PR: How to Prepare for a Media Interview in 5 Minutes

crisis PR

Worst-case scenario…you are just told you have to do a media interview in five minutes. Far-fetched? No.

It’s not uncommon for reporters to call, send an email, text or even post something on social media that begs a quick response. Even if they aren’t specifically calling to request a formal interview with you, you know you or someone in your organization needs to talk to them…NOW.… Read the rest

Why TV News Doesn’t Cover Local Business Stories

TV news

The landscape for pitching local news stories has shrunk dramatically in recent years. Not only have newspapers transitioned to mostly online platforms, drastically cutting newsroom staffs, but the platforms and newscasts have changed as well.

There simply isn’t the space, the airtime or the available newsroom staff to cover all of the news they may have covered as recently as three-to-five years ago.… Read the rest

Media Relations: Getting Started

starting gate

One of the more common questions new clients have when it comes to media relations is, “How do we get started?”

Here’s a quick summary.

Information-gathering/Discovery – Anyone who’s a fan of legal or crime dramas is familiar with the term “discovery.” This is the phase of the legal case where the attorneys work to ‘discover’ as much information about the case as possible.… Read the rest

Media Relations: What to Do When There is Nothing to Pitch

news droughts

A lot of media relations programs stagnate when the organization has nothing new to talk about. PR teams sit and wait for something to happen so that they can create a news release or a news alert. They wait for the organization’s management or the client to tell them something new is happening or about to happen within the organization.… Read the rest

Media Relations: Don’t Guarantee Specific Media Results

media relations

Let me tell you about two situations where companies wanted me to guarantee specific media results. Both were foreign-owned firms, which is relevant from a media culture perspective.

The first one was a steel service center that sold piping for industrial uses. It had approached me about possibly working with them on public relations matters in the U.S.  … Read the rest

Media Relations: Tell Us What We Don’t Know

media relations

As a blogger, a contributor to business and trade media, and as a podcaster, I get my share of pitches from fellow PR professionals. One of the things I notice quite often is how the pitches usually center on assumptions, ‘revelations,’ or other news hooks that are all about things we already know.

A new study finds that consumers avoid higher prices and go for discounts.… Read the rest

Media Interviewing: Don’t Name Names

media interviewing names

Since 2018, I’ve produced over 230 episodes of the Shaping Opinion Podcast, which is released weekly. In all of those episodes I only had to go back and edit one after it was posted because I made the mistake of letting the guest name names.

More to the point, the guest told a few stories that were unflattering to the two or three individuals mentioned in our interview.… Read the rest

Inconsistency is the Death of Credibility

double standads

One of the mistakes people make when they point out someone else’s hypocrisy is that they assume that everyone understands that the inherent inconsistency undermines the credibility of the hypocrite.

Years ago, that may have been more practical but not today.

One of the more glaring examples of this is when a group of students who don’t like a visiting guest speaker, so they decide to shout down that speaker when he comes to campus.… Read the rest

Media Relations: Building a Stronger SME Pool

podcast interview

One of the biggest challenges in media relations is not only having the right spokesperson on a given topic but having enough subject matter experts (SMEs) to go around.

Not every organization or every media relations program can be solely reliant on one spokesperson for everything. No matter how large or small your organization, it may not be fitting for that one person to try to speak to everything.… Read the rest

Media Relations: Nothing is Off the Record

off the record PR

I can’t say I’m surprised PR people still think some things can be off the record when talking to reporters. Still, the whole issue of “off the record” is a mine field. Any PR person who continues to think there is such a thing as an off-the-record comment to reporter is simply lucky enough to have not stepped on that landmine … yet.… Read the rest