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Dealing with the Press: Handling the Tough Questions


While you may not be able to control reporters’ questions in the face of a media crisis following a utility violation, you do have control of your response. But what tricks do you use when dealing with the press? And…how can you avoid their traps when your utility is suddenly put in the media’s hot seat?

Join industry expert and AWWA author, Melanie Goetz for the third session of our Water Communications Master Class Series, for her tips and tricks on how to deal with the press during a crisis, including how to: answer the tough questions, leverage the power of journalism, and transition the story to your key messaging to avoid (or become) headline news.

In this webcast, we’ll delve into the essentials of damage control and valuable messaging techniques to express empathy and communicate concisely, without losing trust in your leadership and water utility. Within this discussion, we’ll explore the rules of engagement, and how to steer clear of reporters’ tricks of the trade and contentious inquiries by effectively leveraging "transitional phases" to reshape problematic situations and avoid being crucified by the press. We’ll also examine how to tell the difference between a true crisis, an on-going buildup to a crisis, and a full out assault by the media, and why it matters. Throughout the presentation, Goetz will refer to several case studies and real-life examples to demonstrate the “dos and don’ts” when engaging with the press in the wake of a water-quality crisis.

Learning Objectives 
Attendees can expect the discussion and education of the following learning objectives.

  • Determine how to respond to the eight toughest questions reporters ask.
  • Learn how to transition from a tough question to your key messaging.
  • Investigate the power of sound bites and how they can work for or against you.
  • Understand how to control the conversation flow.
  • Learn the rules of the media game and how to engage with the press.

Train Your Team
Get the whole team trained! We offer additional savings if you register as a group. For group pricing information, contact us at

* Presentations are scheduled for approximately one hour and 30 minutes with a 15-20 minute question and answer session to follow. Presentation may exceed scheduled time. 
* Each state and certification agency has different requirements; it is your responsibility to know what they are. Note that 1 PDH = 0.1 CEU.
* Purchase of this course allows you access to the presentation(s) for 6 months from the order date.

On-Demand Webcast
Session: 1 H 30 M
Lectures: 1
Credits: 1 PDH / 0.1 CEU

On-Demand Webcasts > Water ($79.00)


Special Group Pricing Available


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