Like all of us in the profession, school communicators have their work cut out for them. In this age of coronavirus when Crisis communication plans are being updated in real time it's easy to get carried away to address the tyranny of the urgent.
As a public relations consultant and a former public school district leader, school communicators need to keep these items top of mind when developing and distributing school communications:
Keep it simple. Some educators simply love the jargon. Pedagogy, rubrics, ESEA, Title 1, NSLP mean something to educators and administrators. However, parents might need some additional insight or a... ⇢ read more
Last year, I wrote my guest blog for PRCG Powerlines about vulnerability as the “secret sauce” to effective crisis communications. To say that theory has been tested in 2020 by COVID-19 – and other crises/issues of this year -- is an understatement.
I think there are many communications professionals who would agree that their clients were “forced into” a level of vulnerability they had never experienced before. I’d guess (and hope) that those who accepted their vulnerable state and communicated it with candor and authenticity did a long-term service to their brand and organization.
But let’s face it, it’s “getting old” for... ⇢ read more
Five years and one month ago, I wrote a blog titled, “Work Martyrdom: Get Over It.” A Time Magazine article asking, “Who Killed Summer Vacation?” was my inspiration.
I’m a veteran public relations professional, and it forced me to reflect on how I had arrived at a place where I was working all the time; checking and responding to emails, writing, posting, researching, and stressing.
“This is how I—and apparently the rest of America—have been working for roughly the last 15 years. It started with that first Palm Pilot, accelerated with my Blackberry, then went into overdrive with the acquisition of a... ⇢ read more
I was living in Boston in 1977. As a transplant from California, it was my mission to explore as much of the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic as I could. That took me to New York quite a bit. At that time, New York was reeling from an economic downturn, a legendary blackout, Son of Sam killings, and other negative events. With that backdrop, the city and state needed to take positive steps.
Enter Milton Glaser, legendary graphic designer and founder of New York magazine, who created a logo as part of a campaign to attract business and boost tourism. I vividly recall... ⇢ read more
In 2010, we were in the midst of the Great Recession and there were so many things similar to today’s economic climate. Large-scale layoffs, furloughs, the unemployment rate was sitting at 10 percent and marketing budgets were slashed!
Accountants love cutting “non-essential” or “big ticket” expenditures. For some reason, that includes marketing, communications and advertising. To me, this logic is like watching a fire go out and refusing to put more wood on the stack because it costs too much to keep it going.
Even the greatest of companies, those that you didn’t think would need bailouts and would survive a turn... ⇢ read more
By Jesse Scott, The Firm Public Relations
I’ll never forget that early, unusually cold, Las Vegas morning.
It was December 12, 2015. My wife and I decided to move from Las Vegas, Nevada to Fort Lauderdale, Florida and this was day numero uno of a massive, cross-country road-trip with our feisty terrier pup, Sammy.
It was exciting and scary.
Thousands of miles and a new place to call home aside, a massive professional shift was ahead for me as a public relations professional. After working in a totally feng shui-ed office (which, BTW, is super-unique for how generally hectic the PR universe is) and... ⇢ read more
After attending our annual PRConsultantsGroup conference in San Juan, Puerto Rico, I came away even more convinced of the power of the in-person meeting. Discussions by phone or email or no substitution for a chat over a cup of coffee or a margarita, and learning that a new contact is a marathon runner, a theater lover or a soccer coach helps you remember them and feel more connected. Brainstorming or problem-solving activities are enhanced by the ability to quickly read an audience’s facial expression, instead of waiting for a reply via email. Some replies may seem terse, when in fact... ⇢ read more
This year’s Academy Awards frontrunners are speaking directly to communicators. Here are some top-line spoiler-free life hacks from each of this year’s Best Picture nominees, provided by Cookerly PR president and movie reviewer Stephen Michael Brown . Before the #Oscars get unveiled this Sunday, read the post here.
Stephen Michael Brown is president of Cookerly PR, an integrated communications firm based in Atlanta. He is also founder and chief film critic of Silver Screen Capture.
... ⇢ read more
Read enough crisis communications plans and you’ll see a host of contingencies for communicating with journalists, lawmakers, shareholders and customers. You’ll also see a variety of templated news releases, dark websites and proposed hashtags. Rarely, however, will you see any strategies and tactics directed at one of the most important audiences in any crisis: the employees who work for the organization at the center of the incident.
Why are employees so often overlooked? Maybe it’s because communicating with them is a routine matter at most organizations. Maybe it’s because employee communications lacks the glamor of media relations and executive communications. Or... ⇢ read more
Harold Burson, cofounder of global agency powerhouse Burson-Marsteller (now BCW) who died last Friday in Memphis, Tenn., was an icon in the public relations industry.
He was 98, and still worked three days a week until late last year.
Burson cofounded Burson-Marsteller in New York in 1953, and the agency grew to become a global force with a deep roster of international clients.
A Memphis native, Burson attended the University of Mississippi, then joined the U.S. Army where he worked as a reporter for the American Forces Network, writing scripts for radio broadcasts on the Nuremberg trials, notably the proceedings against Hermann Göring.... ⇢ read more
Many clients ask me, “…when TV crews come to film, they interview me for eight minutes, shoot other interviews and things for an additional 20 minutes. So why is the entire TV story only two minutes long with a total of SIX seconds of me?” It is a great question.
During interviews in the past, I would stand either behind the photojournalist or just out of frame to make sure my client stays on message, isn’t caught off-guard by wayward questions and for me to jump in at the end if they forgot to something critical.
(Secret Sauce #1)
However, one thing I... ⇢ read more