Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Program Aims at Helping Executives Communicate Better / during Interviews with Broadcasters

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Program Aims at Helping Executives Communicate Better / during Interviews with Broadcasters

Article excerpt

In the world of today's business, executives are often called upon by the media to provide information, confirm stories or prov ide interviews about their business.

Often the stories concern potential layoffs at a factory or bank, contract negotiations with unions and other topics that business executives may feel uncomfortable discussing before a camera.

Often, usually because of a lack of proper training, an executive will come away from an interview looking as if he hadn't told exactly the truth.

His eyes may have been cast downward, or he may have read too much from a prepared script instead of speaking on his own. All these, say Don Sherry, are problems businessmen encounter daily in their dealings with the press.

Sherry recently began a venture with an Oklahoma City advertising agency he hopes will prompt executives to come out from behind the desk and communicate their message more effectively.

Focusing mainly on television and radio, Communication Training Consultants, will train executives to communicate their message more effectivley, Sherry said.

"We are in the midst of a tentative beginning," Sherry said. "We are unique in that I'm not aware of anyone else doing the same thing that we are in this region.

"It is a growth industry on the East and West coasts. There are a number of organizations staffed by former broadcast journalists who give essentially the same kind of instruction because businesses recognize the fact of how significant their public image is."

Sherry, a former reporter for several local radio and television stations, said the industry has really come into its own over the last 10 years.

"With the growing emergence of broadcast journalism being the primary source of news," Sherry said, "business executives recognize their relationship with the broadcast media and the image they project is so tremendously important. By and large, they are not equipped to deal with it."

Executives are not ready for television, Sherry said, because in the past they have only had to deal with print media, who are not nearly so intimidating as broadcast journalists.

"Then communication becomes more complicated," Sherry said. "People do not have the time to communicate properly."

Sherry began the venture in July of last year, and is a one-man operation working of the office of Ray Scales Associates of Oklahoma City.

"We started out small," he said. "We created a separate division for marketing purposes and we have been encouraged by the response.

"I think there is a growing awareness of the value of this kind of training," Sherry said. "More important is their ability to communicate. That's what it's all about."

So far, the firm has done work with teacher organizations, the chairman of a major retail firm, and some work for Southwestern Bell Telephone, Sherry said.

Bell is increasing its usage of video as an in-house organ to let employees know about various company programs and news.

"Some of the people, although they are very effective business people, are not very effective communicators," Sherry said. …

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