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Communicating in a Time of Crisis

Communicating in a Time of Crisis



Getting to know your relevant media outlets and contacts is a critical step to take before disaster strikes. In this presentation, you'll learn how mainstream media is evolving (and how that affects ...

Getting to know your relevant media outlets and contacts is a critical step to take before disaster strikes. In this presentation, you'll learn how mainstream media is evolving (and how that affects your business), which



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    Communicating in a Time of Crisis Communicating in a Time of Crisis Presentation Transcript

    • Public and media relations: Communicating in a time of crisis… Getting to know your local media before disaster strikes
      Presented by:
      Monica Bardier of PingPR
      and Scott Tranchemontagne of Montagne Communications.
    • What is Public Relations?
      • Public Relations is NOT Advertising
      You do NOT pay for placing any PR
      It is often referred to “Earned Media”, you earn the placement
    • Know your Media – Print
      Wire Services – Associated Press, Dow Jones, Bloomberg, etc.
      A primary source for all outlets
      Same stories published in many different papers
      Circulation falling annually more than 5%
      Newspaper website viewership is rising 10% annually
      Circulation rising
      Number of magazine titles holding steady
    • Know Your Media – Radio
      Very few “local” stations - rise of the “networks”
      Favorable coverage on one station gets aired on many stations
      Negative coverage on one station gets aired on many stations
      Fewer reporters and programs = fewer opportunities for coverage
    • Know Your Media – Television
      Dominant news source - penetrates 98% of households nationwide
      66% of Americans say broadcast is the primary source of news – Pew Research Center
      Ave. adult watches more than 5 hours per day – 31 min. watching news
      Fragmented audience – more channels than ever
      Still the dominant source in a crisis situation
    • Know Your Media – Internet, the new big dog
      Now a primary source of breaking news
      41% say the internet is their primary source of international, national news – Pew Research
      Blurs deadlines – and blends mediums
      Allows worldwide exposure – instantly, and lives online forever
      Average adult surfs 75 minutes per day
      Social Media has changed all the rules – now a dialogue
      Blogs, Reader Comments – “citizen journalists”
      Twitter, Facebook, Linked-In – the media is part of the dialogue
    • Know Your Media - DEADLINES
      National, Regional, State, Local
      Hourly, Daily, Weekly, Bi-weekly, Monthly
      how are they receiving information? Email, phone, fax, social media
      Build a Reporter Database
      Name, contact information, what do they cover, general beat, business, politics, feature
    • What are your Critical Media Outlets?
      What newspapers are your customers/key stakeholders reading?
      What radio stations are your customers/stakeholders listening to?
      What TV stations are your customers/stakeholders viewing?
      Lamar Alexander in NH Primary – Dan Rather vs. Tom Griffith?
      What websites are your customers visiting?
    • Pop Quiz?
      Which interview is more important?
      Convenience store owner with the local, community paper?
      State Representative on the hometown radio station?
      Fortune 500 Company CEO on a network TV news program?
    • Pop Quiz: Answer
      A: They are equally important!
      Know your critical audience
      There is no such thing as an “small” news outlet anymore
      PSNH “Lobster-gate”
    • The Media’s Mission
      MythTo protect the public interests and shed light on the truth – objectively.
      Primary goal of radio/television newscasts - increase ratings
      Primary goal of newspapers/magazines - increase readership
      3 C’s – crisis, crime, conflict
      The quest for ratings and readers drives intense media competition.
      TruthWebster’s – That which accords with reality – an established or verified fact.
      Montagne - Truth is how the facts are defined. Define the truth for the media, or they will define it for you.
    • Defining the Truth
      Example – Fire at Seabrook Station!!!
      Wastebasket fire in the control room – doused quickly with water
      Automatic plant shutdown
      Alert level raised
      Must be reported to NRC per regulations
      Never had any incident before
      “Officials at Seabrook nuclear power plant today battled a control room blaze – the most dangerous incident ever at the nuke plant. Operators immediately shut down Seabrook during the blaze and raised the plant’s safety alert level to 4. Federal officials were called in to investigate….”
      “Minor incident at Seabrook Station today. No one was hurt, and no radiation leaked – as operators in the control room acted quickly to douse a small fire in a wastebasket that was sparked by a stray piece of solder…”
    • The Truth About All Reporters & Editors
      Human - sometimes make mistakes
      Subconscious biases just like everyone else
      Different egos
      Different levels of education and ethical standards
      Boston media vs. NH media
      Boston - experienced, specialized, sophisticated
      NH - less experienced, generalists
      News is whatever one reporter or editor thinks is news
    • How the News Happens…
      It’s Manufactured
      Media release, media conference, grand openings, demonstrations, etc
      Good proactive approach
      “Stuff” Happens
      Fires, crime, accidents, political happenings, sports events, etc.
      Pay attention to how these might impact your company or organization
      Media Initiative
      Anniversaries, trends, feature stories, year-end reviews, previews – Y2K anyone?
      Anticipate opportunities to provide comment as an expert in your field
      Related Action or Incident
      Localizing national regional/national stories, could it happen here?, etc.
      Anticipate opportunities to provide comment as an expert in your field
    • Be Prepared!
      Step One: Know Your Own Story
      • Know the Facts
      Define your Message
      Who, What, When, Where, Why
    • Be Prepared!
      Step Two: Develop materials on your company
      • Media kit: background, mission, products, key services, key contacts
      • Develop a targeted media list: media outlet, editor, reporter name, phone, email
      Step Three: Develop a Media Relations Protocol
      • Who is your media spokesperson?
      • What is your plan to communicate with the media?
    • Summary Tips for Print Reporters
      Be prepared to spend time delivering more details – but concisely.
      Develop a rapport with the reporter – they will interpret and present your words.
      Provide as much background information as possible.
      You are NEVER off the record when talking to a reporter.
    • Summary Tips for Radio Interviews
      Be prepared to deliver your messages in 10-15 second sound bites
      You are your voice – make sure listeners can clearly understand your words
      Provide additional background, if possible, when the mike is OFF
      If you are near a microphone, assume it is ON, and you are being
      recorded or broadcast
    • Summary tips for Television Interviews
      Give them what they need – your story in 10-15 second sound bites
      What you say about yourself visually is most important – demeanor, dress, comfort level
      Speak to the interviewer – build a one-on-one rapport with viewers
      Offer supporting visuals – props, charts, video footage
      If you’re near a camera – keep your game face on
    • Winning techniques for all Interviews
      Key messages you want readers/listeners/viewers to receive
      Anticipate the worst to be your best – practice the toughest questions
      Be yourself. Perform, don’t act
      Speak plainly - No jargon, abbreviations, or throwaway phrases
      Know when to say when - make your point and stop
      Speak with energy and enthusiasm – especially for radio or TV
      Never say “no comment”
      Never lie or “fudge it”