The one area we constantly stress to clients is to always follow the Boy Scout motto of “Be Prepared” when they are going to do media interviews.
That means even if you feel you are going to be doing a “puff” interview with softball questions like “Tell us how your business has become so successful,” you also have to be prepared for a question(s) you didn’t want asked.
Interviews can turn on a dime from positive to negative, and you must be prepared to handle them.
It sounds as if Kansas City Royals’ owner David Glass reportedly was expecting an easy interview with 610 Sports’ Danny Parkins on Friday. However, the 12-year owner of the Royals and former CEO of Walmart, ended up in an ambush interview.
Glass reportedly tossed down his microphone and walked out of the interview when grilled repeatedly about selling the team after he made it quite clear he had no intentions of selling it.
The station has not podcasted the interview, but the site ramblingmorons.com has posted a transcript (below) of the interview. Parkins refused to comment to Bottom Line about the interview.
In reality, Glass likely felt he was in friendly territory doing the interview at Major League Baseball’s FanFest activities before the All-Star game to be played in Kansas City next week.
After all, he was largely responsible for bringing the game to KC. After all, he was being interviewed on the flagship radio station for Royals’ broadcasts. After all, he had just done a puff interview with 610 Sports’ Bob Fescoe (which aired 6/9) a few hours earlier where Fescoe called him ”Mr.” Glass.
Glass had already answered the rumors about his possibly selling the team quite strongly in May in an interview with the Kansas City Star’s beat writer Bob Dutton.
“Glass said he had no interest in selling even a minority share of the club,” wrote Dutton. “If anybody tells you that they understand we’re trying to sell the club,” he said, “you ask them, ‘to whom?’ I’ve not talked to anyone, nor has any of my family talked to anyone. I don’t understand where this stuff comes from.”
Parkins did a textbook interview ambush/sandwich scenario where he got his subject to relax, praised him profusely and then began firing away with questions such as “What do you say to fans who would like you to sell the team?”
See, Parkins wasn’t asking those mean-spirited questions himself. He was simply asking them for “fans.” It is a classic interview trick.
Parkins’ tactics were somewhere between an ambush where the subject thinks it will be an easy interview and then gets attacked, and a sandwich interview. That’s where the subject is praised early on, attacked, and then praised again. Glass departed before the final praises were to begin.
From a media perspective Glass should not have abruptly tossed down the microphone and left. He should have said he had a previous commitment, thanked Parkins and left.
From Parkins’ standpoint it was the wrong time and wrong setting for an ambush interview. Trying to frame questions as coming from fans and not himself seemed childish.
There were no winners with this entire situation…
Parkins: Mr. Glass thank you for coming on the Danny Parkins show. How are you doing sir?
Glass: I’m seeing what’s going on here at Fan Fest. I’ve been waiting for this for a long time.
Parkins: I know you’ve been waiting for the All Star Game to come to Kansas City for a long time. Now that it’s finally here how do you feel?
Glass: Well I’m really excited and I just want to relax now and enjoy it. There’s a lot of work that goes into this, I haven’t done any of the work but our people have and Major League Baseball has and it’s really worthwhile. What I’ve seen here at fan fest just this morning has been great.
Parkins: And what do you… This is the thing we’ve been asking everybody, when they come to Kansas
City what do you want them to take away from the experience of the All Star Game being here?
Glass: Well you know what it’s….. Kansas City…… I was just talking to the Major League Baseball officials earlier this morning and they’re saying that the people here in Kansas City have put this thing together better than any city they’ve been to in recent times. And I thinks that not only do the people in Kansas City get the opportunity to enjoy these five days in a way that they haven’t been able to in the past but the people all over the world will get exposed to Kansas City and see what we have here and it’s going to be a big surprise to them because this is a great city and… and they are doing it the right way.
Parkins: Royal owner David Glass on the Danny Parkins show here at Fan Fest. When you say it’s going to be a big surprise to them what do you mean?
Glass: Well Kansas City is sort of undiscovered as far as great cities in this country are concerned. You know, everyone thinks about New York and Chicago and L.A. and we… but what we’ve got here, although we don’t get a lot of exposure to the rest of the world it’s… it’s just outstanding.
Parkins: In terms of… I means it’s… it’s interesting that you say that and I guess this is the one of the things that’s been rumored around here recently that we’ve got to ask you about. People are talking about whether or not you are going to sell after this big event coming to town. (Glass laughing) It’s like you have this game and then when it’s done then you will sell the team.
Glass: Yeah, that’s stupid. Uhh, I’ve never considered doing that and I would have no idea where that came from.
Parkins: You would never consider selling the team?
Parkins: What do you say to fans who would like you to sell the team?
Glass: Uhh, yeah, I’m sorry.
Parkins: Do you know where that comes from?
Glass: I don’t have a clue, I have no idea
Parkins: What do you say to fans that wish you spend more on payroll for this team?
Glass: Uhh, Well, in a market this size you can spend a certain amount on payroll. You… You’re never going to be able to spend what the Yankees and the other big market teams can spend but our approach from the very beginning has been that we’re not looking to make money with the franchise we simply want to break even and if we have an if we have an opportunity to win we’ll step up and do whatever it takes to… to help us take that extra step. But for the most part all the money that we can generate we’ll spend on payroll and signing amateur players
Parkins: Would you be willing to operate a season at a loss in order to sign a big time….
Glass: We… We’ve done that before and I suppose we’d do it again.
Parkins: We’re talking with Royals owner David Glass here on the Danny Parkins show…. Putting the microphone down? Oh… oh… alright. Thank you sir for coming on the show he just put the microphone down and walked away.