Part of my job is helping clients prepare to speak with the media. This involves helping clients determine what to say, how to succinctly describe what they do, and helping them deal with “sticky questions.” This process has changed over the years as attitudes towards communication have changed and the obfuscation has changed to transparency.
The goal used to be “the sound bite,” getting that one thing that would definitely be used by a reporter, no matter how the story was put together. Part of this process is minimizing the number of other things that you say that aren’t as important for you. The flip side to that is making the most memorable thing you say, be something that makes no sense at all, or even worse hurts your cause.
The Sacramento Kings are big news in our town and the will they or won’t they go story plays out every day in the media. On Friday a story came out saying the Kings may be around for at least one more year and the quote from one of the Kings’ owners when asked if they expect the Kings to remain in Sacramento?
“That is not what we are saying,” Maloof told The Bee. “We haven’t said what we are going to say. We’ll let you know when we know.”
Did you follow that? No, neither did I. Later the Kings released a statement that read:
“We await the results of the fact-finding visit that the NBA made to Sacramento the past two days. We have not made a decision with regards to relocation filing, and will not make that decision until we have more information from the NBA.”
Apparently that is what they were going to say when they were saying what they wanted to say. Couldn’t they have just said it?