Eric Bergman first coached spokespeople during the summer of 1981 while conducting a media relations campaign to promote two student theatre productions, Pal Joey
and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum
"I gave similar advice then that I would give now,” he says. "Relax, let the interviewer guide the process. Help the journalist get people interested in the story of the production, but make sure readers, listeners and viewers know when it’s playing and where they can buy tickets."
This focus on creating win-win outcomes—value for journalists’ audiences while supporting business objectives—has shaped every aspect of his 35-year career in public relations and corporate communication.At Ease With the Media
Eric developed At Ease With the Media
in the early 1990s. What sets this program apart is a focus on providing spokespeople with a range of tools.
Spokespeople learn to manage exchanges that help journalists develop factually correct stories (that may even be entertaining, such as when promoting a theatre production) while seeking opportunities to support the organization’s business objectives (sell more tickets at the box office). At Ease With the Media
doesn’t teach spokespeople to keep repeating the same thing over and over. “That style of media training is an outdated paradigm in an information-driven world,” Eric explains. “And it’s a tactic that often causes more problems than it ever solves
Likewise, At Ease With the Media
doesn’t provide spokespeople with a false sense of security that they can control the interview. In a modern world where anyone with a smartphone and a Facebook account can be a journalist, Eric realizes that the only thing spokespeople can control is what they say. The first skill he teaches, therefore, is how, when and why to stop talking when the question is answered.
Thousands of spokespeople from five continents in the private, public, corporate, professional, entrepreneurial and not-for-profit sectors have benefited from Eric’s approach, coaching and feedback.
If you're interested in learning about how his proven approach can help your spokespeople, please explore this website or contact Eric directly
Eric holds a bachelor of professional arts in communication studies from Athabasca University and a two-year diploma in advertising and public relations from Grant MacEwan College.
He is an accredited business communicator (ABC), an accredited public relations practitioner (APR), and a master communicator (MC)—which is the highest distinction that can be bestowed upon a Canadian member of the International Association of Business Communicators. In 2014, he was named a member of the College of Fellows of the Canadian Public Relations Society (FCPRS).