Speaking to the media does not come naturally to many people. This is especially true when people are accused of wrongdoing. The natural response is to be defensive – and to speak the very words for which they are being accused. The latest example of this comes from Cameron Dunkin who manages boxer Timothy Bradley who was awarded an upset decision against Manny Pacquiao.
Here’s what Dunkin said to the media:
“There’s nothing corrupt going on, and if there was something corrupt going on, Tim wouldn’t have won.”
This makes me think of corruption. I didn’t watch the fight, but this makes me think the fight was fixed. Why? Because Bradley’s spokesperson used the word, “corrupt” twice in one sentence. He further associated his boxer with “corruption.”
A much better response (regardless of the question) would have been –
“Tim fought like a champion and was deservedly awarded the win. He is the champion.”
See what I did there? This is a positive and forward-looking statement. The boxer is referred to as a “champion” twice in one short statement.
Would a more positive statement make the controversy go away? No, but what Dunkin says about his fighter and what Bradley says about himself influences public opinion. Statements by the Bradley camp will be repeated over and over in the media – traditional and social. The repetition of these statements has powerful influence on public opinion over time – that’s human nature too.
It’s pretty simple: negative statements paint a negative image while positive statements paint a positive image. But because we are dealing with human nature, making positive comments in the midst of controversy requires a focused strategy. Tuckahoe Strategies works with clients in such situations to better understand the long-term implications of focused messaging. Ramsey Poston’s methodic messaging process that includes an intense “question and answer” process prepares clients for the toughest interviews. For more information contact Ramsey directly at RPoston@TuckahoeStrategies.com