For more than 50 years in this country, ever since baby boomers started graduating from high school in the mid-1960s, there has been an assumption that individuals with high school diplomas in hand would follow one of two tracks – college or no college.
Data from Gallup shows that confidence in newspapers and TV news are at an all-time low, and as PR professionals this should be concerning for a number of reasons.
There once was a time, before the summer of 2015 when a certain man came down an escalator in Trump Tower to announce his candidacy for President of the United States, that PR firms such as ours could pitch cable TV news bookers with a reasonable chance at success.
We all know that Twitter can be annoying. Its cacophony of voices screaming 24/7, its herd mentality taken to the nth degree and its perpetually haranguing (and harangued) character @realDonaldTrump hovering over it all, like a big orange balloon in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade.
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.