Executive Rewind Archives

TVA Management Took a Holiday
While residents of Harriman, TN, spent the Christmas holiday digging out from several feet of coal ash and sludge, TVA’s senior management was on holiday and apparently unavailable.

The Internet and the Rules for Handling a Crisis

The Internet presents businesses and organizations in crisis with many new challenges and lessons. Chief among them is that you cannot afford to be an absentee participant when it comes to crisis communications.

Screw up? Admit it!

Why do some executives find it so difficult to admit mistakes? Ego? Arrogance? Insecurity? Stubbornness? Probably some of each. In the world of business, experience has shown that a quick and honest demonstration of contrition can go a long way toward getting things back to normal and preserving image and reputation.

Southwest’s CEO Could’ve Done Better
It never pays to be defensive or minimize serious news about your organization, especially when you know certain target audiences will have definite concerns, and that they’ll also be listening to what third party experts are saying.

You’ve Got to Know Your Target Audience
Should an airline executive boast about boosting passenger fares? Yes, if he’s talking to the right audience.

Take Responsibility for Your Own Image
The media can be excruciatingly effective at creating and reinforcing our impressions and feelings about issues and people. And, as you know, impressions have their own reality.

Blackwater’s CEO Chooses 60 Minutes to Make His Case
His company in crisis, Erik Prince took a calculated risk on choosing the venue with perhaps the greatest potential downside, and it paid off.

Artfully Delivering the Message
The Media Trainers™, LLC, prepares its clients to make strong, positive impressions on their target audiences. We call this the “interview objective.”

Mattel and the China Syndrome
“It won’t happen again!” Can you guarantee it? Can you be assured that lightning won’t strike a second time? Or even a third?

Pro Sports in Crisis
The NBA Commissioner gets it right while the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons wait a week.

Don’t Take Lessons From Politicians
They have a maddening habit of evading questions.

Contentious Interviews
Feeling like you’re in a fight that you have to win.

Mel Gibson’s Lethal Weapon
Has the controversial actor’s mouth-under-the-influence killed a career?

3rd Party Questions

Negative Questions 

Interrupted answer 

Multiple Questions 

Pay Attention

Pregnant Pause 

When You’re Done, You’re Done

Chutzpah 101

Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney

Built-In Premise 

CTIA President Tom Wheeler

The Specutive Question 
Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates

Can’t get a straight answer 
Lew Platt, Boeing chairman and James Bell, interim CEO

Under invasion by an army of news crews
Ben Hatfield, CEO, International Coal Group

Mr. Soundbite
Michael Boyd, President, The Boyd Group

Deliver a strong, positive, stand alone response and message
Dan Klaidman, Newsweek DC Bureau Chief

A question pregnant with a built–in premise
Rick Smith, CEO, Taser International

A question meant to knock him off his feet
Rick Smith, CEO, Taser International

The Artful Sound Bite
J. Peter Rummell, CEO, St. Joe Company

The Wrong Person Sent in to Persuade Audiences
Greek Tourism Board

What Will Your Audeince Hear?
John Devine, General Motors CFO

Keep it Simple
David Dorman, AT&T CEO

Bill Gates – Ted Koppel Interview

The Buried Sound Bite
Denny Lynch, Wendy’s Sr. VP
Carly Fiorina, former CEO of HP

Body Language
David Downey, CEO of Invidi