Successful Nonprofits Podcast: Ace Your Media Interview

Ace Your Media Interview

Tell Your Story with Scott Hartman

Ace Your Media Interview

Tell Your Story with Scott Hartman

by Ro

Scott Hartman shares 4 secrets for a successful media interview plus tips for creating a professional-looking virtual meeting setting at home.

Listen to the Episode Here!


Website: Scott Hartman Films

Scott’s LinkedIn

Podcast: Ep 88: Media Relations with Antionette Kerr

Podcast: Ep 183: Become the Expert Reporters Call with Kristen Elworthy


(07:01) Simplify your messaging

(10:06) Be helpful to the reporter

(11:42) Redirect questions with “the bridge”

(15:31) Address mistakes or misunderstandings ASAP 

(22:56) Tips for a great virtual meeting set-up


Dolph Goldenburg (0s):

Welcome to the Successful Nonprofits® Podcast. I’m your host, Dolph Goldenberg. Listeners, today we have got an incredible episode with Scott Hartman. He is going to be sharing with us how to ace our media interviews. Whether you’re a chief executive, a development director, or someone who’s running a program, there’s usually some point at which you are talking to someone in the media. This is such an incredibly important conversation for us to have today. I’ll also share with you that as our conversation evolved, we also got some bonus material about Zoom or FaceTime or Google Hangouts, or however your organization is doing its virtual meetings.

Dolph Goldenburg (49s):

Before we move into that though, I just want to say that spring is in the air. Part of what that often means is board retreats. Over the last year, I have done a number of virtual board retreats. So if you or your organization are like, “It’s time for our annual retreat, we missed it last year because of the pandemic. And we don’t know if we’re going to have it this year or how we’re going to do it.” Reach out to me. I’d love to have a conversation with you about facilitating your board’s retreat. It’s possible to do it remotely. It really is. Now, let me introduce you to Scott Hartman. Before I do, I have to share something with you, Scott and my husband, Frank went to college together and as all of our loyal listeners know, my husband really doesn’t listen to the podcast.

Dolph Goldenburg (1m 35s):

I love him. He loves me, but he doesn’t really find it useful for his everyday life. So he does not listen. It’s something that I often tease him about. So last night as we were making dinner, I said, “Hey, you know, your buddy Scott from college is going to be on the podcast. Maybe you’re going to listen to this episode. I think it’s going to air sometime in April.” And he smiled at me and he said, “probably not.” I didn’t take it personally. Not only does he not listen to my podcast, but I was like, “He’s also not going to listen when one of his friends from college is on.” Scott is a 20 year veteran of media and agency work. And you might say, “Dolph, what does that mean?” Well, over the last 20 years, Scott has done so much in this arena.

Dolph Goldenburg (2m 16s):

He has been a media coach, a director, a cinematographer, and he’s also done editing of media interviews. He led hundreds of media coaching sessions before he rolled out into his own firm, Scott Hartman Films. He was doing this at one of the most prestigious agencies, not just in the Southeast, but in the United States. We are so incredibly lucky to be able to turn the microphone around on Scott so he can show us how we ace our media interviews. And also get a little better with our Zoom meetings.

Dolph Goldenburg (3m 2s):

Hey Scott, welcome to the podcast.

Scott Hartman (3m 4s):

Thank you. Yeah, it is fun to have the microphone turned around on me or the camera turned around on me. I’ve spent a lot of time coaching other people on how to do this. It’s one of those times where I probably better step up and do it myself.

Dolph Goldenburg (3m 17s):

I totally get it. Now I understand that you once helped a really dry medical researcher turn, what would have been a pretty boring speech, into a performance? Can you share more about that?

Scott Hartman (3m 33s):

Sure, absolutely. Medical researchers do amazing work. One of the things they often have to do is go present their work, not only to a professional journal or a professional association, but to possible funders for research. A lot of times these funders are people very similar to you and me. They just happened to be well-funded and they can help support this work. We had a pediatric oncologist at a children’s hospital who had done amazing work. I mean, it’s fantastic, but he would have to dig into the data to show that and for a lay audience, it can be hard when you have 45 minutes on stage to go dig into the data.

Scott Hartman (4m 23s):

What we really had to do is create a true presentation for him and develop it into a bit of theater. When you go speak in front of this auditorium full of lay people who can help fund your research, you have to boil it down. We created a ton of metaphors. It became all about examples and metaphors and getting a little bit away from the data, which a research doctor had a little trepidation about getting away from his data. That’s what they live by. 

Scott Hartman (5m 3s):

I don’t know if you’ve ever gotten underneath a car and seen the giant springs that makeup part of the suspension. But we came up with a really cool metaphor using this to explain something that happens in medical research. For the first 90% of the research, you’re making huge strides, you’re rocking and rolling and doing a great job. You get to that last 10% though, where you’re trying to find a cure or a long-term management treatment. And that’s the part that gets really tough. It can sometimes get bogged down or slow down. It’s like trying to compress a spring. It’s easy at first.

Scott Hartman (5m 43s):

And the tighter that spring gets the harder it is to push it. So we went and bought one of those automotive springs from AutoZone, had him take it up on stage, and do a whole bit where he explained that. He was at the final stage of trying to collapse the spring. And he had that spring on stage with him, holding it up in front of the audience, and saying, “This is where we are, but this is where we can get to.” The presentation was littered with that type of very visual explanation. If I did my job right, they were easy to understand examples and ideas that the audience could say, “Oh yeah, I get it.”

Scott Hartman (6m 29s):

Coincidentally, my company is Scott Hartman Films. We created videos of cancer patients that he had worked with. They talked about this particular type of cancer that they had, how they got over it with his help, and why it’s so important to continue to fund this type of work. So it was theater and video, but it was all about getting out of the weeds of the data and really telling the story of what this is all about.

Dolph Goldenburg (7m 1s):

You helped this researcher take the complicated and make it really simple. It’s easy for us to present a complicated idea in a complicated way. As a consultant, I certainly understand that. But to make it simple is so much harder. As people are preparing for their own media interviews, what are some of the things they should be thinking about to make whatever complicated thing they are going to talk about simple for the people that don’t work in this field every day? 

Scott Hartman (7m 30s):

You hit the nail on the head. First of all, by saying, “What should they be thinking about?” Because they should be thinking about it. Too often, people are flying by the seat of their pants. They know they have a call at 2:00 or an on-camera bit at 3:00 or a radio call-in at 4:00 and they just wing it and they don’t prepare. You do have to think about it. As you’re thinking about it, there’s a lot of things to keep in mind. One of the things you need to think about is what you want to say. What is your position, no matter how serious or lighthearted the topic at hand is, what is your position? What is something you want people to know? Spend five minutes thinking about that because you may forget it if you try to wing it.

Scott Hartman (8m 16s):

The other thing I tell people is: What are examples of what you are describing? What I just talked about with the doctor’s presentation, it was all about examples, right? It was all about manifesting things that can be nebulous and hard to explain. If you’re dealing with financial information, what’s a concrete example of what you’re dealing with? If you’re dealing with regulatory affairs, what is a concrete example of what you’re trying to get across? As we all know, when it comes to legal items and fiduciary items, it can be hard for lay people.

Scott Hartman (9m 1s):

Most reporters are lay people. They’re generalists. If you work for CNBC, you can be a financial expert. Most reporters, especially on a local level, may have been reporting on any number of things yesterday and then today they’re interviewing you about your nonprofit. So spend some time, first of all, just preparing, what do you want to say? Write down three things that you must get across in this interview. Think of examples for each of those things. You’d be surprised how much doing those two things will carry you no matter how long the interview goes. 

Dolph Goldenburg (9m 37s):

I love that you said write down three things you must get across. So often when I’m watching national interview shows and politicians or CEOs are being interviewed, you can tell that, regardless of whatever question they’re being asked, they’re going to provide the information that they want to provide. How do we as nonprofit professionals navigate an interview so that we can get our three most important facts or items out to the public?

Scott Hartman (10m 6s):

If you’re going to participate in an interview, you need to want to be there. If that makes sense. You talked about the CEOs that go on these shows and you get the impression they’re doing it because they have to or because the PR people said, “You need to go on Good Morning America.” So be helpful. A reporter’s job is to get information. There are certainly times where reporters are trying to get difficult information or possibly secret information, but there’s also times where they’re just trying to properly convey this set of information to their audience.

Scott Hartman (10m 50s):

So help them. When they ask questions, give them a real answer. Now is the time to talk about a technique that some people call a pivot and some people call a bridge. There’s always a way to answer their question and then kind of tap dance over to what you want to say about that thing. But that takes practice. It’s something that I helped a lot of with people. When you get asked this question, you give the reporter a piece of relevant information and then tiptoe your way over to the answer you want to talk about. The big thing is, be ready to help. You want to be helpful to this reporter because, frankly, you build a lot of rapport by doing so.

Scott Hartman (11m 32s):

And honestly, the more helpful you can be, if you can give them some actual information to a question, they will let you then continue into your message that you want to talk about.

Dolph Goldenburg (11m 42s):

So tell me a little bit more about how you create that bridge or that pivot in a way that feels natural. I know when I’ve done that, it’s like I’ve taken a hard right turn in the interview, because I’ve just sort of jumped the gun.

Scott Hartman (11m 59s):

There’s definitely a lot of work that goes into it and nobody’s perfect at it. Some of the time it’s you making it seem verbally effortless. I know that’s easier said than done, but it can’t seem like this hard pivot. You can answer their question. You can say, “You know, I understand where you’re coming from on that. And you know, my thoughts on that would be X, Y, or Z. But another thing you do have to remember is that there’s A, B and C over here. We can’t just ignore A, B and C. That’s an important part of this conversation.” I’m speaking obviously in hypotheticals, but the whole point is to give them some of the information they’ve requested, then say, “But let’s not forget about this piece of information.” or, “Let me tell you something else you may not know actually.” or “Let’s back up and let me kind of explain this topic from the beginning.”

Scott Hartman (12m 46s):

The other thing we tell people all the time is to ask reporters how much they know about the topic or what their experiences with it is. They may say, “I was covering a cat stuck in a tree yesterday and today I’m interviewing you about your annual report or your financials or your gala.” You’ve got to understand that they will never know as much about this as you do. You just need to sort of gently steer them if they’re going down the wrong path, which that’s when you’re pivoting and you’re bridging. That’s really what you’re doing. You’re kind of redirecting them.

You want this reporter to get it right. You want to educate them. You want to naturally steer them back to more information that you have that fits what you’re trying to get across.

Dolph Goldenburg (13m 41s):

Scott, you rock. You gave me and our listeners three great pivots. The two that really stuck with me are, “But let’s not forget about…” and “Let me also share with you…” I love both of those pivots. They sound organic and it doesn’t sound like I’m avoiding your question because I answer it first. Love that.

Scott Hartman (14m 6s):

There are a lot of verbal cues, “On the other hand,” “Let’s not forget about,” “Let me back you up,” “One thing you may not know is ____.” We do this in our natural lives. We’re not as aware of it, and it’s not as nerve-wracking when you’re talking to a coworker about something. But we do this naturally, and I think this happens a lot in meetings. If you lead meetings on a weekly basis, there are lots of opportunities to practice verbal gymnastics. I’m a big fan of that. Use meetings you may lead every week as opportunities to practice your verbal gymnastics.

Dolph Goldenburg (14m 50s):

I love that. I’ve got another question for you that I’m sure some of our listeners either have encountered at this point in their career or will encounter at some point. I’ve got to take you into the way back machine. It’s 2006, I’m 35 years old. I am three years into a very public job where I would often do D list, local celebrity type things. Let me be clear listeners: not A, not B, not even C. As far down as you can get and still sometimes go to dinner and people recognize you who you don’t know.

Dolph Goldenburg (15m 31s):

The local public TV station asked me to come on during their fund drive. And you know, the public TV station will offer some swag. They might say, if you give $75 you get a tote bag. In this case, they said that if you gave $175, you got an umbrella. By the way, this was a beautiful umbrella. I was holding this umbrella. It was a long umbrella, folded it was probably three and a half feet long.

Dolph Goldenburg (16m 13s):

And It had a very, very pointy end. So we were talking about what a beautiful umbrella it was and how it will keep you so dry. And I said, “And it’s so pointy on the end, it’s a personal protection device.” Everybody’s face just went stone cold. Within about a minute, we clipped back to the show, and they came to me like, “No, you, you can’t say that.” I’m self-aware enough that when I said it, I was like, “Oh, I should not have said that.” And then I saw everyone’s face go stone cold. How should I have recovered from that?

Scott Hartman (16m 48s):

First, don’t beat yourself up too much because in the Pantheon of things that went out over the air I would say that’s not terrible. I’m a believer that you have to correct something on the fly as fast as possible. We would always say, “If you say something you did not mean to say, you just have to say, “You know what, I need to rephrase that. I know I said this, that was probably not the right thing to say. And I’m sorry if that seemed out of place for the conversation we’re having.” With you, I would’ve just probably said something along the lines of, “You know, I know I made a crack about this having a nice pointy end and you can use it as a personal protection device, but I probably shouldn’t have said that. It seems a little rough for what we’re talking about here, but it is a great umbrella and it’s got a good handle and that’s important because these things break over time.”

Scott Hartman (17m 53s):

In a weird way, that was a bridge. Let me recognize the thing I said, but then also talk about how this umbrella is pretty awesome. That’s kind of what I’ve got for you there. I hope it satisfies you. It’s tough when you say something you did not mean to say. You’ve said it, you know? It’s like if you say something to a loved one that you realize you shouldn’t have said, the best thing you can do is address it immediately. We’ve had a lot of people ask, “What if I say something and 10 minutes after the interviewer leaves or after we hang up the phone, I say, ‘You know, I said one thing in there that I think they misinterpreted or that they took it the wrong way.’”

Scott Hartman (18m 47s):

My advice is to get them back on the phone and just say, “When we were talking about X, I said this and it’s made me uncomfortable since you left. I’m worried that maybe I came off the wrong way.” I think you’ll find that 8 times out of 10, they’re going to say, “Oh no, I understand it. It’s fine.” Those other two times you will have possibly avoided them printing something. They can still print it once you’ve said it on the record. It’s out there, but you can say, “I didn’t really mean that that way. And I want to make sure you understand that.” 

Dolph Goldenburg (19m 30s):

Here’s what I’m hearing. If you realize right after you said it, the interviewer is still there, and the camera’s still rolling, you acknowledge it. You correct it. You pivot back to your message. If it’s 10 minutes later, an hour later, and you’re like, “Yeah, that maybe that came across the wrong way” then you need to have a conversation.”

Scott Hartman (19m 57s):

Yes. We hear people all the time, who say, “I want a correction or I was misquoted. I was taken out of context.” What I have found over almost 20 years of talking to people is when they say, “Well, I was misquoted.” We dig in and we say, “Did you say that?” And they say, “Well, yes, but I didn’t mean it that way.” And it’s like, “Well, you said it.” So if you were at all trepidatious after the fact, you should get with them and say, “I didn’t really mean to say that that way. I made an analogy here to a stabby personal protective device.

Scott Hartman (20m 38s):

That wasn’t the best analogy. Can I have that one back? Or can I give you another one here over the phone?” You got to get on it. People who are misquoted or taken out of context often said something they didn’t mean to say, or they shouldn’t have said. Everything is fairly black and white to reporters. If they print what you said a lot of times, that is what you said.

Dolph Goldenburg (21m 8s):

So I’ve got a quick follow-up on this. Sometimes we think to ourselves, “Well, I can be more precise if I email this to the reporter, instead of have a call.” I don’t know why, but I think that’s not the best strategy. Do you think that’s a good strategy or is the call better?

Scott Hartman (21m 38s):

Either is better than nothing. Clearly, I think if you were on a call with a reporter and you have that reporter’s number, you should get back on the phone with them. And it may mean your communications person. This happens a lot. The PR communications person does the callback, which is not a great spot to put them in but it does happen. If you’ve got access to their phone number, I would call them back because you don’t know if they are going to read that email in time. It’s uncomfortable to have to say something out loud or say you goofed up out loud to somebody. But I also think it is the most effective, even in this day and age.

Scott Hartman (22m 26s):

Sometimes it’s not anything hugely controversial. It’s just, “You know, I’m not sure you understood when I was explaining how the financials worked. Can I walk that through with you one more time?” Either one of those is better than nothing. I like the verbal one because you can always call, tell him what happened and then shoot him an email that says, “Thanks for the call. I really appreciate your understanding.” Try to be thorough. All you can do is appeal to their human nature. 

Dolph Goldenburg (22m 56s):

That is such great advice. Thank you, Scott. And I want us to have another conversation as well about how we as professionals can do a better job in our virtual meetings. All of us are doing these now. And so many of us are not doing them as well as we possibly could. So Scott, I am really wanting to talk about how we can better prepare for these virtual calls.

Dolph Goldenburg (23m 40s):

I was super impressed when you first came on, because you almost immediately said, “Okay, I’m looking at my sound levels.” You and I walked through it to make sure that we both sounded pretty good. The vast majority of our guests don’t have your level of technical expertise. So they’re not doing those things to make sure that they sound good and look good in their virtual conference. What are some of the things people that are working from home can do to make sure that their virtual conferences are pretty good?

Scott Hartman (24m 17s):

There are some things that I think are not that hard, but other people may think these are complicated. First, we’ve all been in meetings or calls on Zoom, where everybody is looking down into their laptops. Boost your laptop up. Don’t just put it on a desk. Find three or four dictionaries and shove them underneath it. If you’re using your laptop camera, you want that thing to be at the same eye level. You look like a TV anchor on TV. The cameras are always at the eye level of the anchors. It doesn’t have to be pretty. I went to coach a lady and she was carrying her laptop around her living room, trying to find places this would work.

Scott Hartman (25m 1s):

She ended up putting it on top of her dog crate. And I was like, “Perfect. It’s the perfect height for the chair you’re sitting in.” So boost your laptop up. That camera should be at eye level. It doesn’t matter what you use because nobody’s going to see it.

Dolph Goldenburg (25m 15s):

I do that on my desk. I bought those plastic boxes from Home Depot you use to raise the height of your bed. Those things will survive an attack. You get four of those. You just stick them under your laptop. Boom. You can get however many inches you need. And it’s like a $12 solution. Sorry, I had to jump in because I’ve done that. So I felt good about that.

Scott Hartman (25m 56s):

Absolutely. No, this does not have to be complicated. In the filmmaking world, we say, “It does not matter what it looks like behind the scenes. It only matters what it looks like on camera.” So it doesn’t matter what’s holding your laptop up. So that’s number one, get that laptop up. Number two is lighting  and I see a lot of confusion. You see people buying diva lights and you know, those sorts of things, and those are fine. But what it’s really all about is raising the ambient light level in your room. It’s not about spotlighting. A lot of people think it’s about having a spotlight on them. Webcam cameras don’t handle that all that well. 

Scott Hartman (26m 39s):

It’s kind of like trying to do the exposure on your phone. One spot is really dark and the other spot is really bright. It’s more about ambient light level. So if you can find a window, it should not be behind you. It should be in front of you because that window is going to let ambient light in. My big overall thing with lighting is raise the ambient, knock out the hotspots. For instance, I have a dome light above me, which is nothing amazing, but it’s not in the shot. So you don’t see a big, bright ball. It’s the same with windows. You should never have a window behind you or a light bulb in your shot, but you can have a lot of them in the room.

Dolph Goldenburg (27m 23s):

What I’ve noticed when people have a window behind them, is it actually shades them out. So it looks like they’re one of these shadowy people and you don’t actually see them that well, they literally look like a shadow. 

Scott Hartman (27m 39s):

The way the exposure on these cameras works is they’re looking for the brightest spot and they’re adjusting for it, or they’re evaluating bright versus dark. If the bright spot is overwhelmingly bright, it’s going to say, “Oh, I need to darken that a little bit.” Well, if you’re not the bright spot, you’re just getting darker and darker and darker. That’s why you don’t want bright spots in your video. It doesn’t mean you can’t have tons of lamps in the room and all around you, but they can’t be on the shot. I like rooms that have big windows. The other thing we’re going to talk about in a second is backgrounds. I know it can be tough to find the perfect room, but rooms that have lots of window light, where you can position yourself in front of the windows or rather the windows shining onto you or onto your room are a good place to start. We talked about raising your laptop. We’ve talked a little bit about lighting. 

Scott Hartman (28m 33s):

The other thing I want to talk about is microphones and sound. I’m a big fan of using earbuds for a few different reasons, but don’t use the microphone on your laptop and the speakers on your laptop. If you have your volume turned up too loud, your laptop speakers will feedback into your microphone. We have all been on calls where somebody’s creating feedback and you get that echo and you can’t figure out who it is. That’s a real problem. If you use a set of Beats or AirPods or earbuds, then the sound’s going into there.

Scott Hartman (29m 16s):

So the sound is not going to be an issue out in the ether. Most of them have a microphone. You and I are using nicer microphones, but I’m wearing a set of beats. I could be using the microphone on these just as easily. And it’s pretty good. So I’m a big fan. I’ve worked with some people who say, “I don’t like to wear headphones for this.” And I just say, “It’s a better solution. It fixes so many things and eliminates possible problems with feedback that it’s worth doing.” So, my big things are, raise your laptop, ambient light in the room, and wear a set of earbuds.

Dolph Goldenburg (29m 53s):

I want to jump in on the earbuds microphone thing. All my conference calls and podcasting, I do slightly differently. So you see a different set up here. I’ve got my better mic and better headsets and that kind of thing. On my conference calls that are video, I actually purchased a headset with a boom for like $45. And I kind of referred to it as the Time-Life headset. If you grew up in the seventies or eighties, you remember, “Time-Life operators are standing by now” and you’d see the picture of someone in one of those headsets. So I kind of refer to it as that. What I love about that is if someone is really soft, there’s a dial on my little headset that I can just literally twist and I can make them a lot louder.

Dolph Goldenburg (30m 38s):

When they’ve stopped talking and the next person’s really loud, I can twist that dial down. And they’re softer without me being seen in the video, playing with my keyboard.

Scott Hartman (30m 49s):

That’s a really good point. In fact, most earbuds at this point or most headsets, have volume dials. That’s a very good point. You don’t want to have to reach up and bang on your laptop, especially if you’re on video. You alluded that when we first started, I was pulling open my audio settings. I’m looking at my levels. Let’s take Zoom, just as an example, you really have to kind of dig around to find those. I wish zoom would add an update and put that information in the viewing screen that we’re all used to looking at and make those controls available.

Scott Hartman (31m 35s):

I know where to go to dig into that. And within the sub menu that comes up, I know how to adjust things, but I understand that for a lot of people, that’s daunting, especially if you’re already connected. So I’d love for Zoom, WebEx, and Cisco to make those adjustments a little simpler for folks, but we’ll just cross our fingers and hope that happens one day.

Dolph Goldenburg (31m 58s):

CEO of Zoom, if you’re listening, you heard it here. Please. Please. Because I agree with Scott, that would be so helpful.

Scott Hartman (32m 5s):

Yeah. Your product is very good and has been very handy during this pandemic, but that’s something that’d be really nice if it was more accessible.

Dolph Goldenburg (32m 14s):

Scott. I know this has been so helpful for so many of our listeners, if for no other reason, than helping our listeners coach some of their colleagues or clients or partners into a better set up. So thank you. I always want to make sure that we have time for the off-the-map question and we are rapidly running out of time. I understand that you have directed interviews with a former United States President and I think that probably puts you in a pretty unique club. Tell us about that.

Scott Hartman (32m 51s):

Yeah. So I’ve worked with Jimmy Carter on multiple occasions and also his wife on a separate project. President Carter certainly has a very well-known personality in his post-presidency and was as nice and as genial as you would probably think Jimmy Carter would be. Having said that, he was well into his nineties in both of these situations where I worked with him. His recall of historical events, both in and out of his presidency was amazing. It was pretty amazing to be in his presence, but I was also nerve wracked and you know, you have to get background checked and all that stuff to do this.

Scott Hartman (33m 37s):

I have not had to go through that level of security. You have to be ready because they don’t have a lot of time, so everything must be set up. The person who’s doing the interview must be ready to rock. Everybody needs to be miced as fast as possible. Having said that, at least with President Carter, he has the type of personality that even when you knew you only had 10 minutes with him each time, you never felt it. He seemed happy to be there, happy to participate and impart the knowledge that he had. We talked about the North Korea nuclear program and I forget what the other one was about. He did not make you feel like he was on a clock and ,you know, I’ve done a lot of work with a lot of executives over the years where sometimes I knew I was on a clock.

Scott Hartman (34m 30s):

He was not that way. So to answer your question, it was both kind of daunting to realize you were in the presence of a former president, but then also it was almost like interviewing a football coach or something. I don’t know, he was just happy to be there and talk shop, in a way.

Dolph Goldenburg (34m 49s):

What an amazing gift to have to know that you have limited time, but not interact with them like the clock is ticking.

Scott Hartman (34m 57s):

It wasn’t like, you know, “Make sure there’s a bowl of green M&Ms,” you know? There weren’t a bunch of stipulations. It was a time thing. I was fortunate to do both of them at the Carter Center, which is here in Atlanta. So it’s kind of his building in a way. I’m from Georgia. Talking to Jimmy Carter was pretty cool and getting to meet him and shake his hand and to have him be Jimmy Carter. It was exciting.

Scott Hartman (35m 38s):

I did a project with his wife. She was the exact same way. Just pleasant and nice and asked where you were from. I kind of feel like I got a good one and maybe I don’t want to do any other presidents because I might not have as good an experience.

Dolph Goldenburg (35m 58s):

That is so awesome. In Georgia, Jimmy Carter is considered a rock star, but I think at this point, nationally, Jimmy Carter is kind of considered a rock star. He’s probably the most consequential former president in memory.

Scott Hartman (36m 16s):

Absolutely. I would 100% agree with that.

Dolph Goldenburg (36m 19s):

Thank you so much for joining us. Listeners, I want to make sure that you know how to get a hold of Scott. You can go to his website at In our show notes we have a link to his LinkedIn profile. I think it’s in your best interest to reach out to Scott. He has made the very generous offer to provide a low cost video conferencing setup consultation and a support tip sheet. Imagine being able to talk to Scott in the place where you’re actually doing your video calls and have him say, “Can you shut that curtain? Can you move your laptop over six inches or do the other wall?”

Dolph Goldenburg (36m 60s):

Imagine having a coach do that for you, someone who literally has directed interviews with a former US President. It is a rare opportunity. Make sure you connect with Scott. Scott, thank you so much for joining us today.

Scott Hartman (37m 25s):

Absolutely. My pleasure. It was good. Let’s do it again sometime. 

Dolph Goldenburg (37m 30s):

Listeners, thank you so much for joining. I’m always grateful that you are here and always remember that if you can’t remember Scott’s URL, it’s pretty simple Also want to just quickly remind you: If it has been more than a year since you’ve had a board retreat and you and your board are scratching your heads, trying to figure out how you’re going to make this work, pick up the phone, give me a call, send me an email. 

Dolph Goldenburg (38m 13s):

Whether you reply to the email newsletter or you reach out to me on the website, it comes directly to me. I will get your message and I will respond. Finally, if you have enjoyed this episode with Scott Hartman, there are two episodes I want you to listen to. One is Ep 88: Media Relations with Antionette Kerr. And the other is Ep 183: Become the Expert Reporters Call with Kristen Elworthy.

Dolph Goldenburg (38m 53s):

Let me say it blows my mind that I’m saying “episode 183.” When we released episode one, four and a half years ago, I never thought we’d get to 183. So check out episode 183. It’s a great episode and worth your time. That is our show for this week, listeners. I hope you have gained some insight to help your non-profit thrive in a competitive environment. 

Dolph Goldenburg (39m 30s):

And just a quick reminder that I am not an accountant nor an attorney, and neither I nor The Goldenburg Group provide tax, legal, or accounting advice. This show is intended for informational purposes only and should not be relied on for tax, legal, or accounting advice. If that’s what you need, you should find a qualified, licensed professional and talk to them.

**  We have edited this transcript because how you listen is not how you read. If you have a problem with this, remember you got this for free!


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