Posts

Media training: Being prepared for an online crisis

As mentioned before in our blogs, social media should work hand in hand with your mainstream media strategy.  So when you prepare your media crisis management plan, make sure it includes social media channels.  Organisations that are prepared with a proper plan can come out of crisis situation without damaging or losing its valued reputation.

Here are a few tips to get everyone prepared:

1. Who does what 

It is important that roles and responsibilities are assigned before a crisis hits so information can be shared appropriately. Establishing rules ensures your team won’t do or say something damaging.  Remember to include rules around the use of social media.  All staff, from the Execs right through to junior and casual staff should be across the rules of social media engagement especially when something goes wrong.

2. Response procedure

Although every situation is different, being prepared with potential responses and guidelines will allow you and your team to respond as quickly as possible. This is essential in the event of a crisis situation where responses must be given immediately through social media channels.

3. Identify potential scenarios

Identifying the potential risks your organisation may face will help the team understand the typical type of crisis that might hit. Practicing crisis scenarios will test your team members and make sure they know what to do and how to handle a situation that is thrown their way.

4. Keep it up-to-date

Review your plan regularly, don’t just set it and forget it. Make sure to check in and evaluate the plan on an ongoing basis, and update it as need be. Put a reminder in your diary.

Think of your crisis management plan as an insurance policy.  Hopefully you won’t ever need to use it, but boy will you be grateful you have one if a crisis hits your business.

Media training; why social media is now mainstream

There has been a lot of commentary about Hillary Clinton’s official announcement to run for President of the United States of America in 2016. Hillary chose to release an online video, which went viral with an accompanying tweet, to let the world know her plans for the 2016 Presidential Campaign.
No longer reliant on journalists, politicians are increasingly taking control of their own news via social media channels.   President Obama led the way in 2007 when he capitalised on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to launch his political agenda for his place in the White House. While previous Presidential campaigns have used the internet, none had taken full advantage of social networking platforms quite like Obama and his team.
Fast forward eight years and social media is no longer an extra or ”add-on” media outlet.  Social media is not only being used in a social way, but is used in ‘breaking news’; fast, realtime, up to the second, news.   So why are so many organisations still  reluctant to embark on and embrace social media as a powerful tool armed alongside its counterparts such as radio, TV and print media? Social media is no longer the new kid on the block or a fad but another effective and transparent way to engage with your audience. A social media strategy is just as vital to your business as your media and communication strategy.
What do you think of her video?

Media training: always assume the mic is on!

If there’s a mic anywhere near you always assume its on!  Watch what you say both before, during and after the interview or press conference.   Fortunately for this sportsman his slip up was embarrassing (for him) and endearing (for his audience).  No damage done!

http://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/national-international/Nigel-Hayes-Wisconsin-Badgers-NCAA-March-Madness-297703831.html?_osource=SocialFlowTwt_NYBrand

Media Training Case Study

Peter Greste

This week we saw Al Jazeera journalist, Mr Peter Greste walk free from a seven-year jail sentence in Egypt. Mr Greste was found guilty based on evidence that he had in his possession, namely video footage, supporting the blacklisted Muslim Brotherhood but his lawyers have said there was absolutely no substance to the allegations.

During his 400 days in prison, he maintained his innocence and was able to manage his expectations well throughout the process with the support of his family. It was during his press conference in Brisbane we all witnessed that love and support as his family sat by him while he delivered his sincere and very poignant address to his fellow members of the media.

Without a doubt, Mr Greste nailed the press conference. He began by genuinely thanking his family, this was heartfelt and meaningful and certainly came across on camera. Mr Greste tells a story, it is vivid and personal. His experience draws you in – this is a great technique to use when dealing with the media. He also names the campaign his family, along with the media, embarked on in order to release him – Journalism is not a crime #FreeAJstaff. He links the campaign to his social media sites – a clever call to action. What are your thoughts on his press conference?

Peter Greste

Media training: How to structure a press release that will stand out from the rest

We often hear from clients about their brilliant, show-stopping press releases yet they are baffled when they get no bites from busy journalists. Try these helpful hints when structuring your next press release.

  1. Know what angle you are going to take
    Make sure in your pre-writing thinking you consider the angle of the story. Is the news interesting? Will anyone outside of your organisation care? Make sure you keep to the facts; what does your product, service or event have to offer readers.
  2. Know what outcome you want
    Create interest in the headline and be direct. Make sure your release has a purpose. Keep in mind that your goal is to make journalists want to pick up the phone or send an email to find out more.
  3. Make sure nothing is missing
    Is your news timely? Or has it passed its use-by-date? With online news sites giving readers up-to-the-minute news updates your release needs to be factual and informative. Make sure you don’t leave out useful information making your release newsworthy.
  4. Include a quote
    Keep in mind the purpose of a press release – you’ve got news to share and a strong, descriptive quote will capture the attention of journalists. A quote also provides the journalist with name of your spokesperson and who they could potentially interview.

Lastly, make sure you do more than just email your press release to media contacts. Use your website to promote your news, preferably with a link on your home page. Not only are you adding fresh content to your site, search engines will love it.

 

Media training: issues and crisis media management

Media training is so much more than just being “camera ready” with key messages prepared.

Media training should delve deeper to ensure an organisation has recognised potential risks (commonly referred to as an issues audit) and then developed a media plan which will set out exactly what staff should do in the event of an organisational crisis.

A crisis, well handled, doesn’t have to escalate to the point of becoming a public relations disaster. Being prepared with a list of possible scenarios and potential incidents will help manage sensitive or emerging issues in the media.

Below is a list of the steps involved in preparing a comprehensive and concise issues and crisis media management plan.

  1. identify the issue/incident
  2. what is the impact? What is the level of risk?
  3. highlight who in the organisation owns the issue
  4. who are your stakeholders?
  5. identify your media spokesperson
  6. what is your media strategy – is this a reactive response or proactive opportunity
  7. what is your media response.

Make sure the appropriate people have agreed with the media strategy and the media responses are approved. Having prepared this plan in advance will ensure a speedy and coordinated response time should any issue or incident occur.

 

Media Training Tips: Eliminate uums and aahhs.

Australians are champions when it comes to peppering their speech with uums and aahhs.   Younger Aussies, particularly girls have replaced uum with “like”. Others have a tendency to overuse a favourite phrase: “‘to be honest”, ‘like I said before’, ”actually” and ”ectetera” just to name a few.

Old habits die hard and a few uums and aahs in my book don’t really matter – but when a presenter or spokesman uses them in every sentence it’s a habit that can really distract from the message.

While I’m yet to find a magic pill to cure this verbal afflication I really encourage my clients to slow down and before answering a question to take a breath.  Rather than uttering an um, try pausing.  Give your brain a chance to catch up and forumulate an answer.  As well as buying some much needed thinking time, a deliberate pause will provide punctuation in your delivery.  A pause can help to emphasise a word or a point, it can also provide some much needed light and shade in your speech pattern.

The second exercise you can try (and I’ve shamlessly stolen this idea from Mr Media Training, Brad Phillips) is to practice delivering a 30 second speel about anything without an uum, aahh or verbal stumble.  Any inanimate item will do as a topic:  your phone, handbag, a landmark – record yourself and listen to it back.  Remember to pause whenver you are tempted to throw in an uum!   With a little practice and some self awareness there is no doubt anyone can reduce what I call verbal garbage.

 

 

Tony Abbott’s Chief of Staff and her slip of the tongue: Media Training Mistakes

Recently Peta Credlin, well known in political circles as Tony Abbott’s Chief of Staff made an unfortunate slip of the tongue when facing the media over a drink driving charge.  I’ve watched this clip a few times just to make sure I didn’t miss something ….

She addresses the waiting media pack with what seems to be a prepared speech.  She acknowledges her mistake, thanks police and the courts and then says ….

“Justice doesn’t have to be done, it has to be seen to be done.”

Watch the clip and see if  you agree with me.

 

I’m sure it was an honest mistake.

Incredibly The Australian fixed up her gaffe and quoted her as saying “Justice doesn’t just have to be done, it has to be seen to be done.”

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/election-2013/drink-drive-charge-dismissed-for-abbott-chief-of-staff-peta-credlin/story-fn9qr68y-1226715975509

But when her boss and other politicians are so harshly judged and scrutinized by the media, I wonder why Ms Credlin”s mistake was not even mentioned and in the case of The Australian, her quote was doctored so that the mistake was rectified.

What do you think?

Star media performers

When it comes to media training there are loads of examples of what NOT to do. Politicians usually star in these blooper reels, followed by ill prepared business people and stupid sports stars.
I’m often asked for examples where interviewees have done particularly well … Where they have confidently delivered their key messages and yet remained authentic and believable.

John Borghetti, CEO of Virgin Australia, is one of my favourite media performers. He is calm, compelling and on message. Here is a link to a fairly relaxed interview with The Bottom Line.
http://www.thebottomlinetv.com.au/interview/john-borghetti-full-interview/

I’ve also got to give a gold star to Olivia Wirth from Qantas. Even when under siege by the media she is able to stay calm and focused on her Qantas key messages.
http://m.youtube.com/watch?feature=relmfu&v=5QmTvYmFnJ0″/

And whilst politicians usually get a bad wrap I have to applaud Anna Bligh who went from villain to hero thanks to her media performance throughout the 2011 Queensland floods. It wasn’t enough to win her an election however I think people really respected her honesty and her leadership through what was a catastrophic time for Queensland.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nfPXmEtyKrA title=”Anna Bligh “>