You don’t have to look very far to find a bad press conference, just look at any press conference run by a football or basketball coach. It was especially apparent when Mike McCarthy lost his cool at the post-game press conference after the loss last week.
Why are coaches so bad at public relations? I think it is simple, they fail to follow their own coaching advice (or, as my southern grandmother used to say, “They are too big for their britches.”) Here are the PR fails by coaches:
- No game plan: Now that press conferences are live streamed, you get to see how poorly prepared coaches really are. There are no talking points. There are no notes. They also seem very surprised at the most obvious questions.
- Don’t practice: You can tell that the coaches have not practiced answering tough questions. Practice keeps you from looking foolish and saying foolish things.
- No goal in mind: What are you trying to accomplish at the press conference. Most look like they have no goal other than to end the press conference.
- Blow a gasket: When you see a coach do that, you know the question was what everyone was thinking. Being prepared keeps you from losing your cool. It shows poise under fire, it shows toughness, it shows preparedness. When you “go off” on a reporter, you are only setting yourself up for problems later.
Here is a good saying to remember coaches: There are no stupid questions, just stupid people who answer them. It’s time you start putting your own coaching philosophy into practice in the things you are required to do as a coach.
PS: Winning cures a lot of bad PR behavior, but when the winning stops…time to go back to the PR practice field.