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When the Headline Is You: An Insider's Guide to Handling the Media Hardcover – October 19, 2010

4.8 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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  • When the Headline Is You: An Insider's Guide to Handling the Media
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Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

"Exposing oneself to media scrutiny requires more than simple candor and honesty. It requires knowledge, training, and a keen understanding of how reporters write the news."
—from the Introduction

Award-winning journalist and crisis communications expert Jeff Ansell provides a complete, values-based framework for successfully navigating all types of media encounters. This framework offers executives, leaders, and communications professionals the practical tools and step-by-step messaging formulae needed to address problematic issues while limiting their exposure to the sensationalism of today's media environment. With nearly 40 years of experience, Ansell reveals the inside secrets to understanding the media, building credibility, and developing persuasive communication skills.

To facilitate implementation, this how-to guide includes a complete Media MessagingToolkit, a six-step interview and message delivery exercise, and numerous real-world illustrative examples.

Whether delivering good news, not-so-good news, or dealing with a full-blown media crisis, When the Headline Is You provides all the insights and strategies necessary to manage image and enhance reputation.

From the Back Cover

Praise for When the Headline Is You

"Business media continue to be the most credible sources of information on companies. Jeff Ansell's book When the Headline Is You offers invaluable advice on managing relationships with these outlets."
Richard Edelman, president and CEO, Edelman Public Relations

"Jeff Ansell's advice is extremely relevant in today's climate where a well-managed crisis can make the difference between survival and ruin."
Nicolle Wallace, former communications director, the White House

"When the Headline Is You is the world's most sophisticated yet sensible guide to making the most of journalist interactions."
Bob Pickard, CEO, Asia-Pacific Division, Burson-Marsteller

"Jeff Ansell's candor in how to deal with the environment around us is refreshing.When the Headline Is You is a must-read for everyone involved in the communi-cations business."
Robert Dilenschneider, founder and principal, the Dilenschneider Group

"When the Headline Is You will be an important contribution to management, governance, and public discourse. It's both practical and principled, a rare combination. And it brings new insight to real problems."
Michael Wheeler, professor of Management Practice, Harvard Business School

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Jossey-Bass; 1 edition (October 19, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470543949
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470543948
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 0.9 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #709,392 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As a media trainer, I am always looking for materials that provide new insights and practical tools that I can recommend to my clients and those who read my e-zine. I was delighted to find Jeff Ansell's book last month. Judging by the number of things I highlighted and pages I dog-eared, his book is a real find. It is not a heavy, theoretical dissertation. Instead it is very readable with many "aha" moments. The principles he teaches in the book are similar to the ones I emphasize in my own book on the subject. But he has many real-life examples which bring the theory to life. For example, his advice on answering really tough questions where reporters try to nail you with, "Answer yes or no..." or "Is it possible that..." or "Can you guarantee..." is worth the price of the book alone. And he adds greatly to the general body of knowledge of media relations with his concept of the "Value Compass" that helps companies know how to frame their messages in ways that will resonate positively with the publics with whom they are trying to communicate. I have asked (and received) permission to quote him in the 2011 version of my book and my upcoming e-zine. If you or your organization are apt to be on the firing line from reporters, bloggers, or angry members of the public (and what organization can say this will never be the case!), it would definitely be in your best interests to read this book.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I loved the no-nonsense approach to working with the media. I am especially interested in crisis communications strategies and the book was loaded with practical tactics and processes for dealing with a crisis in the media. If you are a communications associate, you should pick this up. Highly recommend.
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Format: Hardcover
I work at a small technology company, and we read this as a team when a small customer service issue turned into a PR disaster. We can't afford an expensive PR firm to handle the media and we don't have anyone in-house, so this book was a lifesaver. There were lots of tips and techniques that we could put to use immediately, and the worksheets helped us quickly craft a story that everyone in the company use if contacted by the media, vendors, or customers. If you think that PR is a dirty business, this book will show you that you can do great PR and still stick to your core values. In fact, what we learned from using this book has helped us rethink our overall customer relations strategy and do a better job of communicating our core values all the time--not just when things get ugly. I just wish that we had read this book before our PR nightmare.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Although this book has a sharp focus on spokespeople (i.e. those dealing with the media on a constant basis), I'd argue that this book would benefit anyone who might find themselves interacting with the media at some point: PR folks, business owners, agency creatives, and those who work in government, in schools and at NGOs. This book is not just for big companies with big messages! The examples throughout help flesh out the concepts and strategies, and the scripts toward the end clearly show how to handle the stickiest situations. I really enjoyed this book -- it belongs on everyone's business / communications book shelf.
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Format: Hardcover
"When The Headline Is You" is such a great resource and I found myself reflecting on many situations that my clients have been in when I wish this book had been handy! Jeff Ansell presents very helpful and insightful tips into working with the media that everyone should be aware of. I deal with a lot of small business clients who don't have large budgets for PR and media and I have recommended this book to all of them. They are very appreciative of the great information and guidance Jeff provides and consider it one of their most important small business tools. It is critical for them to understand how to talk to reporters and how to develop and present key messages.

This book makes my consulting work so much easier! Thank you, Mr. Ansell - this will stay in my briefcase at all times!
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Format: Hardcover
At the heart of "When the Headline is You" lies universal values of honesty and listening, not spin. "When the Headline is You" is about more than damage control; the tools and templates have helped us craft a precise messaging and crisp delivery, not just in crisis but in everyday conversation with constituents.

Daryl K. Yankee
Executive Director
Western Lake Superior Habitat for Humanity
[...]
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Format: Kindle Edition
"When the Headline Is You" is a practical and easy to read book on business communication. It includes loads of insider tips and great insights on how to deal with the media. Jeff Ansell's years of experience as a reporter and as a consultant provides a solid foundation for this valuable guide. A must-read for all organizational leaders who deal with the media!
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