Articles

The Terri Ammerman Group pairs decades of communications and media experience with relevant, current perspective. We understand the ever-changing needs and scenarios faced by companies, executives, and media professionals. Part of our training involves examining communications scenarios in real-time, so participants can clearly see what to avoid when speaking and what to say when delivering a clear, convincing message. Our team regularly offers perspective and insights on current situations through the articles posted here.

There’s No Victory in a War of Words

There’s No Victory in a War of Words

When you are holding a news conference or giving an interview, can you always trust reporters to stick to the topic at hand? Anyone who has dealt with the media understands the answer is “absolutely not.” When you get a question that derails you from your topic, stay cool. You may respond, “I can’t speak to that,” or “I don’t have an answer for...

Inappropriate Anger Drowns Out Message

Inappropriate Anger Drowns Out Message

When speaking in public, whether it’s a presentation, news briefing, or speech, it’s vital to maintain control of your emotions. For example, showing anger in most public settings not only distracts from your key messages, but can drown them out altogether. That’s why it was puzzling and inappropriate when a Houston politician suddenly went on an...

When Insulted, Smile and Stay Calm!

When Insulted, Smile and Stay Calm!

So, you’re holding a news conference, giving serious answers to serious questions, when a reporter raises a topic that can best be described as insulting and irrelevant. Should you get angry and raise your voice in indignation? Nope. How about ending the news conference and walking off? Nope. Instead, smile, stay calm, and take the opportunity to...

If You Must Use Jargon, Explain What It Means!

If You Must Use Jargon, Explain What It Means!

It’s no secret to our Terri Ammerman Group clients that we highly discourage the use of jargon in interviews, news briefings, and presentations. Confusing jargon words, phrases, and acronyms used within a company or industry, are rarely understood by the general public. So, if you use them, you will likely lose your audience and fail to...

Controlling Emotions with the Media and Thousands of TV Viewers Watching

Controlling Emotions with the Media and Thousands of TV Viewers Watching

Conducting a news briefing in the midst of a deadly tragedy is never an easy thing to do. It takes preparation and a laser-like focus to deliver key messages without getting sidetracked. So, if you’re holding a news briefing and something unexpected occurs, it may take all the poise you can muster to maintain control and move forward. This...

Once You Start to Leave, Keep Going!

Once You Start to Leave, Keep Going!

In any interaction with the media, your goal is to have control from beginning to end. You begin the encounter armed with key messages. You deliver them with confidence while not allowing reporters to derail you with off-topic questions. And, in the case of a news briefing, when you politely but firmly end the event, walk away without allowing...

A Politician’s Direct Answer Sets Example

A Politician’s Direct Answer Sets Example

Why do Americans tend to distrust politicians? In part it’s because politicians tend to ignore questions during an interview and, instead, turn to prearranged talking points without even acknowledging the questions. Or they intentionally muddle their answers in such a way that frustrates the audience and leaves them wondering what the politician...

Hot Mic Strikes Again!

Hot Mic Strikes Again!

It never ceases to amaze us when an experienced public figure, accustomed to being surrounded by the media, falls into the hot microphone trap. It happens often, usually to the detriment of the person who seems unaware his or her voice is being picked up by a hot mic. In this latest case, President Biden engages in a conversation with the Mayor...

Educate First, Influence Second

Educate First, Influence Second

Does your company want to have a positive influence on your community? If there’s a crisis involving your firm or organization, do you want those impacted to have confidence you have the right people, doing the right things, at the right time? Of course, you do! But establishing that reliable reputation doesn’t just happen. In short, you have to...

Setting the Ground Rules

Setting the Ground Rules

So, you are preparing for a crisis news briefing or a public meeting in which you expect emotions to run high. You have developed key messages that you believe will inform the media or calm angry residents who are unhappy with your company. But before getting a chance to deliver your messages, you make a mistake that ensures your news briefing or...