Improvisation often is associated with comedy. Yet several PR firms find it useful to use improv tactics as part of their media training effort. Since media interviews share many characteristics with improv performances, it makes sense. Improv exercises help build confidence, encourage quick thinking and improve listening skills, making it ideal for media training.
Offering up someone from your C-suite for broadcast interviews is a great way to earn media coverage, but how can you be sure that executive is ready? Given that broadcast no longer only refers to television and radio, but also incorporates Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, podcasts and on-demand video platforms, PR pros have their work cut out for them as they prep spokespeople for broadcast interviews. Here are some tips for masterful preparation.
Sundar Pichai smiled and looked genuinely human, in contrast to Mark Zuckerberg’s awkward, stilted testimony in September. Moreover, he was artful in response to Congress’ many pointed questions, deploying tactics that helped his brand emerge from the chaos looking measured and thoughtful.
“Lena Dunham Comes to Terms With Herself” has its fair share of lessons for communicators, especially those in media working to build out their personal brand. The piece artfully uses scene, narrative and exposition to demonstrate the blind spots that Dunham, and those caught up in the digital generation’s ‘cult of personality’, can easily miss. Here are a couple.
Communicators pointed to four major tactics that they have successfully implemented to earn trust, get their more difficult clients in the press, open their minds to spend, and change their opinions of the value that PR can bring to business.
Since he took office, President Trump has managed to sidestep the expectations typically placed on leaders in how they present themselves to the media. Though he may receive criticism from those who disagree with his policies, he has retained ardent supporters, while many CEOs are stepping down for infractions like a flubbed statement or a poorly-handled crisis response. Trump might be an anomaly in that fashion, but he also provides some valuable insights—both positive and negative—into how communicators and their senior leaders can deal with the media.
The political talk shows take a lot of criticism. In fact, they can be a great way for new PR pros to supplement their knowledge base. The major takeaway, argues veteran PR pro Arthur Solomon, is to learn how not to speak and write like the pundits who populate these shows.
While presenting the award for Video of the Year, Madonna took the opportunity to deliver a lengthy speech about how her career was inadvertently started by the late singer and undisputed Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin, who died the Thursday prior. Reactions to the speech were overwhelmingly negative, with amateur and professional critics alike voicing their belief that Madonna disrespected Aretha by making the speech largely about Madonna, relegating Aretha’s influence to nothing but a footnote in Madonna’s story of her own rise to stardom.
A tenet of internal communications is that whatever you say internally eventually will leak externally. That dictum probably applies to nearly everything that happens in corporate America. Anything an executive says, writes or does is liable to be discovered, savvy PR pros would argue. But what about media training sessions? The Papa John’s case opens a can of worms.
Pity the media relations pro. Not only are attention spans vastly reduced, many media outlets have responded to this with vastly shorter stories. Instead of giving up, PR pros must understand their efforts to gain earned media may result in a media hit lasting a mere few seconds. Here are a few tips to help pitchers shape messages so they will thrive in the new, short media landscape.