4 media relations lessons from Michigan State’s Tom Izzo

Successful college basketball coaches have survived a winnowing far more demanding than most CEOs ever face. Here’s what a great coach can teach us about media relations and interviews.

Regardless of whether you’re a basketball fan or a Michigan State fan, you’ve heard the name “Tom Izzo.”

“Mr. March” embodies success on and off the court. His hard work, commitment and passion have helped him run Spartan basketball like a company and establish it as a well-known brand around the country.

He’s led Michigan State to 18 consecutive NCAA Tournaments, seven Final Four appearances, seven Big Ten Championships and an NCAA Championship, but what is most admirable is his dedication to the “business” he has run for 21 years, and the way he communicates to his “clients” and the media.

What we see on TV most likely isn’t always his behavior in the locker room at halftime, but, win or lose, Izzo knows how to communicate and provide valuable content to get his point across. Izzo not only wins, he understands how to win-in the way he presents himself, the team and the Spartan basketball brand.

It makes sense to note a few of Izzo’s tried-and-true media tactics and learn firsthand from one of the best:

When being interviewed:

Forget the camera; relax and be comfortable talking to your interviewer. Focus on the fact that the interview is between you and the person interviewing you, block out background activity and don’t stress about the rest. Granted, Izzo is naturally comfortable in front of the camera, but the more you do it the more natural you will appear.

Stay humble, but present a high level of confidence when you answer questions. Capitalize your responses by answering honestly, effectively and consistently.

Know the facts. When discussing your company statistics, events or a competitor’s information, it’s critical to make sure the information you relay is accurate.

Together Everyone Achieves More:

If the whole team works together, communicates well, performs each individual role and gives 100 percent every day-great things will be accomplished. #Teamworkmakesthedreamwork.

After a recent tough loss for Izzo in the NCAA March Madness tournament, he stated in the post-game interview, “The highs are high and the lows are low.” This guy has class. An example to all, Izzo in his post-game interview deals with defeat, skillfully balances failure with a marvelous regular season, gives credit where credit was due, holds his head high and focuses on the positives.

A version of this article first appeared on Identity PR.

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Topics: PR

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