Disciple of INDYCAR Weblog

April 7, 2011

The Correct Way For ANYONE To Ask Randy Bernard Indy Car-Related Questions

Filed under: The Disciple Blogs — Disciple of INDYCAR @ 12:01 am

This blog rarely makes linked lists from either IMS, Indy Car or other sites so affiliated. The reason is fairly simple. This blog can be edgy. From a balance standpoint it heaps as much criticism where warranted as praise. It does not really matter that much. Having the freedom to be a gadfly who can just let it roll is very liberating. Plus, since no one is paying me or sending me free tickets or other swag to influence my opinions I can pretty much say what I want. That is the way it ought to be.

The point? Let’s take Randy Bernard. He is consistently and remarkably candid whenever I have heard him speak. In addition to being just what the doctor ordered in terms of a CEO steering a ship through troubled waters, he makes time to answer questions and appears to enjoy the give and take. There is only one thing that drives me consistently nuts, and that is the way people ask him questions.

In group situations where ordinary fans are involved, most seem to have some sort of personal agenda then pontificate before actually asking a question. Sometimes they do not even ask questions. They just talk and talk without really having much of a point then expect a response.

Most members of the media suffer from related forms of such shortcomings. Not just in Indy Car, but everywhere. It drives me nuts. When I was on the air I had a few simple rules for interviewing someone.

-Ask direct questions, and the fewer number of words the better.

-While it is OK to have a list of canned questions, don’t just go down the list. LISTEN to the answers then ask follow-up questions if necessary.

That approach is what made Larry King great before he went senile.

I really like Don Kay but he suffers from talking too much without asking specific questions or any questions at all. Most of the usual suspects are guilty, even Curt Cavin, Kevin Lee and others who regularly host guests in electronic media.

Keep it simple. That is a great rule. If I had an hour with Randy Bernard with a mic and an audience, here are examples of questions I would ask him:

-Given the fiasco that was the online presentation at St. Pete, what specific steps have been taken to resolve that situation going forward? See? No speeches. No pontification. Just a direct question.

-Describe multi-platform promotion efforts headed into May, including in-show product placement, brand extensions and specially created content. Then describe where you see all of the above in two years.

-Are there any issues in which Indy Car and IMS have philosophical differences, and how do those get resolved?

-Where does the Indy Car relationship with NASCAR stand? Formula 1?

-If Indy Car owns its content, why can’t it stream content not being broadcast on television like any other major sport?

-We know you have a great relationship with Dick Ebersol and Sam Flood. How will that get leveraged into Indy Car coverage that is more responsible and professional?

I have a feeling those questions might be all I would need to fill an hour. Between them, follow-up questions and discussion, we would get some meat and not just lip service.



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