Did Facebook ace its congressional test?
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s two-day testimony before both Senate and House officials offered a fascinating case study in crisis communications at the highest level. Time will tell whether Zuckerberg accomplished his long-term goals, but from a strict communications perspective it was a textbook performance.
Here are five key points that professional communicators can take away from his performance:
1. Practice, practice, practice—and role-play before interviews or testimony.
Ahead of his appearances before the House and Senate committees this week, Zuckerberg has been on the road fine-tuning his testimony and role-playing Q/A with his PR/legal/government team. Perhaps as a result, the oftentimes socially uncomfortable 33-year-old tech titan looked relatively relaxed before the potentially daunting congressional committees. He was obviously hoping for the best, but was well prepared for the worst during approximately 10-hours of being on a sizzling hot seat.
2. Be polite, and apologize if appropriate.