Veteran PR pro Arthur Solomon has handled PR crises here and abroad, so when he says too many crises are handled poorly he deserves to be heard. In this article he provides tips for avoiding making crises worse. Of course, he whacks at some sacred cows when counseling brand communicators to tell the truth, to respond only when you’re ready and to consider each crisis as a unique event.
Stories by Arthur Solomon
Some things never change. That’s true in PR, too. The reasons are many. It’s easier to go with the flow than incorporate new thinking. Supervisors fail to give young staff opportunities to try new technique. Staff fear criticizing the boss. Those who advocate change are seen as mavericks and tend to be ostracized. The result is that, well, things change way too slowly. Here’s a list of PR sacred cows that need to be challenged.
No doubt you learned the essential aspects of PR as a student in communications school. But let’s face it. You could have purchased PR textbooks and learned some of the same fundamentals, less the tuition costs. You probably learned how to craft a program, the importance of strategies, tactics and objectives. Also, what your professors said was the correct method of pitching a story. There is, however, one critical facet of PR that you probably never learned in the classroom.
As the year draws to an end, there are many lessons that young PR people should have learned from 2016 news reports that can apply to our business. Here’s a second look back at the learning moments of the year that sprang from the headlines.
As the year draws to an end, there are many lessons that young PR people should have learned from 2016 news reports that can apply to our business. Here’s a look back at the learning moments of the year that sprang from the headlines.
As a former reporter and editor at New York City newspapers and wire services, when I crossed the Rubicon and joined a PR firm as newspapers failed, I disagreed with how agency clients were prepared for interviews by media trainers.
PR veteran Arthur Solomon has changed his mind about Hillary Clinton holding a press conference, which he thought she should do many weeks ago. The reason for this change of mind is that she is excelling at another method of reaching the public: answering media questions from local reporters during her campaign stops and individually with selected national reporters.
When it comes to pitching a story, there are various tenets that I have always disagreed with, e.g.: reporters and editors won’t read a pitch longer than a few sentences; when trying to place a photo accompany it with a short caption; TV pitches have a better chance of success when B-roll is available. But there are some rules that I have always enforced with account execs so that their pitches at least have a chance of success.
Rule #1: Your first responsibility isn’t to your PR agency, it’s to yourself and your family.