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Speech to Report Media Feedback to Employees

By: Maggie Lonsdale BA (hons) - Updated: 6 Sep 2010 | comments*Discuss
Speech Media Feedback Positive Negative

Whether it’s good news or bad news, you need to keep your employees informed of media feedback for new products, your service or business in general.

It is better to make a speech, however short, sooner rather than later because, as you will know, office gossip is rife. This can often make it harder to rectify a situation because you are fire-fighting rather than being in control of what gets said and when.

Media feedback invariably means that there has been a particularly good or bad report on television or in newspapers or magazines, so you will need to speak to your employees to make sure that everyone is on message and can answer any questions that are likely to come up from clients, suppliers and contractors.

Here is a template to help you make an appropriate speech to your team following media feedback, which can be used for both positive and negative reports.

1. Set the Tone

Your employees will be looking to you for guidance on how to handle the media situation. If it is good feedback, you’ll need to show how you can maximise the publicity by focusing on the key points of the feedback and using them to gain exposure in other media; if it’s negative, you need to give a clear breakdown on how you can minimise the adverse publicity and turn the situation to your advantage.

  • Start by acknowledging the media feedback
  • Explain that you plan to minimise/maximise the situation
  • Be a clear, reliable figurehead

Example: As you may have already seen, this morning’s restaurant review in the Daily News highlights the hotel brasserie. Unfortunately, it is a very negative review, with the food, service and ambience criticised pretty harshly. Now, I have my own thoughts on the matter and intend to speak to the people involved to see how this happened, but in the meantime we need to ensure that we are all singing from the same hymn sheet. I expect we shall be hearing from some clients and suppliers today, not to mention some other publications sniffing around, so we need to be clear on what to say.

2. Be Honest

You need to be honest with your staff about how you are going to deal with it. Be clear, open and straightforward about what you need them to say in order to maintain control of the situation. Give them clear instructions as to what you expect – now is not the time for discussions; if you need other opinions you should do this beforehand.

  • Give concise details for what to say to clients/suppliers
  • Be clear about the company viewpoint

Example: We will have plenty of time to discuss this amongst ourselves and I plan to have an open meeting tomorrow afternoon for anyone that wishes to talk about this further. In the meantime, it is important that you all know that the company line is that we are in the middle of a refurbishment and the new, improved brasserie will exceed expectations.

3. Where to Go From Here

If your media feedback was particularly positive, do make sure that you congratulate the people involved – there is nothing more demotivating that getting publicity for doing a good job and then not having it recognised by your boss. Conclude your speech by making it plain that the media feedback needs to be addressed in the proper manner, whether positive or negative. Maintain control and do know allow your views to be subject to interpretation – any response needs to be consistent.

  • Congratulate, if appropriate
  • Explain what you will do next
  • Repeat your key message

Example: I am going to be speaking to the brasserie team in the next couple of days and I am sure we will be able to deal with the issues raised in the Daily News internally. I need to reply on you all to maintain the key message of our refurbishment and reassure any clients or suppliers that normal service will be resumed as soon as possible.

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