With the PRSA 2010 International Conference just a month away, I thought I would reminisce about working in Washington, D.C.’s, public relations world. When I moved to the nation’s capital, I had left my company in Charleston, S.C., to my business partner — a company that we had built together — for a new adventure in Washington, D.C., working for a national organization dedicated to ending childhood hunger in the United States. I thought I knew everything about public relations — that is until I came to D.C. There was so much I simply did not know that I have learned over the course of the years I have lived here.
Strategic Planning's tag archives
1. Timeliness Is Key.
Pretty good answers NOW are a lot more valuable than perfect answers tomorrow. If the story is breaking and the reporter calls now, you need to react quickly. If you have to take 20 minutes to prepare message points and sound bites, do so. But make sure the reporter knows you will absolutely, positively 100 percent call back in 20 minutes or less. And then do it. If a reporter from a major national TV network or newspaper calls you for the first time, give them an interview RIGHT THEN. If you let them off the phone for even five minutes, you might not ever get them back.
2. Be Accessible.
If you want to be a part of breaking news stories, you need to be easy to reach. Public relations counselors hate it when I say this, but I believe that anyone who is seeking news coverage should allow direct access to the media. That means you and your clients should have your cell phone and home phone numbers made accessible on your Web sites, press releases and work voice mails. A reporter working on a deadline after hours does not want to have to call a public relations firm just to get a number of a news source. I have often been a guest on national TV news networks like MSNBC and Fox News Channel on Saturday morning, not because I am a famous big shot. (I’m not.) I got invited on because desperate bookers had my cell phone and home numbers and knew I wouldn’t be mad if they called me at 11:15 p.m. on Friday night or 7:05 Saturday morning.
Tags: Corporate Communications and Public Relations, Media Relations, media training, Podcast, Professional Development and Training, Seminars, Strategic Planning, video
PRSA Workshop, Media Training, with T.J. Walker
Public speaking is the number one fear most people have. And talking to the media is a type of public speaking. I vividly remember the first time I was on TV—it nearly scared me to death! This fear causes us to behave in irrational, self-destructive ways. Most executives would never, in their wildest dreams, send out a new brochure to all of their clients without first writing several drafts, reviewing each one, spell checking it, editing it, getting feedback from colleagues, passing it by the legal department and finally placing it on a graphically designed logo or letterhead.
Yet these same executives will “wing it” when it comes to giving interviews on ABC’s 20/20 or to the New York Times. The results?
Even when the results are less than disastrous, the message and image that come through from the interview are often mixed of fuzzy. This does not have to be your destiny.
Tags: Corporate Communications and Public Relations, Media Relations, media training, Podcast, Professional Development and Training, Seminars, Strategic Planning
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