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Media Relations


and Media Relations [Part 2] By Michael Sabbeth


Answers, Character


ANSWERING QUESTIONS IS A UNIQUE HUMAN CHARACTERISTIC, motivated and compelled by forces embedded deep within one’s character, world view and soul. Answering questions illuminates how we interact with the world. In the movie of that name, Shrek pointed out that ogres have layers. So does answering questions. The process incorporates complex layers of skill, including the capacity for factual analysis, moral reasoning, humility, discipline, knowledge and wisdom. This three-part article presents several skills and perspectives


in the context of media relations relating to athletes in the shooting sports. I emphasize, however, that the article’s themes and methods transcend media relations and are transferable to every interaction in life.


Be judicious in choosing the most eff ective response or presentation under the circumstances.


Be Aware Of How


An Issue Is Framed You’ve heard, no doubt, the cynical question, “Are you still beating your wife?” Note the framing of the issue: it makes the assumption that the person beat his wife in the past. Fram- ing issues is one of the most powerful tools or skills in com- munications, including media


relations. Framing issues is a function


of rhetoric and linguistic strat- egy. As a general proposition, the person who frames the is- sue controls the language and the person who controls the lan- guage usually is most persuasive and usually wins the argument. A shooter at the Olympic Center posed this intriguing question to


MISSED PART I OF THE SERIES?


In Part 1 of the series, Answers Character and Media Relations, Michael Sabbeth discussed the importance of engaging credibility with the media. Check it out online at http://www.usashooting.org/news/usa-shooting-news.


48 USA Shooting News | May 2013


me: How can a competitor deal with the accusation of or sugges- tion of choking? An accusatory question might be phrased this way: “You were ahead by three targets going into the last sta- tion, and then you dropped four and lost. How do you explain that?”


Choking is not considered a virtue. The accusation is a slight,


indeed, an insult. How should you, in the context of media re- lations, deal with such an ag- gressive accusation? Handling an allegation of choking or some similar charge begins with ana- lyzing the framing of the ques- tion, which means the question’s assumptions, values and judg- ments. The pre-condition for this analysis, is, of course, critical


Photo: Sommer Wood/CMP


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