Chipotle CEO’s Bizarre Interview Highlights the Critical Need for Media Training in Business! — Careers Done Write

Chipotle was all the rage a few years ago. The fast-casual chain offered ample portions, speedy service, and reasonable prices. Recently, the chain has fallen out of favor with its target market, who claim that the portion sizes have shrunk while the prices have skyrocketed. In response to the public outcry (and declining business), Chipotle CEO Brian Nicoll took to cable news to set the record straight. What ensued was a bizarre interview

Not only did he deny any shrinking of meal sizes, but he also suggested that if you want bigger portions at Chipotle, you should telepathically non-verbally signal to the Chipotle employee putting together your order. A direct quote: “One of the things I think is great about Chipotle is if you come into the restaurant and you want a little more rice or a little more pico, usually our guys and women give them a little more scoop.” Uh, what? 

This weird interview perfectly illustrates why media training is crucial to your company’s success and brand. It is crystal clear that the CEO went on air without formal training, perhaps without any type of run-through at all. How could his interview have been improved with media training? 

Lack of eye contact. Not looking at your audience (or into the camera) comes off as disingenuous. 

Defensiveness: One of the first things he says is that portion sizes haven’t changed. Later in the interview, he expresses frustration and disbelief at the public perception that Chipotle is not what it used to be. 

Body language: Shoulder shrugs say, “I don’t care,” or “I’m annoyed by this.”

Rambling: Talks nonstop and off-topic. 

Overall, the interview made me feel “I am not interested in this, and this is a waste of my time.” This is the last sentiment you want to convey in a message to customers. It is alienating, at the very least.

The Benefits of Media Training

Telling a story or answering questions while the cameras roll can be a tall order for someone without previous media experience. It is easy to lose your train of thought or become intimidated when answering questions from reporters. On-camera spokesperson training will teach you how to think on your feet, help you prepare ahead of time, coach you through mock interviews, and help you figure out what type of questions might come up during interviews. Specifically, media training can help in the following areas:

  • Building confidence.

  • Understanding how the media works and what its purpose is.

  • Defining key messages and strategies for staying on point.

  • Identifying appropriate content.

  • Structuring talking points.

  • Maintaining eye/camera contact and being aware of body language.

  • Avoiding blunders.

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