A delicate responsibility of the PR consultancy might be to suggest
that a chief executive with a short fuse or patronising manner might not
be the best person to represent the company. It should also research the
nature of a TV programme to which a client has been invited, and perhaps
to suggest caution or even refusal.
Some are so dazzled at the prospect of appearing before the camera that
it does not occur to them that they may find themselves in a no-win
But apart from such programmes, or where there is reason for the press
pack to scent blood, the majority of media meetings can be made to
benefit corporate aims or, at worst, to minimise damage already
As well as the media, other interviewers may have to be faced, with
press and public in attendance.
Prior preparation helped Andrew Lees, head of Microsoft’s Internet
section, when he gave evidence to the National Heritage Select Committee
at the House of Commons - a potentially intimidating experience.
Lees was there to give a view on how IT would affect the future of
Beforehand, PR consultancy Text 100 briefed him on the aims of the
committee, the backgrounds of its members, likely questions and how to
present Microsoft’s role.
He also sat in on a session to familiarise himself.
Lees acquitted himself well. It may or may not have been a coincidence
that his boss, Bill Gates, was subsequently invited to Downing