SMA is a trade organization called the Southwest Meat Association – what a great organization! I particularly appreciate the sense of community for the meat industry in Texas and surrounding states. SMA and their industry members work hard to continue to add value to their businesses and the industry through this informative conference.
All the speakers were great with notable participation by FSIS and USDA making sure we know what is new to the regulatory system. With three speakers from USDA and a lawyer on food safety policy from Washington DC., food safety was always first at SMA.
My favorite speaker was Mr. Daren Williams, Executive Director of Communications from the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association – speaking on, “Media 101: What You Have to Know.” With tips on how to manage the media, he gave these important tips (which we all thought were good for interviews and meetings too!):
- Media is supposed to be hard on you – keep it professional
- Decide on your key message and always bring answers back to that message
- The story of your company is part of your message, say it at least 3x for the audience to hear
- Communicate that you’re capable and care (say your values, commitments and promises)
- If the reporter uses a negative word, never repeat the negative word, be positive
Check out this clip on how to do it right. Matt Lauer interviews Ford CEO Alan Mulally – Pay attention to his key messages, avoids negative words, and communicates his company is capable and cares about it’s customers.