This item (below in italics) from today’s AXIOS A.M. caught my eye and provides a chance to share a few thoughts:
Former President Barack Obama expresses his condolences to Cindy McCain after delivering a eulogy at her husband Senator John McCain’s funeral on September 1, 2018 at Washington National Cathedral. (photo credit: James Boyle)
When you get to be my age, you start to attend lots of funerals. In just the past decade I’ve buried both my parents, my only brother and my only sister, so not only have I been to many funerals, I have also helped to plan, organize and be part of the services, too.
In Part I of this series, "Setting the Trap," we looked at a real example of a company that fell for the interview trap, not once, but twice! What fundamental error did the CEO make? She agreed to do taped interviews. By providing 20 or 30 minutes of dialogue for the producers to slice and dice according their agendas, she just gave them more rope to hang her. As a long-time veteran of national TV news revealed, “If we are going to go to the trouble and expense of taping and editing an interview to fit into a news story, it’s because we’ve already determined what the story is going to be and we’re just looking for quotes – or pieces of quotes – to support it.”
Your organization is in full crisis management mode. Armed with legal counsel and a communications strategy, it's time for your CEO to speak to the media. During a taped TV news interview, she hits all the right notes - staying on message, bridging to key points and projecting a calm, but concerned, demeanor. You and your staff rejoice - crisis controlled!
While most Americans were taught in grade school that the three branches of government are legislative, executive and judicial, those of us who can measure our mileage along the city’s marble-floored corridors in triple digits know that getting something done in Washington, DC today requires working with three distinct NON-governmental sectors, as well. What we call the “three branches of advocacy” are 1) non-profit partners, 2) membership associations, and 3) consumer and trade media.
For those who came of public relations age in an era when “desk-side visits” to editors ensconced in high-ceilinged offices in midtown Manhattan were the key component of media outreach, the answer to the question “how to conduct a media tour?” has evolved radically over the past few decades.
A media tour today is still an important tactic in executing a PR strategy, but it is not a be-all or end-all in itself. First of all, the notion of going to New York City for such a “tour” is unlikely to be necessary for all but a few industries, such as fashion, retail or finance. The citadels of journalism along 6th Avenue have largely emptied out or at least changed enough so that they are no longer must-visit locations.
Your website is the online hub of your business where people come to learn, to engage, and ultimately, to make a purchase or a donation or to join a cause. It's also your "digital workforce," driving traffic and converting visitors. A successful website relies on a complex ecosystem, where the performance of each individual element impacts the health of the whole.
Does your association’s website resemble an old house to which many rooms and closets have been added and others are collecting dust? Does it scream to your members “We don’t care if it’s easy or a pleasure to visit?” Does the site never come up in searches of information you host? Is it difficult to update so it’s underutilized by the rest of the staff? Are you taking way too many phone calls from members for information that could easily be on the web?
Videos help humanize industries; they turn complex issues into compelling stories; they inspire action and they create community. That’s why nearly half of all associations have integrated videos into their communications strategies and 24% are planning on doing so shortly, according to one study.
Videos will constitute 82% of all consumer internet traffic by 2019, according to the Cisco Visual Networking Index. For associations, they will be especially effective for accessing younger audiences - tomorrow’s members and industry leaders -- who spend about 1 hour 45 minutes daily watching online video content on connected devices.
Influencer marketing, the strategy employed by organizations to cultivate relationships with key leaders among unique communities in order to access/influence these audiences, is proving to be a potent marketing tool. Recent research conducted by Twitter confirms this: Brands using influencers on Twitter have been able to enhance user engagement (in terms of shares, comments and recommendations) by almost five times!