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Posts Tagged "crisis communications"

Success During a Media Interview

By on Mar 4, 2015 in News | 0 comments

There are several things during the interview that you can do to ensure that your message remains clear and you have a good successful interview. The most important thing to remember is to stay calm and be as articulate as possible. Answer each question honestly: While giving a media interview you should never use the phrase “no comment.” You must be truthful in your responses and answer each question or you will seem evasive. If there is a legitimate or pending legal reason for not answering a question, simply state that you cannot answer it and give the reason. If you do not know an answer, don’t make something up. Simply state that you will need to look up the information so you can provide the most factual data. Ask if you can email the information after the interview. Avoid Jargon: There is nothing worse when reading copy than trying to decipher industry jargon and acronyms. Neither have any place in a media interview. If your audience has to figure out what you’re talking about then they aren’t paying attention to your message. Speak clearly and plainly so a wide audience will be able to understand. Be Engaging: The more you can show interest and passion for the subject the more engaged you will seem. It’s okay to use stories and anecdotes to illustrate and simplify your points. These can make for good copy as well. Also remember that the journalist probably does not know as much as you about the topic so you should try to educate and provide information in an informative and engaging way. Control & Redirect: There can always be an uncomfortable question or two so be ready to redirect. Answer the question but follow it up with the redirect. “Yes, but the other thing to consider is…..” “What we really discovered is…..” “The lesson we learned…..” “Another important fact is…..” Emphasize key points: You’ll be saying a lot during the interview but to make sure your main points are made indicate through your words what’s most important. “The key point is….” “The most important thing to remember is…..” “What’s critical at this time….” “Our biggest impact has been…..” Nothing is Off the Record: This...

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Before a Media Interview

By on Feb 18, 2015 in News | 0 comments

For even the most seasoned professionals, media interviews can be stressful. Will I say the right thing? Will I know all the answers? What if they ask something I don’t know or have all the facts about? What if I’m misquoted? For many business and nonprofit leaders, the stress of the media interview can be a reason to turn down the opportunity. But a good interview is one of the most effective tools in your public relations arsenal. And if you are prepared, it can ease the stress and make for a more effective interview. Here are a few ways to prep for an effective media interview: Questions: Don’t be afraid to ask the journalist questions before the interview takes place so you can prepare in advance. Try to find out what information or research would be helpful to them, what their angle on the story will be and anyone else they might be interviewing for their story. Some journalists are even willing to email their questions ahead of time so you can prepare. Don’t forget to research the journalist and see the other stories they have written. Research: Make sure you know your subject and any current available research – both research you support and research you may be opposed to or may be controversial. Make sure you are well-versed in both. Have facts and figures and any other relevant data available during the interview so it’s an easy reference for you. In addition, make sure you prepare and have on hand any company fact sheets and backgrounders. Practice: If you have not received the journalist’s questions ahead of the interview, prepare your own Q&A of potential questions. Don’t forget to include some difficult or challenging questions a journalist may ask so you can practice how to answer in the most positive way. Even consider asking a co-worker to practice interviewing you so you can see how your responses sound to someone else. This also helps you refine your responses. Sound bites: Sometimes the simplest answers are best. Practice and hone your messages to a few key points. Creating simplified quotable key messages will help ensure your information comes across correctly and your words aren’t misconstrued. If you...

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Developing a Press Kit

By on Oct 15, 2014 in News | 0 comments

A press kit should provide the media with the necessary background information about the organization in a simple, concise and user-friendly way. Done well, a press kit will educate journalists and provide the basics about the organization, its leadership and experts, services and issues it supports. Press kits can be used in a variety of ways, including supplying media-ready contacts and background information about the organization, highlighting social issues, services and programs available at the organization and offering the organization’s leadership as experts in the field. While there is no set standard of what to include in a press kit, the kit should be tailored to the audience and venue for distribution. Most organizations have a digital press kit available instead of a printed kit. These are the most commonly requested and utilized. Your press kit should be available for download on the news page of your website. The following are elements that should be included in a press kit: About Us – At the start of the press kit and placed on letterhead, should be up-to-date information that describes the organization and what it does as well as any relevant current information. Background -This section of the press kit is typically two to three pages in length and contains the background of the organization, its history and future direction. This should be written in third person and be media ready. Remember to update this section often with recent accomplishments. Fact Sheets/ Research – Fact sheets can provide more comprehensive, detailed information about the organization, including information about its mission, programs and services. Fact sheets also are useful for highlighting particular research, social issues and advocacy work relevant to the organization. Expert Bios – To position staff leadership as experts in the field, include one-page bios of the CEO, top level management and subject-area experts at the organization. Bios should be on letterhead and contain the individual’s name, title, history with the organization and basic information. Bios could also contain relevant quotes and a photo. Lead Release – If there is a current announcement or event, the lead press release can contain this information and should be the first element a journalist sees. Recent newsletter or brochure – Include...

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Communicating During a Crisis

By on Sep 10, 2014 in News | 0 comments

A crisis communications plan is essential for any business and nonprofit organization. Any number of situations can arise that could cause negative media attention from mismanagement of funds, to legal disputes and even upset clients or former staff. The key to minimizing the potential damage to your reputation and integrity is to tell the truth and beat the media to the punch with key facts. You need to be proactive. Being proactive can save your reputation and money in the long run. Negative media attention can cause a loss of potential or current funding or clients. There are a few simple steps that can help position you to be ready to handle any media crisis that comes your way. Crisis Management Team It is important that you have a designated crisis management team made of key individuals that provide assessment and response. This team should be in place before a crisis ever happens. At the very minimum, the CEO/executive director, board chairman and communications staff should be represented on the team. Each member should know their responsibilities ahead of time. The job of your team is to come up with a plan of action and decide who the spokesperson should be during a particular crisis. Your crisis communications plan and team members’ contact information should be kept with other important documentation, and copies should be made available to each team member. This is important should there be natural disaster and your office becomes inaccessible or your can no longer rely on regular communications channels. Remember to test and update your plan often. Once you become aware there is negative media attention that will be focused on your organization, you should assemble your team and put your plan into action. Response The first step is to draft a clear consistent message in response to the crisis at hand. If the negative press is true and you are ultimately responsible, it is better to be upfront, accept responsibility and detail an action plan to remedy the situation. Your key constituents, partners and clients should be the first to receive a message detailing the potential negative media coverage, your response to it and any remedies you will take to fix the situation...

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