Month: December 2005

Attack Reporters At Your Own Risk (1)

Attack Reporters At Your Own Risk By TJ Walker Newsmakers are human beings too and they can get their feelings hurt. And, like most of us, they sometimes react by attacking. But when a newsmaker attacks a reporter, the results often backfire on the newsmaker. U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan got into a tussle with a reporter on December 21, 2005. Annan was facing unpleasant questions from James Bone of the London Times regarding his son’s business dealings. Here is what Annan said to Bone according to Reuters: “I think you’re being very cheeky. Listen, James Bone, you’ve been behaving like an overgrown schoolboy for many, many months and years…You are an embarrassment to your colleagues and to your profession. Please stop misbehaving and please let’s move to a serious subject.” I’m sure Annan felt good after attacking the reporter. Annan may even have been well justified in putting the reporter. And he may have been right. But was it a good press strategy for Annan to do this? Did it advance the Secretary-General’s image? I think no and no. The headline in the Reuter’s story flashed around the world was , “Annan Assails Reporter In Rare Show Of Anger.” How does that help Annan? The lead sentence in the story was “U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Anna lost his diplomatic cool with a reporter…” Again, nothing flattering about Annan. One has...

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Attack Reporters At Your Own Risk

Attack Reporters At Your Own Risk By TJ Walker Newsmakers are human beings too and they can get their feelings hurt. And, like most of us, they sometimes react by attacking. But when a newsmaker attacks a reporter, the results often backfire on the newsmaker. U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan got into a tussle with a reporter on December 21, 2005. Annan was facing unpleasant questions from James Bone of the London Times regarding his son’s business dealings. Here is what Annan said to Bone according to Reuters: “I think you’re being very cheeky. Listen, James Bone, you’ve been behaving like an overgrown schoolboy for many, many months and years…You are an embarrassment to your colleagues and to your profession. Please stop misbehaving and please let’s move to a serious subject.” I’m sure Annan felt good after attacking the reporter. Annan may even have been well justified in putting the reporter. And he may have been right. But was it a good press strategy for Annan to do this? Did it advance the Secretary-General’s image? I think no and no. The headline in the Reuter’s story flashed around the world was , “Annan Assails Reporter In Rare Show Of Anger.” How does that help Annan? The lead sentence in the story was “U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Anna lost his diplomatic cool with a reporter…” Again, nothing flattering about Annan. One has...

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Nasty, Negative News Media (1)

Nasty, Negative News Media By T.J. Walker It’s always fun to bash the news media for its obsession with the negative and the nasty. Indeed, I do it myself from time to time. But many CEOs and newsmakers are their own worst enemies when it comes to their public perceptions. Frequently, reporters don’t have to make up vicious or horrible things to say about newsmakers, all the reporters have to do is hit their “record” buttons. For example, below is series of quotes all made by Woody Allen about himself to the BBC as reported on December 19, 2005. Woody Allen said the following: “People think I’m an intellectual because I wear glasses and they think I’m an artist because my films lose money”. He thinks he has “glaring faults and miserable work”. “I’m one of the smallest money making Academy Award winners in history.” “My relationship with the American audience is exactly the same as it has always been: they never came to see my films, and they don’t come now.” “I’ve often said that the only thing standing between me and greatness is me.” I am a “mediocre” filmmaker. “I’m a terrible clarinet player. But I play with my heart. I don’t have a great ear for music.” It sounds like Woody was having a bad day. But for crying out loud Woody, do you have to...

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Nasty, Negative News Media

Nasty, Negative News Media By T.J. Walker It’s always fun to bash the news media for its obsession with the negative and the nasty. Indeed, I do it myself from time to time. But many CEOs and newsmakers are their own worst enemies when it comes to their public perceptions. Frequently, reporters don’t have to make up vicious or horrible things to say about newsmakers, all the reporters have to do is hit their “record” buttons. For example, below is series of quotes all made by Woody Allen about himself to the BBC as reported on December 19, 2005. Woody Allen said the following: “People think I’m an intellectual because I wear glasses and they think I’m an artist because my films lose money”. He thinks he has “glaring faults and miserable work”. “I’m one of the smallest money making Academy Award winners in history.” “My relationship with the American audience is exactly the same as it has always been: they never came to see my films, and they don’t come now.” “I’ve often said that the only thing standing between me and greatness is me.” I am a “mediocre” filmmaker. “I’m a terrible clarinet player. But I play with my heart. I don’t have a great ear for music.” It sounds like Woody was having a bad day. But for crying out loud Woody, do you have to...

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