The Sarah Palin/Gabrielle Gifford’s Publicity Connection

A lot of people were horrified to hear of Gifford being shot. Social media was buzzing with questions and updates and quickly came to the conclusion that Sarah Palin has somehow induced it. Many journalist wrote about her style of interview and how she had Democrats in ‘Crosshairs’ on her website. They felt it might be dangerous and many said so. Regardless of which side you fall on, Sarah Palin now has some bad publicity to deal with. Here are some of the things she could think about doing.

300px-Gov._Sarah_Palin_in_Dover_cropped_2,_NHIf you are in business long enough you will have to deal with some bad publicity. Everyone has unhappy customers. Some unhappy customers go to the press or put it on a website to complain. I personally have complained via the web about a company I was unhappy with.  You have to realize it is part of business. You can choose to let the bad publicity sit there. What will happen? Well, you cannot control the consequences. You might have a lot of potential customers turn away from you. You could open yourself up for other type of lawsuits because people see vulnerability. If you never clear it up, you will never know when it will come back. I never recommend ignoring bad publicity, especially in an emergency.

I do recommend being ready for these emergencies. You can do a lot of things to help mitigate the backlash. You can make sure only one spokes person from the company talks to media. Right now, as I write this article, Sarah Palin is advocating that people pray. Will it answer all her detractors? No, but it will make some people feel that she is concerned about the trend that is happening and her contribution to it. For a lot of people that is enough. After all, she did not force the man to pull the trigger.  Palin did have the courage to speak for herself and not allow a spokes person to speak for her during this tragic time. Having a spokes person speak for you when bad things are happening makes you look guilty. No matter how great the spokesperson is, the public will feel you are avoiding their gaze because of guilt.

In the face of bad publicity you can do a good deed. When the founder of Facebook realized that he seemed like a jerk, he made a huge philanthropic donation on Oprah so that people could see he was a good guy. After that he was named Time’s Man of the Year. Of course, it was not just because he gave the donation, but that helped!

Dr. Wright is the founder of PR Fairy HQ, a publicity site for business owners to learn how to get the publicity they deserve. You can get a free Los Angeles Media List when you visit www.prfairyhq.com

Why you should pass on that radio interview!

radio interview

Great, you’ve finally got a call to do a radio show interview! This is what you’ve been waiting for to secure widespread exposure of your heartfelt topic of choice. It’s the type of discussion that you expect to lay a path toward resolution, giving you a much needed experience of the peace of mind you’ve campaigned for since the incident that has changed the quality of your life.

However, what you want, expect or intend from the interview may be completely crushed if you haven’t cleared vital pre-interview areas of attention. It may become the foundation of “why you should pass on that radio interview.”

Begin your interview preparation with listening to at least 3 episodes of the program. Make sure the culture of the show matches your specific topic. Programs celebrating technology advances in air-driven “hammer guns,” may not match your issue with the labeling of genetically modified foods.

Do you have any idea about who the audience is? We often focus on the audience’s size instead of its listeners mindset. This valuable “who” can determine your acceptance or rejection of an offer for a radio interview.

Very important, have you created a way for people to connect with you beyond, “go to my website?” In this age of mobile marketing, you need multiple ways to connect via text messaging and social media.

Another point, you don’t have anything to share except stories of your clients. The interview is not an advertisement for you as an individual. Also, to assure the best audio quality, do not plan on doing the interview in your car while you drive. Plus, do not plan on doing the interview with your family and friends all around you. Respect the listeners by devoting your full attention to the interview.

Finally, your show-prep should include some discussion with the host or producer. You don’t know what they want to talk about, you assume its your topic – always ask. Check in, you never know what they have in mind, it could be even better than what you planned.

All of these points should illustrate the importance of profession “coaching” whenever you have an opportunity to interact with the media. The very same professional support often emphasized on WPTV every month. Watch people in the latest news cycle present their perspective to get the powerful or weak impact of preparation for interviews with the media.

Why you didn’t get that media interview

Why you didn’t get that media interview…

English: Werner Erb is interviewed Deutsch: We...

English: Werner Erb is interviewed Deutsch: Werner Erb wird interviewt (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A lot of people are using different services to respond to a media interview opportunity and then stop after a while. They stop because they are not getting anywhere.

If you have had that experience this year, let me share from the media side what is missing.

1)   Media will usually set up some initial contact with the prospective person to ‘see” how it will be to work with the person. Are they experienced? Are they such newbies that an interview will basically be worthless? The biggest question of all is – Am I wasting my time with this person?

2)   You answer my question with a yes when you do the following:

a)    Tell me you will be on a cell phone and in the mountains or at the beach and don’t know what the reception is going to be like. Translation: I don’t really care about talking to you or this interview is not even remotely interested in making this turn out well for you.

b)   You tell me you don’t have any idea who I am, even though you were provided with the website links to find out. Translation: I don’t care if I am a match or not for your audience. I am not interested in being a good fit for your audience.

c)    You tell me you have never seen the show before, even though you were provided with a link to check at least one out. Translation: See B above

d)   You tell me you are not the expert on this. Translation: I have no confidence in what I am about to tell you, I just hope I get into media somewhere or I really don’t know what I am talking about.

e)    You tell me your availability is severely limited, like 10 minutes at 2 am on Sunday morning. Translation: See A above

f)     You don’t hear from me and send my a passive-aggressive note about being polite and responding: Translation: I don’t understand that instead of telling people they have been rejected and starting a long email conversation about why, it’s’ easier for media to NOT contact you. No contact means, no thank you. Anything else creates MORE unwanted contact with a person you won’t be using. I also don’t understand that there are MANY people who respond to the media and I am just one of many that the media is sorting through. I would rather send a nice/nasty note just before I got interviewed than wait and see what happens. I have no problem letting you know how nasty I am after only one contact with me so I am make sure I don’t get interviewed or REFERRED as a good interview.

g)    You respond to the media far past the deadline. Translation: I don’t know how media works at all. I don’t read my email and cannot be counted on for a quick response.

h)   Your email responds to me that I need to sign up first or get my email cleared by entering in all my information to get an email to you. Translation: I am very clueless as to how email works and how media works. I really think you will enter all that data when you don’t even know me. I don’t realize that are several other people on the list who are making it easy

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Understand that every contact with media is an audition, not just a phone conversation or just an email. We are trying to figure out who can make our job easier. We are not looking for prima donnas. We work on speed.

My personal experience has been, the bigger the name, the easier the interview. They did what they could to accommodate me. I did what I could to live up to my end.

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