Executive Rewind: CEO’s Need to Study this CEO

When it comes to interacting with the media, Ken Frazier is among the best.

This Merck CEO projects so many positive attributes. He’s accessible, positive, credible, and he answers questions responsively, yet on his terms. And, most importantly, he’s extremely well prepared.

Frazier recently was interviewed by Maria Bartiromo on the Fox Business Network. Using the videos below, I’ll point out specific techniques he employs. They seem to come naturally to him, and they are very effective in persuasive messaging designed to reach target audiences.

Knowing the audience(s) available to you, depending on the media you’re using, is a critical first step to message preparation. Frazier recognizes being on an early morning business network program, he has the ears and eyes of the investment community and needs to leave an important, positive impression with them on Merck’s outlook in the New Year.

“Selling” a message is more–a lot more–than the words you use. Your body language  can either sabotage or close the deal. Here, Frazier talks about a new cancer drug; note how animated he becomes.

One thing is clear when Frazier’s interviewed: he’s definitely aware of the potential audiences he needs to reach. In this case, along with the investment community–as noted above–it’s probable that some government officials who have influence over his company and industry also are tuned in. So, he makes sure they hear him on tax policy.

At the time of this interview, there had been some stories about a couple of pharmaceutical companies charged with price gouging.  Bartiromo brought that up, and Frazier made sure his audiences know he and Merck have high standards and ethics.

While Ken Frazier has excellent innate instincts for interviews, the real “secret” is preparation. There is a definite process to follow that will get you focused and increase your confidence when you are talking to the media.