It’s an axiom of PR and communication that you shouldn’t lie to the media, even during an exit interview. The media often has a way of finding out the truth. When so much of our public life is committed to video, it makes getting away with lying very difficult. And then there are groups who’ll make videos about you.
Fighting against disinformation is an emerging discipline for communicators. If you think of it as the next generation of issues management, it becomes a skill communicators need to learn and study to avoid getting caught up in the quagmire of misleading information. Here are ways communicators can help.
Pivoting is a staple of PR media training. But after the VP debate a few weeks ago, is it still a viable tactic? Does avoiding answering a question still work in this transparent world? Yes and no. (See what we did there?) We asked a group of communicators for their views on pivoting within PR and also in politics. In addition, we asked for best practices. Here’s what they told us.
The first Presidential Debate of 2020 seemed neither presidential nor a debate. In a contentious and interruptive shouting match that resembled an argument between angry old uncles at Thanksgiving dinner, President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden offered little to help undecided voters.
PR pros who’ve made the jump from journalism may remember how upsetting it was when a PR pro or corporate executive answered a question with, “No comment.” Veteran PR pro and, yes, former reporter Arthur Solomon offers a bevy of responses communicators and executives can use when they don’t want to comment, but also wish to avoid uttering those damnable words, “No comment.”
We asked veteran PR pro, DC insider and crisis guru Gene Grabowski of kglobal to assess the effectiveness of messages presented at the political conventions. Which speakers (if any) benefitted from the virtual format, seemed genuine, used humor effectively and, most important, persuaded undecided voters to support their candidate?
Should you defer media training owing to the pandemic’s restrictions on travel and social distancing? While it’s a bit trickier during COVID-19, and in-person coaching is best, technology workarounds exist, our author, a former TV journalist, argues.
Recently, we asked PR pros about how to handle an executive who was having a terrible time with one-on-one interviews. This time, we turned the tables a bit, asking how they’d create the perfect interview. They had a lot to say, even though the perfect interview might not exist.
It’s the White House calling. Your expertise in strategic communication is needed. They want you to rush over right away. The question on the table is one you’ve handled many times before with CEOs and other C-suite members: What do you advise when the CEO’s 1:1 interviews are a disaster? Should the CEO continue to do interviews?
Regardless of the viewers’ opinions of the Trump/Wallace interview, it did provide several points of instruction for media training. Whether they are working with an executive, small business owner or the president of the United States, it’s important for communications professionals to prepare not only themselves, but their spokespeople, to the best of their ability.