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Lisa Nason – Ron Sachs Communications August 12, 2011.

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Presentation on theme: "Lisa Nason – Ron Sachs Communications August 12, 2011."— Presentation transcript:

1 Lisa Nason – Ron Sachs Communications August 12, 2011

2  Florida League of Cities  Florida Association of Health Plans  Governor’s Adoption Initiative  Florida Association of Counties  Florida Association of Court Clerks  Florida Association of Health Plans  Florida Association of Insurance Agents  Florida Association of the American Institute of Architects  Florida Center for Performing Arts and Education  The Byrd Alzheimer’s Center & Research Institute  Florida Department of Health  The Florida Nurses Association  Leukemia & Lymphoma Society  Whole Child Leon

3 PRESENTATION OVERVIEW: Media Training Crisis Communications

4 WHY ENGAGE?  In addition to education and advocacy, proactive media relations is a critical component of the overall public affairs effort to tell your story:  Dispel myths or inaccuracies (economy, taxes)  Drive the discussion  Boost the effectiveness of your efforts by reaching the audience that is critical to you and other elected officials: the public and policy makers

5 IT’S A JOB!  Reporters are not the enemy  Tremendous pressure from editors for decent stories  Short deadlines, lean staff  Competition on multiple fronts: ◦ Social media ◦ Print vs. Electronic REMEMBER to HARO! Help A Reporter Out

6 Trust is the Coin of the Realm 1. Never Lie. Ever. For Any Reason ◦ You will get caught ◦ Your reputation as a source will be destroyed 2. Never leave the media empty-handed ◦ Be a resource - HARO ◦ Respect deadlines 3. You don’t have to tell everything you know ◦ Stick to the focus of the story ◦ “Off the record” doesn’t exist, so don’t blab

7  Fact Sheet ◦ Comprehensive, but easy to understand ◦ Media and Audience Resource  Q&A ◦ Remember: HARO! Make it easy for others to understand ◦ Drive the message – ask questions you want to answer ◦ Good interview preparation tool (and media resource)  Bios, Maps, Graphics, Charts, Statistics  Success Stories or Profiles – make the story come alive with real people and real stories

8  Media List… ◦ Critically important to target properly – local government reporters; Capitol Press Corps; assignment editors ◦ Don’t forget online industry publications and advocacy sites ◦ News Aggregators ◦ Talk Radio ◦ Public Access & Local Government TV


10  Make Your Own News Truth Serum ◦ Show the Human Impact ◦ Have a Local Angle to connect to bigger stories ◦ Be ready to act! Timing is everything ◦ Develop News Hooks – Tie into current media cycle  Make It Memorable ◦ Announce something in a new and novel way (HARO!) ◦ Think in terms of visuals – photo and film ◦ Include Media worthy participants and props Golden Fleece


12  Know your deadlines!  Don’t call a reporter after 3:00pm unless you have breaking news or an update  Don’t have an event after 2:00pm if you want to make a 5:00pm package  To hold a news conference in the Capitol, you will need a sponsor (Senator/Representative)  Prepare for the media: multbox, risers, mic stand

13 Be Prepared!  Identify three to five key messages (Fact Sheet)  Anticipate tough questions (Q&A)  Shape your message ◦ Be brief, and say what you mean ◦ Prepare sound bites, your most important points  Be prepared for success ◦ Speak simply ◦ Be brief, but avoid yes/no answers. ◦ Don’t use too many statistics ◦ Don’t use professional jargon ◦ Avoid acronyms

14 Camera Ready!  Be brief  Act natural – Stand Up!  Don’t fidget…. Use gestures sparingly  Speak directly to the interviewer  Look at the reporter, not the camera  STOP TALKING WHEN YOU ARE DONE

15 Control Your Message - Tell the story your way, regardless of the question. - Don’t rush to respond - it is okay to pause. - Make sure that every statement is a message and that the statement is yours. - STOP TALKING WHEN YOU ARE DONE

16 Control your message with the bridge technique: 1. “What is more important is to take a look at…” 2. “Before we continue, let me emphasize that…” 3. “No, let me explain…” 4. “While I can’t answer that, it is essential that I…” 5. “Here is the real issue…” 6. STOP TALKING WHEN YOU ARE DONE.

17 Think you’re done? 1. Assume the camera is still rolling, or that the microphone is still on 2. Remember – there is no “Off the Record” 3. Assume that you will be taken out of context – it will happen frequently 4. If you are actually misquoted or a factual error occurs, immediately seek to have a correction issued, and if appropriate, that online editions are also corrected.

18 PRESENTATION OVERVIEW: Media Training Crisis Communications

19 What is a Crisis? (3 different types) ◦ Operational Crisis – Emergency (Reactive) ◦ Organizational Crisis – Issue Management (Proactive) ◦ Organizational Crisis – Reputation Repair (Reactive) 1. Case Study: RS&H (Emergency Event) 1. Case Study: HRMC (Issue Management) 2. Case Study: FBC (Reputation Repair)

20  Emergency: Self-evident. (natural disaster; technology/equipment related; human error)  Issue Management: An unstable condition involving the likelihood of an impending abrupt or decisive change (i.e., critical report or media coverage, imminent legal decision)  Reputation Repair: Integrity or reputation of an individual or organization is threatened (brewing scandal)

21 RS&H  National Engineering and Transportation Consultants – 26 U.S. offices  November 6, 2009 – Fatal Workplace Violence  In a 20 minute time period, RS&H went from normal operations to “live” on CNN.

22 1. Company was in a REACTIVE MODE -CEO was traveling. Genuine confusion about details -No crisis communication plan existed 2. Scramble to deal with media ◦ Local affiliates scrambling for information and interviews – AGGRESSIVE PRESS CORPS – GET THE INTERVIEW! ◦ National media interest. GET THE INTERVIEW! ◦ RS&H sought crisis communication help within 24 hours

23 1. Local media relations ◦ Live Press Conference with C-level execs, law enforcement, Mayor, Clergy ◦ Provided CONTROLLED access to small pool of employees, access to family of injured ◦ Daily news releases; milestone press conferences 2. National media relations ◦ Debunking myths (Lou Dobbs) ◦ Correcting the record (by-the-book termination) ◦ Reinforce the corporate brand: commitment to improvement. Review by safety expert.

24 1.Stopped rumor mill among media, employees 1.Stopped aggressive pursuit of RS&H employees by engaging in exhaustive media relations 2.Retained a strong, loyal workforce 3.Corporate Brand INTACT! Reinforced the corporate brand & commitment to continuous improvement, review of operations, facilities by industrial design and safety experts

25 Independent Public Hospital  Event: Lawsuit-Mediation Announcement  Company was in PROACTIVE MODE  Development of Integrated Issue Management Plan

26 Crisis Communications Plan  Approved: March 9, 2010  Executed: March, April, May, June 2010  Plan Evaluation – Effectiveness Review: July 13, 2010 GOAL: Insure the continued reputation of hospital as the premier provider of healthcare and trauma services in the county. STRATEGY: Combat negative perceptions about hospital that may have arisen as a result of legal proceedings through a media campaign to highlight the accomplishments of the Trauma Program, physicians, and special capabilities.

27 PLAN: Execute integrated positive publicity, paid placement and proactive media relations campaign  Meet with Editorial Board  Meet with feature writer  Organize CEO or leadership blogs  Solicit Letters to the Editor  Develop creative campaign for paid placement  Create one page flyer for internal posting  Draft and distribute PSA’s  Create earned media photo-op event  Create Feature News Release  Secure Op-Ed Placement

28  Two featured opinion columns were placed  One strongly favorable earned editorial (Op-Ed) was achieved  Two favorable Business Editor commentary columns were achieved  Three positive feature articles were achieved  Accuracy and intent of article headlines improved dramatically  100% of potentially negative news packages were squashed  Advertising Value Equivalency (AVE) of earned media: $163,000

29 FBC – Florida’s Blood Centers 1. Year long slow-burn in Orlando Sentinel over perceptions of lavish spending and inappropriate relationships (financial) between agency and board members. 2. Sentinel focus resulted in Senate hearings 3. Negative attention is leading to steady string of board resignations

30 1. Brewing controversy over gift cards 2. Outrage over CEO salary ($600+K) 3. Senate Hearings – pledge of change 4. Undisclosed CEO performance bonus 5. Employee layoffs 6. Orlando Sentinel calls for resignation Note: EXTREMELY DIFFICULT TO MANAGE REPUTATION REPAIR IF LEADERSHIP DOES NOT ACKNOWLEDGE PROBLEM!

31 1. Arrogance toward Media ◦ Stonewall attitude (“It’s just one newspaper!”) ◦ Policy of “No Comment” by Board ◦ Policy of not providing records (“We’re not in the sunshine.”) ◦ Policy of no interviews by media relations staff ◦ Policy of no editorial board contact (“They are the enemy!”) 2. No proactive reputation management ◦ Others (media, public) were allowed to define the story ◦ Community advocates were taken for granted ◦ Employees were ignored

32 “ Resign… In taking a pay hike and dragging her feet on reform, the CEO has shown she's not fit to lead blood bank. ” FIRST CALL TO PR FIRM: February 20, 2010 HEADLINE February 19, 2010

33 Crisis Communication Principles: Never try to lie, deny or hide involvement. When the news is bad, tell the truth and tell is fast! If you ignore the situation it will only get worse. Don't let the lawyers make the decisions!! While they are well intentioned it may cause the crisis to escalate The public and media decides what they are interested in – not us! Protecting a reputation is far easier than repairing. Public relations professionals must serve as voices of caution and counsel! Evaluate who wins: Court of Law versus the Court of Public Opinion?

34 Development of Crisis Communications Plan Do It NOW! Meet with Senior Executives NOW! (tell it to sell it) 1. Plan elements a.Guiding Principles b.Crisis Team – include contact grid; Update every 30 days c.Assign Key Roles (Contact Grid; Spokesperson) 2. Media prep –media list, fact sheets, 3. Primary Contact Points – Front Desk Phones 4. Message Development – Develop Scenarios 5. Media Training for Company Executives 6. Protocols for Interested Media (Non-adversarial)


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