What can be more stressful than considering a relocation or expansion elsewhere?
Regardless of where you are in the site selection process, what will you do if employees begin asking about
a relocation before you are ready with answers? What will you say if a local reporter calls?
Being forced to provide an uncomfortably early confirmation of a potential relocation can occur because of surprising events. Unsettling employee rumors could start because of an overheard conversation. Or a premature comment by a politician in a candidate community might spark a newspaper story in another city.
It’s common for the “PR part” to be a particularly difficult part of a relocation, particularly if you are the one who has to make the speech to the employees, field complaints from key stakeholders, or face cameras and microphones aimed at you from a skeptical hometown press.
Creating a credible message is a must. You can be prepared by working with Joe Vranich who, as part of his Public Relations career, has developed the following three programs that are available individually or together.
Option One – Message Development:
There are virtues in preparing a relocation announcement in advance for employees. Variations can be used with other audiences. If the move is big enough to spark press interest, it may pay to have in place an announcement ready that can be volunteered to the media. Doing so would be in line with a proactive communications style, which generally helps to uphold a company's image better than a reactive style.
Option Two – Public Speaking Training:
Audiences are doing more than listening to words. They are looking for three things – competence, courage and credibility – and if they see those traits the speaker earns the audience’s trust. But speakers sometimes fail in doing so because of a lack of preparation, an ill-developed message, or a fear of public speaking (which most people experience). You can boost your impact by working on your content and presentation style.
Option Three – Media Training:
Think of this as “crisis scenario” training in how to handle media interviews, including on-site or in-studio TV appearances. Here, you will participate in “dry runs” that include answering questions about the relocation.
Joe developed these three programs based on his communications experiences – see more in his Biography.