anchor served only as his conduit.

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