Let’s pretend that the makers of Advil were a client of ours (they are not), and they wanted us to explain what ibuprofen is to the general consumer. If you Google “ibuprofen,” you get a wide variety of definitions, including the following:
From isobutylphenylpropanoic acid, a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug used as an analgesic and antipyretic and for symptomatic relief of dysmenorrhea, vascular headaches, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, and other rheumatic and nonrheumatic inflammatory disorders.
A nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). It works by blocking your body’s production of certain natural substances that cause inflammation. This effect helps to decrease swelling, pain, or fever.
I don’t know about you, but the second definition makes a heck of a lot more sense to me. (Thank you, WebMD!)
All media interviews are not created equal.
Case in point: speaking to a television reporter is different than a newspaper reporter. The former wants quick sound bites and the latter may want more background and an extended interview. During a recent television media training session for one of our clients, the GroundFloor Media team offered the following tips for mastering the television interview:
Look the part: A suit and tie at the dog park is not realistic Prepare sound bites: Don’t over answer, and remember they will only likely use 20 seconds of what you say Show some emotion: You are passionate about what you do, show it Share questions with interviewer: Gently helping them know what to ask can steer the interview in the right direction Body language matters: Don’t fidget Speak slowly: Remember to pause, and that you speak faster when you are nervous Nothing is off the record: If you are miked up, you are on the record Don’t answer every question: Keep to your messages and sound bites Be comfortable with silence: Wait for the next question instead of filling the empty space Practice: This is key. Most of us are not comfortable under the lights
In most cases, television reporters want you to do well on camera, and the more you are prepared the better you will come off on camera. And for most people, speaking in front of a camera is uncomfortable, so practice, practice, practice.
GroundFloor Media’s President Ramonna Robinson was featured in a recent blog post from the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce on the 5 lessons that can make you a more effective leader. The story contains some great, actionable tips that anyone can implement.
For GroundFloor Media President Ramonna Robinson, learning about leadership was just the first step. The Leadership Foundation also connected her with people she may not have otherwise.
“In business—and even in my personal life—I find it extremely beneficial to surround myself with individuals who bring a variety of perspectives to the table,” she said. “Whether I need to think of a solution from a different perspective or come up with a new idea from an industry I’m not familiar with, my Leadership Denver classmates and Leadership Exchange colleagues are only a phone call away and always provide unique and interesting perspectives that broaden my horizons and help me think of things in new ways.”
I have been practicing yoga now for 12 years, and while yoga and my job here at GFM both play huge roles in my life, I was dubious when I read the title of a recent article on Ragan’s PR Daily – 4 Yoga Principles That Can Be Applied to PR. Fun, fast-paced, interesting, challenging – PR can be all of those, but I would rarely – if ever – apply the words “calming” or “zenlike” to this profession.
It turns out author Sarah Elson was on to something, though – she cites four different yoga principles in her article and then extrapolates them to the PR world.
I came across this Ragan.com article recently and thought it spoke very well to a number of the changes we’re seeing in the PR industry – “5 outdated PR tactics and their modern equivalents.” In it, author Meredith Eaton lists the 5 outdated tactics as the following: press conferences, media tours, press kits, TV and charts. She astutely suggests that they’ve been replaced by tweetchats, phone briefings, new and interesting (vs. prepackaged) content, YouTube videos and infographics, respectively.
An investigative report from NPR and ProPublica has sent the aid organization scrambling to downplay its findings. Instead, the Red Cross should own up to mistakes and promise to correct them. Read more about tips from GroundFloor Media’s Gil Rudawsky how the organization can take to fix its reputation in this PR Daily article.
During a recent media training with clients, there was a discussion if you can still share information “off-the-record” or “on background” with reporters.
It’s a tough call, and particularly these days when reporters are under even more pressure to get a scoop. The concepts of “on background” and “off the record” are confusing even to some seasoned reporters.
In the era of quick-hit reporting and little or no source-building, there are times when it makes sense to provide the media more than simply a short official statement.
In most crisis communication scenarios, a statement is the go-to, tried and true media response. Longer interviews or long responses get shortened or paraphrased—and often misrepresented. There are ways to get an issue across outside of an official statement, but they, too, have pitfalls.
I came across this wonderful reminder about the often overlooked and under-appreciated boilerplate today via Ragan.com – “The Secret Formula for Writing Boilerplate.” So often, people want to include everything and the kitchen sink in their company’s boilerplate – or, as Russell Working points out, they want to fill it with flowery-sounding jargon. However, as PR pros, we need to remind clients that boilerplates are meant to be simple, straightforward company descriptions that tell what your company is and what it does.
Everything you say can and will be used against you. This is especially true these days as more people send texts, emails and tweets rather than picking up the phone or, gasp, meet in person.
But there’s a downside. When conversations go sour, you have created a track record that can be shared with the world. In his latest Denver Business Journal column Gil Rudawsky offers a prominent case study on what not to do, the reaction and he provides some tips to avoid causing you, your company or client a crisis.
As my community was deluged with five straight days of incessant rain, I became the consumer of crisis communications rather than the provider.
With the tables turned, I relied on my government, businesses, and neighborhood groups to provide key information, such as: Is my water safe to drink? When will my power be back on? Can I flush the toilet? And who has a wet-dry vac I can borrow?
The rain fell in Boulder for a week straight. There were degrees of rainfall, from torrential to just simply rain, but not once did it cease.