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Working With The Media


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This webinar examines your role dealing with the media. Knowing how to respond to tough questions from reporters representing print, broadcast and online media can be a challenge. We will provide you …

This webinar examines your role dealing with the media. Knowing how to respond to tough questions from reporters representing print, broadcast and online media can be a challenge. We will provide you with insight about how the media works, what they want and how to drive home your talking points when answering their questions. By understanding how reporters think and what they are looking for, you can better plan your strategy for responding to their questions while controlling your message.

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  • 1. Working with the Media Matt Ellis Special Thanks To Our Sponsors
  • 2. Helping ordinary people raise extraordinary amounts for nonprofits is all we do, and we love it. A Proud Sponsor of
  • 3. Today’s Speaker Matt Ellis President, Ellis Strategies, Inc. Hosting: Sam Frank, Synthesis Partnership Assisting with chat questions: April Hunt, Nonprofit Webinars
  • 4. Working with the MediaMatt EllisPresident, Ellis Strategies, Inc. PR and Communications consultant Head Writer - Good Morning America News Director - WBZ TV, WPRI TV
  • 5. Today’s webinar1. Understanding the media and your role2. How to prepare for an interview3. Appearance and body language4. Case studies
  • 6. Handling a media crisis
  • 7. Bad news travels fast  Boston Globe: “Culture of greed”  Boston Herald: “Cashing in on health care”  Boston Business Journal: “AG to probe executive pay”
  • 8. Bad news travels fast People are asking, “How does that advance the cause of health care?” How should BCBS respond?
  • 9. Bad news travels fast •Re-frame the discussion •Take steps to rebuild consumer confidence •Work with AG, politicians and stakeholders •Make appropriate changes
  • 10. What does BCBS story illustrate? Media thrives on conflict Stories don’t just go away Public confidence quickly erodes You need a clear, actionable message
  • 11. Working with the media
  • 12. What is your role? Leader Expert Spokesperson
  • 13. Why you? Crisis Media interest in your organization Proactive public relations
  • 14. Understanding the news media What is your main message? How do you tell your story? How do you stay on-point?
  • 15. Understanding the news media Who is the media? What motivates them? How can you work together?
  • 16. Today’s journalist Curious and smart Working harder than ever Wants to be the watchdog
  • 17. Own your message Know your facts Respond to critics Addresses your core mission Know your Achilles Heel
  • 18. Prepare for the interviewYour talking points: Give only the information you’re prepared to give Be clear and concise Choose carefully when disclosing financial info
  • 19. How much can you say? Three main points:  Gold  Silver  Bronze
  • 20. Statement to the media “We have been very transparent about this issue from the beginning, and we will continue to be transparent,’’ Blue Cross’s senior vice president, Jay McQuaide, said last night. “And of course we would answer any questions that the attorney general’s office has.’’
  • 21. Corporate promise and vision “Our highest priority is to make health care affordable.” “We have an obligation to our members to use the premiums entrusted to us wisely. Thats why we continually work to find new ways to be as efficient as possible.”
  • 22. Keys to successThe Six C’s 1. Consistency  Be sure your messages match 2. Control  Stick to your messages  Don’t debate or argue 3. Conviction  Natural enthusiasm
  • 23. Keys to successThe Six C’s 4. Context  Where do you fit in the big picture 5. Clarity  Avoid jargon and acronyms 6. Confidence  Firm and decisive
  • 24. What do we learn? Be prepared / have a plan Respond to the critics Be sure you are consistentCan you be an agent for change?
  • 25. 5 proactive steps1. Prepare for the worst:  Assemble a crisis team  Rehearse2. Identify the questions you don’t want to answer3. Determine how you can re-frame the discussion4. Use third-party validation5. Find a media ally
  • 26. Additional Case Studies
  • 27. Case Study-Boston MedFlightBoston MedFlight celebrates 25 years “The best known, best kept secret”
  • 28. Case Study-Boston MedFlightFraming the story: What are your main messages? Who speaks for you? Strong visualsIf you don’t control the story, they will
  • 29. Case Study-Boston MedFlightThree main messages:1. Teamwork2. Training3. Safety saves lives
  • 30. Case Study-Boston MedFlightWhat does the media want? Fly in the chopper Talk to patients Stats, stats, stats
  • 31. Case Study-Boston MedFlightWhat does MedFlight want? Recognition for safety Awareness of nonprofit status Stronger bond with the public
  • 32. Case Study-Boston MedFlightMedia coverage informed the public, raisedawareness and changed perception thatMedFlight was a “secret”. Wings of lifeLaunched in the ’80s as a cooperative venture by six top hospitals, Boston MedFlight has grown into one of nation’s top critical-care units.
  • 33. Case Study-JHYSF
  • 34. Case Study-JHYSFProactive PR- Getting on the Map You’re doing great work Your fans love you You can’t get attentionMany nonprofits vyingfor a few column inches
  • 35. Case Study-JHYSF How do you position yourself? Can you broaden your message? Who else can speak for you?
  • 36. Case Study-JHYSFMain messages: The little nonprofit that could Specific, focused mission Real people making a difference
  • 37. Case Study-JHYSF Raised over $600k for research and clinical trials at MGH Cancer Center Praised by MGH doctors, nurses and researchers There’s a news hook!
  • 38. Case Study-JHYSFMark Herzlich: Boston College star linebacker Sarcoma patient Eloquent speaker
  • 39. Case Study-JHYSF We produced a video with Mark in which he talked about sarcoma and recognized the work of JHYSF.
  • 40. Case Study-JHYSF2010 PR campaign included: Press releases announcing Herzlich video Story pitches including background on patients who want to be interviewed Recognition from MGH, State Rep. Kate Hogan
  • 41. Case Study-JHYSF2010 PR campaign yielded: Story on WBZ Newsradio 1030 Interviews on WXLO FM Published articles:  MetroWest Daily News  Hudson Sun  MGH Website
  • 42. Working with the media Examine your message  Is it consistent?  Can you prove it? Create story lines for the media  Who can speak for you?  What pictures tell the story? Don’t hide from the media  Be prepared!
  • 43. Appearance
  • 44. How you look on camera Calm Confident Cordial In control
  • 45. Your imageHow you’re dressed Primary colors Simple accessories No distractions
  • 46. Body language Look the reporter in the eye Limit your movements Watch those hands
  • 47. Answering tough questions
  • 48. What you say and how you say it Bad Good  Aggressive  Passionate  Angry  Measured  Bored  Engaged  Put-off  Cooperative
  • 49. Know reporter’s tacticsThe Prognosticator Tries to force you to comment on the future Wants to trap you in the hypothetical
  • 50. Know reporter’s tacticsThe Shot-gunner Rapid questioner Asks the same question repeatedly Jumps from subject to subject
  • 51. Know reporter’s tacticsThe Disarmer Acts sympathetic to your point of view Chatty off camera--turns aggressive when tape is rolling
  • 52. Know reporter’s tacticsThe Dagger Leads with the worst possible question Uses negative language in question
  • 53. Traps for the unwary Interruptions Multi-part questions Yes/No questions Statement questions Silence
  • 54. Golden rules  Tell the truth  Stay on message  Don’t force the answer  No “no comment”
  • 55. Bridging phrases “That’s an interesting question, but the main issue here is…” “I’m glad you asked that. We want people to know…” “Let’s put this into perspective…”
  • 56. Quotes & Questions
  • 57. “Never underestimatea reporter’s intelligenceor overestimate theirknowledge.” Ted Koppel | Nightline anchor
  • 58. “If its going to comeout eventually, betterhave it come outimmediately.” Henry Kissinger | Secretary of State
  • 59. Final thoughts Don’t let a bad day create a bad interview Remember your three main points Take a deep breath then say the second thing that comes to mind
  • 60. Thank you! 617.278.6560
  • 61. Find the listings for our current season of webinars and register at Chris Dumas 707-812-1234 Special Thanks To Our Sponsors