Anything said during, before or after an interview can appear in a story. In fact, anything said anywhere can end up being reported. Hope Hicks found out that even what you tell the House Committee on Intelligence behind closed doors can end up being reported.
Stories by Arthur Solomon
Veteran PR pro and former journalist Arthur Solomon continues his series of communications lessons pulled from 2017 news headlines. In this edition, Solomon concentrates on lessons learned from crises that involved Equifax, BP and the White House.
The veteran PR pro Arthur Solomon begins his annual review of lessons for communicators pulled from the year’s headlines and news reports. In this initial installment, the lessons involve crisis communications, media relations and internal communications. There’s also advice about the best way to handle a difficult boss.
In what he promises will be the final installment of his series on how watching the political scene can provide PR pros with a free, crash-course on crisis management, Arthur Solomon emphasizes the importance of telling the truth. While it might not help you keep your job, telling the truth about a situation or a person can keep you out of costly legal jeopardy, he argues.
Working on a PR crisis-management team, especially a successful one, can provide communicators with an indescribable high. Yet crisis work can be all-consuming, pressure-filled and harmful to one’s family and social life. Do you have what it takes to work in crisis management? Veteran PR pro Arthur Solomon offers a framework for PR pros thinking about entering the world of crisis.
As we know, the best PR pros are constantly learning in a variety of ways. Arthur Solomon argues that even if you lack the money to fund continuing education courses or seminars, PR pros can learn a great deal just by observing the actions of politicians in Washington, D.C. Following up on his July 14 post, here are more lessons from a tuition-free crash course in media relations.
In PR as in any profession, it’s important to keep learning. Educational resources for PR pros abound, of course. Fortunately, PR practitioners also can gain a tuition-free education by being keen observers of the political process. Watching televised briefings and political talk shows provide plenty of takeaways, especially about what to do and avoid when dealing with the media.
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.
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.