Posted by: beckbamberger | February 10, 2009

CEO Interviews: getting away from the script

Jeff Bailey writes a solid article about getting the answers from CEOs who’ve had a bundle of “media training.”  I love these tips and use them for my CEO interviews as well.  Read the whole article here.

Here’s a snippet of tips.

If you’re getting the acknowledge-bridge-spew treatment, I recommend a four-part plan to deal with it. 1.) Repeat the question and explicitly state that you’re repeating it. This politely gives the CEO a chance to cease with the spewing. 2.) If the spewing persists, hear it out and then state something to the effect of, “Golly, it sounds like you have a message you want to deliver. Fire away. I’m all ears. Then we’ll get back to my questions.” 3.) If the next question is also dodged, then it’s time to say, “No offense, Mr. Scripted. You’ve obviously had some media training. Acknowledge. Bridge. Huh? And I know it really works great in front of crowds and on television. But we’re just here with my notebook and I really am interested in getting you to answer these questions.” 4.) If that doesn’t work, or if you get thrown out of the office, it’s worth asking others who know the CEO if he/she ever listens; an executive with the send button stuck down, so to speak, is a danger to shareholders and others

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