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Communicating in a Time of Crisis


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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

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