A study in communicating with fans

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Whit Babcock was addressing the media yesterday … but he was really talking to you, the fans.

I hope you paid attention to Whit Babcock’s press conference yesterday, because he was talking to YOU.

Link: the full transcript of Whit Babcock’s press conference

Most Hokie fans who watched Babcock’s press conference online yesterday are raving about his communication skills, his clarity of vision, and the process he outlined through which he will hire the next basketball coach. Indeed, Whit did a good job. I was there — there’s photographic, back-of-my-head evidence on the front page of The Roanoke Times sports section today — and I came away impressed with Babcock’s half-hour performance.

Why are Hokie fans — and I — so impressed with the way Whit Babcock handles a press conference? The answer is two-pronged.

Number one — and I’m sorry, you can’t talk about the way Whit handles a presser without saying this — Babcock comes across as much more personable than his predecessor, Jim Weaver. That’s not hard to do. I’ve said before in this space that when Weaver spoke, he was very stiff and measured. He seemed, even as he spoke, to be calculating exactly what to say, to give away as little information as possible and not expose himself to further questions.

It’s hard to pin down what I mean, other than saying