Get “spin” out of your lexicon. It’s bad for your business health.
In media training workshops I try to pre-empt the notion of spin even before it comes up, telling clients I’m not in the spin business and they shouldn’t be either.
My job is to teach them the techniques of answering interview questions responsively, but on their terms, from their perspective.
Reporters typically know when you’re spinning and use it as motivation to really dig in their heels and come after you.
Case in point, JetBlue CEO David Barger’s response to an accurate contention by Fox Business Network anchor Neil Cavuto that his airline, formerly fee-less, now is hitting customers with some of the same additional charges as other airlines. Barger’s response: “…we’re now terming flying as jetting because we want jetting to be a good part of your life…” He followed with all the comforts and embellishments of JetBlue’s airplanes, and concluded that the core product remains the same with no new fees tacked on. (Click on video below)
Now why didn’t David Barger simply admit that JetBlue’s increased costs require some additional fees? It would’ve been so much more refreshing and credible. People already understand that airlines are charging for things like checked bags because their fuel costs have been astronomical. They may not like it, but they usually understand it.
Barger could’ve—and should’ve—just come clean instead of spinning his answer into trying to make us believe we’re lucky to get the same core product for the same price. And that line about “flying” now being termed “jetting”…where did that come from and what did it have to do with his answer?