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

PR and the Super bowl XLV

The Super bowl is so well known, it doesn’t need publicity right? Wrong! The Super bowl continues to grab publicity along with its advertising for the event. The Super bowl is one of Americas most watched events. There is lots of advertising for it. Then there is a lot of publicity. There is publicity around players. Even the players that are not well known have the Super bowl publicity machines working for them. There is publicity around the ads. Betty White made a huge impression on people in her commercial. No one leaked that she would be in the commercial. There is some speculation of what kind of commercials will be on.300px-Betty_White_2010

They systematically leak who is booked for the half time show. Very few people watch it. The last half time show I remember watching is PRINCE. We are all going to the bathroom or heating food. No one is really watching the show. There is a lot of publicity around the half time show. Then you will see the build up of the two teams. All controversy is brought back out and chewed over endlessly. Even things that happened at the beginning of the year are used for publicity.   All of these things are used up until the day of the game.

Then you have post game publicity. Any players who stood out will get extra recognition, be invited to talk shows and others places you would not normally see them. There are so many angles of publicity on the Super bowl that no one could name them all. Some of them work well, some do not. Because they have a large budget, they can afford to try different things and see what works. Check out all the silly stories around the next Super bowl and think about how these same angles might work for your business. You could end up with enough ideas to last you all year. The publicity stretches all the money spent on advertising because you are constantly hearing about it. The publicity helps other companies understand that they need to advertise on this particular game in order to get new customers. One company even had a 10 second commercial because it’s all they could afford. The publicity around that short commercial was valued at more than 10 times the cost of the commercial. It only ran once during the game. If you were watching, you barely saw it.  Yet, here I am talking about it today!

How to Use a Press Conference

July 23, 2009 by  
Filed under Wright Ideas

This article will explain the purpose of a press conference. It will give you recent examples of poor use and tips on how to set up your own successful press conference.

Press conferences have a purpose. You gather together press to make an announcement or give them information that will fuel their writing or talking about you in their media. You want bloggers to blog about your, the public to give you information, TV people to talk about your, radio people to report about you, and newspapers and magazines to write articles about you. In extreme cases, you want the kidnappers to give your loved one back. You have to give some information or facts, and then everyone can take it from there. People may ask questions that you have to deal with or you can say sorry, no questions at the end and walk away. It?s like a buffet, you put it out there, and people take what they need or want and leave. You cannot control what is written about you. You can greatly influence what is written by how you handle the Press conference. Always remember, YOU are the one invited people to the party, so it better be good.

Here a few bad examples: Sara Palin (you knew I would go there): First of all, get a sitter for your children. The beginning of her press conference, you have to try and hear over her child. Holidays are a great time to get a story out because most media staff is out. She gives the history of Alaska, talks about Alaska?s purpose and destiny. She talks of her administrations accomplishments and uses the example of working tirelessly for Alaskans. Not being from Alaska or living in Alaska, at this point in the press conference, I do not care about anything she has said yet. She is proud to take credit for hiring the right people and not taking a pay raise. She praises her team and says she wishes the media would tell them more about how good they are doing.

Palin explains why she is not taking any federal dollars. Then she says again, you don?t hear about the good stuff in media. Take a hint lady, you cannot speak badly about the press and then want them to carry a message for you. First she says Alaska has had to use tax payer money to deal with the investigations. Then she says that she has personally incurred over $500k in legal bills to defend herself and she has to deal with this instead of working for Alaska. She says she is making a choice to build up and fight for Alaska and work hard to support others who seek to serve. She says she doesn?t need a title to make a difference and help people. She is setting her state free to progress by not seeking re-election and immediately transferring the power to her Lt. Governor. I understand not seeking election. I am not sure why she cannot finish her time in office. She uses an analogy and tells us she is using one. Please do not assume the media is stupid and think you mean everything literally.

She uses the term Politics as Usual over and over again. And Talks about polling her kids (not her husband). One day she tells us her details. She talks about Trig being mocked by people, yet, there he is, in the public. You cannot have it both ways. Have your children in the media and no one talk about them. Strangely she says the world needs more Trigs. I have not seen the media make a comment on that, however, I am sure it?s coming. She says she is putting first things first and first she loves her job. She says she is calling an audible and passing the ball so her team can win. 2o minutes of a speech that says nothing but I am stepping down. When you do not supply any facts, then the media will make it up. They have to say something. They have to justify the time they spent on your story. It?s best to say something so they do not have to make it up.

Another bad example is one of the first Press Conferences from Michael Jackson?s Family. Upon his death, not many family members were talking. However, the press did find Joe Jackson, his father, who promptly announced his new record label. I think someone did tell him to stop talking to the press directly after that. If the press has questions for you, just answer them.

Here are some tips for good results from a press conference:
1. Give some real facts that have to do with your real reason for being there. General historical facts do not count.
2. Do not bad mouth media during your press conference
3. Control the environment. The wind and your baby crying can be a great distraction.
4. Speak slowly. Trying to talk fast makes it sound like you are not sincere.
5. Make the press release as visual as possible, have plenty of photo opportunities

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