Category:

Crisis PR

  • Trust me……I’m a PR professional

    Ah, trust.

    As any counsellor will tell you, trust is key in any relationship. And it is vital when building relationships with editors and journalists. They need to be sure that the information you give them is accurate, truthful and not twisted into misrepresentation – their own reputations are bound up in the quality of the articles that they publish.

    And in return you need to be sure that ‘off the record’ briefings remain ‘off the record’, that embargoes are respected and that you will be given the chance to respond if a negative story breaks.

    How to build that mutual trust is the question.

    And the answer is that it can only be achieved over time, by working at building each relationship and behaving with the utmost professionalism. So, press releases need to be checked and double-checked and signed-off by all interested parties. If you say that you will provide two hi-res images, then you must deliver. If you have negotiated to contribute a non-advertorial article, then you must not send in a ‘puff’ piece full of references to your client. Otherwise you are simply wasting an editor’s time and it will be remembered the next time you want to talk about editorial.

    Responding promptly is essential. You may not be able to provide the information, images or story that the journalist wants but you should always be clear in your answers and meet agreed deadlines. And don’t be afraid to demand equally high standards from a journalist.

    Don’t allow yourself to be pushed around and never forget that you are representing your client’s profile as well as your own professionalism.

    Relationships have to be worked at. And trust has to be earned.

  • Assume nothing – part two

    Being aware of the need to constantly challenge your own assumptions, can have tangible, practical benefits and result in better campaigns, more effective PR and smoothly-run events.

     

    If it can go wrong, it will go wrong. Unless you think ahead. Beware of believing that the arrangements you have made are set in stone or that what is obvious to you is obvious to everyone else. The devil is always in the detail.

     

    • You are used to communicating within your industry and now need to address a less specialised audience. Remember that what may be clear or familiar to you may not be to them. Check that technical terms are explained and acronyms spelt out, but don’t patronise your readers

     

    • You plan a summer event and have visions of elegant guests sipping prosecco, strolling in bright sunshine – what will you do if it rains all day?

     

    • Is the person you made the arrangements with going to be away on leave when the event takes place or the article needs to be submitted? You need to know who will deal with everything in their absence and make sure that that person actually knows that they have been given that role. It’s too late to find out that there has been no handover on deadline day

     

    • You booked a laptop and projector but what about cables? Can the room be sufficiently darkened so that the audience can see the presentation? Do you have a back-up plan if the equipment fails? How many copies of the presentation do you have? Have you checked whether the embedded videos run on the hired equipment?

     

    • A colleague sends you an image to use for a campaign, but does your organisation have permission to use it? Is a photo credit needed or a royalty payment? Has it been used before and in what context?

     

    I could go on but I am sure that you get the idea. Check and double-check at every stage. Don’t just keep your fingers crossed.

    Instead: assume nothing.

     

  • PR is everywhere

    Please remember: PR is not left in the office when the doors close at the end of the day. Reputation management needs to be a constant concern.

    I am currently sitting on the train, listening with great interest to the conversations of other passengers. It is amazing the information people are happy to loudly impart in the company of assumed strangers.

    train carriage

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  • Not so Grim after all

    BBC Radio 1 bosses are reportedly ‘livid’ with presenter Nick Grimshaw.radio Joe Haupt The DJ lost his voice after partying with celebrity friends in Istanbul over the weekend. Pictures were posted on Instagram, by ‘Grimmy’ himself it would appear, living-it-up and enjoying the celebrity lifestyle. (more…)