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Now that the housekeeping’s taken care of, now seems like as good a time as any to introduce our latest and greatest Planespotting feature. Our ad guy worked overtime this month—that or ‘Zbignew’ and ‘Anonymous’ have been clicking the hell out of the CFO.com skyscraper—and we found ourselves with a little extra spending money. Naturally this surplus went toward our top priority here in the DB HQs: Planespotting, and derivatives thereof. Since everyone (who matters) is in that canton of Graubünden, Landwasser River-adjacent, or en route, and a whole Planespotting of “W, X, Y Z went from here to there on their aircraft carriers of choice” leaves something to be desired, we decided to put our pocket change to good use and send some special correspondents to do a little undercover work, pre-aviationally speaking, to find out who’s afraid of flying, who’s got to have the window seat, and who’s planning on saying “F the FAA, I’ll take my disposable razor on the plane in order to get a quick shave in before landing and I dare them to stop me,” etc, etc. You will find the first report after the jump. And watch for the second installment of this series on Thursday, when we reveal which Fortune 500 CEO Special Correspondent Bono found out a little too much about in a Zurich Airport Men’s Room. Stay tuned.
Andrew Ross Sorkin sent in this Davos Moment from his experience Tuesday at the Zurich airport, where he was en route to the conference:
A Fortune 50 chief executive — I won’t tell you his name because he didn’t realize I was listening to his conversation — was sitting at a fast-food restaurant with a woman who was coaching him on how to talk to the media.
“You’ve got to stay on message,’” she snapped when he would forget his lines. He sheepishly apologized and then managed to mangle his line again.
“Don’t answer the question being asked,” the woman said. “Get to your message,” she said, explaining that he should use “bridge phrases” such as “meanwhile” or “what we know is” to avoid the question being asked and change the context of the answer.
“Like the politicians do,” the chief executive exclaimed.
She also emphasized what she called “flagging,” telling the C.E.O. to insert phrases such as, “the most important thing is…” and “the main idea is…”
“Journalists are looking for complete sentences,” she instructed. “Especially on TV. You want to give them full messages.”
Before they got up, she told the executive, “Tell them what you do.”
He looked at her, slightly befuddled, and replied, “What do we do?”
Davos Moment: How to Talk Like a C.E.O. [DealBook]