Three interview tips you can learn from Phil Robertson

President Richard Nixon was once asked why he didn’t do more press conferences. His response: “Too much exposure cheapens the product.” It’s advice Phil Robertson and the Duck Dynasty boys would do well to heed.

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Robertson, the patriarch of the ubiquitous family made famous by the reality show, Duck Dynasty, found himself in the crosshairs of the GBLT crowd and those who kowtow to political correctness by saying in a magazine article that homosexuality is a sin. The network that airs the program, A&E, suspended Robertson and made a statement categorically disagreeing with him. Supposedly the network is considering dropping the show. Continue Reading

Four elements of effective speaking points

Speaking points are much in the news these days because of the fallout of the Benghazi situation. It raises the question: Are speaking points a valid and ethical communication strategy for organizations? The answer is a resounding, “YES!”

Speaking points

There is a video clip of  CBS News’ Bob Schieffer, host of Face the Nation, interviewing senior presidential advisor Dan Pfeiffer. Pfeiffer is ripping through one speaking point after another and the long-time political correspondent will have no more of it. He offers a brief history lesson to his young guest, and politely admonishes him that it would be nice if the administration would lose the speaking points and tell the truth. Continue Reading

Feedly: My new tool for reputation monitoring

The relationship between media relations and reputation management is as close as the relationship between a light switch’s “on” and “off” functions. In most cases, media relations ought to be so closely monitoring reputation that it actually flips the switch when a crisis flares and endangers an organization’s brand.

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Think about crisis prevention and management like a forrest ranger standing in a fire tower located atop the highest point in a national park. He peers through his binoculars and scans the endless timber below looking for that little wisp of smoke that triggers an action plan. Now, equate a media relations manager (or someone similar) with that ranger, and media monitoring as the scanning of the forrest. You need the right tools to successfully head off problems. Continue Reading

Five media relations tips for when reporters call

Here’s a new twist on the expression, “You can’t really know a man until you walk a mile in his shoes,” and it goes like this: “You can’t really know a reporter’s frustration until you’ve tried in vain to reach multiple media relations people while on deadline.” I’ve recently walked that mile and it triggered unpleasant flashbacks.

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I cut my teeth as a reporter before  transitioning to corporate communications more than 15 years ago. I loved being a reporter. It was hard, but rewarding work. However, the thing I categorically hated about that job was dealing with public relations and media relations people. Too many were condescending, acting as if their organizations were entitled to coverage in our paper. It made an impression on me, and shaped the way I responded to journalists when I became a media relations manager. Continue Reading

Media and public relations that work

Every organization wants positive exposure through traditional and social media, and it is possible even for small businesses. Here’s the key: Embrace the “relations” part of media relations and public relations. Build relationships and your organization will land more exposure in various news outlets and among key bloggers who cover your industry. It really is that simple.

The word “relations” implies the profession is build upon relationships. However, along the way the relationship part with reporters seemed to sour as an increased number of public relations practitioners blasted poorly crafted press releases at journalists. They labeled us “flacks.” The term can be accurate. Continue Reading