Fast Food Fight


How to Avoid Slamming Your Competition in the Media
by Eric Seidel, CEO
Reporters look for conflict. Some might even try to create it during an interview. (Hard to believe, I know, but some actually do try to manufacture this.) Conflict, and/or controversy, makes for a better story. Now, with a deep recession factored in, there’s more potential meat (you should excuse the pun) to go after, especially between competing brands.

And the food and restaurant industry offers a full menu of possibilities. We’ve seen stories about how high-end eateries are suffering while the so-called low-end, or fast food, stores are benefitting.

So that leads to the competition between those low-end restaurants, like Quiznos and Subway, both known for their submarine sandwiches. And it’s this head-to-head fight that seemed most interesting to Fox Business Network’s David Asman when he spoke with Quiznos CEO Rick Schaden. (Click on video below for the Q&A; it’s brief.)

Asman compared Quiznos vs. Subway to Avis vs. Hertz, Quiznos being his Avis of this particular fast food fight. Instead of reacting defensively, Schaden used the comparison to his benefit. Without saying it, he positioned his company as a David fighting Goliath; a guerilla marketer that enjoys the “fight” and uses edgy advertising.

Schaden never mentioned Subway by name. He was responsive to the question, but on his terms. In other words, he didn’t get sucked into Asman’s specific agenda, but instead made it an opportunity, and he took full advantage.

Learn to do these two things: (1) answer questions on your terms, and (2) be positive while the intention might be to incite a negative reaction, and you are well on your way to mastering the interview game.

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