Posts Tagged ‘Johna Burke’


How the World Cup is like Media Relations

Monday, June 30th, 2014
How the World Cup is like Media Relations Johna Burke BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas Public Relations PR Media Relations FIFA World Cup

flickr user warrenskl under CC BY license

Did you have to Google an explanation of how the US Soccer team lost last week and still advanced to the next round of the World Cup? I did. While I was delighted with the result – the home team advancing – it wasn’t initially clear how they had pulled off such a coup. Once I better understood the brackets, that all ”wins” are not created equal, all “goals” weigh very important and that someone else losing helps, it made sense. It’s actually quite similar to the media relations ecosystem and enforces the importance of having qualitative and quantitative elements to any analysis program.

Brackets: Each day there’s a lot of competition for quality editorial real estate. Depending on your industry or vertical market and what’s happening that day, there’s a built in demand for certain types of coverage and dominant ”players” will get a lot of attention. I’m sure we all feel like we are in our own ”Group of Death.”

Win: While you may get some coverage, a true ”win” is subjective. For many organizations certain qualitative elements – i.e. positive tone, appears in a key outlet, features key messages and builds your organization’s reputation – is required for a true win.

Goal: When building your brand, every story is a brick in the foundation. Not only for the obvious SEO, but also for learning and developing messages that support overarching business objectives.

Someone has to lose: No matter how amazing your story, event or issue, a breaking issue will take precedent. When everything goes perfectly and all of your interviews lined up go through without a hitch, it’s a good day, but some days you’re Portugal.

Almost any aspect of business can be placed into these same elements. The real takeaway is to always do your best and play to win. Even in the toughest groups those teams who are conditioned and wholly prepared for the elements along with the slings and arrows of circumstance will prevail. Always keep your eye on the goal and with your best players at peak performance you’ll increase your chances to score.

If you don’t make the goal initially, you’ll ideally develop your strength where needed or identify the weakness that gives you an advantage and succeed the next time. Manage expectations and have contingency plans. One real dire risk of only using quantitative metrics in media analysis is on any given day you could be Portugal (look equal to a former campaign or program) but the overall score does not reflect comparative ”results.”

Disclosure: I write this as a former coach. I coached the Sharks (my brother’s soccer team for five-year-olds) to a winning (6-2) season, so I know a thing or two about the game and what it takes to win. :)

 

Media Contact Lists and the Perils of Reckless Pitching

Monday, June 23rd, 2014
Media Contact Lists and the Perils of Reckless Pitching Johna Burke BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas public relations PR Media Contact List Press Clipping Media Monitoring

flickr user A DeVigal uner CC BY license

Media contact databases have long been considered a critical tool in the public relations pro’s arsenal. But such contact lists must be used with discretion, careful targeting, and common sense.

The purpose of a media contact list is to provide PR pros with contact information for relevant journalists, not to provide a recipient list for an impersonal press release blast. This may sound like Public Relations 101, but when journalists receive press releases that aren’t relevant to their beat, location, or publication, they get frustrated, and it gradually erodes the quality of relationships between public relations and journalism:

 

Media lists should be but one small component of our outreach efforts. Especially in 2014, when within minutes we can call up all the articles a journalist has written, take a look at his or her Twitter, and assess whether our information is of interest. Media lists cannot and should not be a substitute for meaningful, personalized connections.

Here are things you must consider for every journalist before sending them a pitch or press release:

  • Does this pitch pertain to their specific geographic area?
  • Does it pertain to the journalist’s specific reporting areas? i.e. an investigative reporter will have no use for the announcement of a new restaurant location opening
  • Does the publication run the types of story you are pitching?
  • Is this really newsworthy? Yes, it’s frustrating when clients demand coverage for something we know isn’t really news, but sending a journalist an irrelevant release just so you can tell the client you sent it will not help your case when you have something of true value in the future

It’s time to stop taking the short view of just sending a press release to say it was sent to X number of people. If it’s not relevant to most of those people, it’s not only the same as not sending it, it’s worse. Think of the long-term implications of repeatedly sending irrelevant press releases: it trains journalists to tune them out. It’s a classic Boy-Who-Cried-Wolf scenario: no one will listen when you finally have something valuable to say.

Though it might not seem like it, journalists and PR pros are fighting the same battle. We’re all fighting to do more work on less time in a saturated medium. So instead of using the challenge as an excuse, use it as a way to better relate to our journalist counterparts. It can only make it better for all of us.

Here’s How to Deal with Negative Comments Onilne

Wednesday, May 21st, 2014
via McDonald's Twitter

via McDonald's Twitter

When McDonald’s announced their mascot Happy, an anthropomorphic Happy Meal box with teeth, it quickly became one of the hottest –and most derided – stories of the day for looking “terrifying” rather than cuddly. McDonald’s issued a level-headed response later, and noted that “social media is a great place to have a conversation and express an opinion, but not all comments reflect the broader view.”

McDonald’s later followed that up with these humorous tweets:

Clearly, McDonald’s knows how to roll with – and take advantage of – the punches, because when it comes to social media and online comments, you’re all but guaranteed a certain proportion of negative response. How to deal with the negative feedback? The McDonald’s story and their adroit handling of the reaction is the perfect time to revisit (and update) Johna Burke’s top tips for dealing with negative comments online.

1. Stay calm. Don’t let your adrenaline (fight or flight urge) get the best of you and cloud your judgment.

2. Respond publicly. Mirroring the original format is very powerful. If the original announcement was made on Twitter, put out a public Twitter response; same goes with any other platform. Domino’s Pizza’s viral video crisis and response in 2009 is an excellent case study.

3. Be courteous. Offer acknowledgement or an apology, whichever is most appropriate, with sincerity and gratitude for the opportunity to address the matter. If you run into a troll, refrain from calling them out until you’ve done your due diligence on their misdeed or erroneous feedback.

4. Provide resolution. In some cases this means a refund or some other compensation for the problem. In other cases this will mean “agreeing to disagree” on what is fair and what you can do based on the feedback.

5. Reflect. Consider the following options:

a. Why did this person make their grievance public?

b. Was this the only forum available to address the concern?

c. What are the opportunities you have to improve your product or service to strengthen your relationship with all of your customers?

d. Did you resolve the issue?

6. Be thankful. REMEMBER: Negative can be positive. Your public response will demonstrate your commitment to your clientele. Also, when a customer is talking to you, even if it’s negatively, you are still communicating and can improve the situation.

And, as McDonald’s has shown, a little humor can go a long way.

You can check out Mack Collier’s research on responding to negative comments, and of course, it never hurts to update your social media crisis communications plan.

How do you respond to negative comments, and what recommendations do you have for dealing with them?

This Week’s Shot of Fresh: Make the Camera Love You, Media Formerly Known as Print, and the Paid App Marketing Microcosm

Friday, March 28th, 2014
flickr user sWrightOsment under CC BY license

flickr user sWrightOsment under CC BY license

Shot of Fresh is our weekly roundup of Fresh Ideas content.

11 Tips for a Successful On-Camera Interview

See that red light? That means you just forgot everything you meant to say. Check out some of Johna Burke’s tips for not only remembering your words, but making them sound good, too.

Print Is Dead, Print Isn’t Dead: The “Chinatown” Scenario of a Shifting Media Model

The whole print is dead/not dead back-and-forth is reminiscent of the Chinatown sister/daughter debacle but with less Jack Nicholson. Maybe the reason we can’t agree on whether or not print is dead or alive is because we say “print” and mean “high-quality, edited journalism.”

Marketing Observations: Why People Pay Ten Dollars for an App

What can you gain from observing why a frugal person would buy a $10 app? A few marketing lessons, including how cost vs. price factors into a decision.

11 Tips for a Successful On-Camera Interview

Monday, March 24th, 2014

11 Tips for a Successful On-Camera Interview Ellis Friedman Johna Burke BurrellesLuce Fresh IdeasBeing interviewed on camera can be the most nerve-wracking of experiences, but lots of preparation – and the right kind of preparation – can be paramount to on-camera success. Whether you’re the one on camera or you’re helping someone prep for their turn on TV, here are some excellent, timeless interview preparation tips from Johna Burke. Remember that these are basic tips, and that a video camera is the best “tool” in your public relations toolbox.

Practice: Successful message development and delivery depends on preparation. Think through how you will respond to tough or hostile questions by developing and practicing clear, honest and appropriate answers.

Conclusions: Prepare and present your conclusion throughout the interview. Just as you wouldn’t bury the lead you can’t “hope” the interviewer will ask you the perfect question.

Avoid Jargon: Instead of using industry jargon speak in simple lay terms.

Key messages: Prepare, understand and practice key messages. Return to key messages as often as possible – Think Bill Clinton not Gary Condit.

Deal with difficult questions: Some questions can’t be given a straight answer, but avoiding the question looks bad too. Bridging and Blocking are very effective assets.

Bridging: Maintain control of the interview with the use of these common bridging phrases -
“Before we leave the subject, let me add that …”
“And the one thing that is important to remember is …”
“While…is important, it is also important to remember r…”
“It’s true that … but it is also true that …”

Blocking: Never say “no comment” – it’s an obvious don’t. Instead, simple blocking allows you to focus the conversation. Common blocking phrases include:
“I think what you’re really asking is…”
“That’s an interesting question, and to put it in perspective…”
“I don’t have precise details, but what I do know is…”

Never Repeat Negative Questions: Always frame your answer in the positive. Think about sound bites.

Stick to your message: Simple is better. Avoid the expert trap of over-answering. Work on test questions and learn when to stop talking.

Remove distractions: Technology is wonderful, but even the most seasoned interviewee can’t fight the Pavlovian response of the flashing red light or the subtle vibration that a message has arrived to their mobile device.

Relax: Be calm, confident and conversational.

Remember that video magnifies the strengths and weaknesses of your interview skills, so on-camera dry runs can help you feel more comfortable and add extra polish to your presence.

Do you have any tips or tricks for media training?