A doctor once explained to me the reason they call his work the “medical arts” and not “medical science.” He explained that while science plays a huge role in the diagnosis and treatment of patients, at the end of the day it was his call, or that of a medical team on what to do with all the information they receive. … Read the rest
Five Things to Do When Tragedy Takes Over the News Cycle
Last week when two terrorists attacked and killed 14 people and wounded scores of others in San Bernadino, the story took control of all major media. Cable news networks went live non-stop. Regular programming on the major networks was preempted by “Special Reports.” The Internet lit up with information, news, speculation, commentary and even efforts by people directly affected to connect with family and friends.… Read the rest
President Lincoln’s Thanksgiving
The following post originally ran on November 20, 2012 on PR, Pure & Simple:
It was just a few years ago that I learned the Thanksgiving holiday as we know it today, at least the one where the Dallas Cowboys and Detroit Lions aren’t playing football, is actually rooted in a decision by President Abraham Lincoln in 1863.… Read the rest
A Ghostwriting Process that Works for Everyone
One of the most common myths around the practice of ghostwriting is that they aren’t the speaker’s words. When done right, nothing could be further from the truth.
The key to effective ghostwriting is to capture the essence, the tone, and most importantly the message the speaker wants to deliver and needs to deliver, and to create and execute a process for doing so without placing undue demands on the speaker’s time and attention.… Read the rest
Political Campaign Season Provides Lessons in “Optics”
This week brings another election day to my community, providing an annual reminder for me of the great democracy in which we live, and why I am glad I don’t work in politics. I’ve got many good reasons for not getting involved in politics, but that doesn’t stop me from paying close attention to political campaigns from the largest national elections to the smallest campaigns for school board.… Read the rest
To Get People to Know, they Must Care. To Get them to Care, We Must Educate
Not long ago, O’Brien Communications began to provide assistance to a nonprofit organization centered on marking a major anniversary of a historical event. To avoid creating any confusion on the PR issues at play, for now I won’t name the project or get into its specifics.
It’s more important to explore the situation and the process because the communications challenges this nonprofit faces are some of the most common challenges most organizations face.… Read the rest
3 Questions to Ask Before Apologizing
On Wednesday, Volkswagen announced that its CEO Dr. Martin Winterkorn has resigned. This came days after it was revealed that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency had discovered that the German automaker appears to have installed software in vehicles enabling them to fool emissions tests.
Winterkorn had admitted as much in a lengthy apology he gave earlier in the week.… Read the rest
8 Spokesperson Critical Success Factors
You’ve been tasked with speaking on behalf of your organization to the public. Maybe it’s the media, or maybe you’re going to speak at a community event or town hall-style meeting.
Regardless, there are two things you know: first, that there are so many uncontrollable variables that you never really know what you may be asked; second, once it starts, there is good potential that word-of-mouth, social media and possibly professional reporters in the audience will amplify and extend the life of your words.… Read the rest