Posts Tagged ‘credibility’

Insights from the 2012 Oriella PR Network’s Global Media Study

Thursday, July 5th, 2012

The fifth annual Oriella PR Network’s 12-page Global Digital Journalism Study  was published recently, and while there weren’t many surprises in the results, several items are noteworthy to those of us here in the U.S.

The press release (as the first go-to source for journalists’ research) declined yet again, but don’t let that fool you. It is still the third highest choice out of 12 options in the survey. Interviews with a corporate spokesperson increased slightly and remain the number one go-to source. Oh, and remember the SMNR (social media news release) that everyone was talking about a few years ago? Not a single mention of them this year! From my experience, PR folks are including links to video, audio and blogs in our releases, but that’s just part of a press (or news) release in 2012 and there’s no need to call it by a different name.

Whether online or offline, credibility is a key consideration for Media. This year’s findings showed a retro shift from crowd-sourcing and pre-packaged stories (via press releases) back to input from trusted sources. “Brands wishing to make their voices (or those of their experts) heard…need to put more effort into developing clear points of view, expressing them plainly across all platforms, and building networks of supports—both online and off.” This would indicate a return to more traditional journalism and thus the return of traditional media relations tactics. That’s not to say journalists aren’t sourcing stories via social media. They are, but there must be a pre-existing relationship or the source must be recognized (in some way) as trustworthy.

Journalists as Publishers
This year, for the first time, the study asked journalists about their personal use of digital media channels in an effort to see whether they are using these channels to build their own personal brand separately from that of their employer media outlet. The results were not surprising in that a large number (in the U.S.) are, in fact, using personal blogs, individual Twitter feed, their own YouTube channel, etc. What I thought was interesting, is what the survey did not find much in the way of outlets restricting journalists’ personal use of social media. They suggest, and I agree, that this is likely indicative of publications realizing they will benefit from the journalist building well-known public personas. 

The study’s writers note in the end that “journalists are working harder and they’re also working smarter. They are not taking canned stories in the form of press releases at face value and instead are using a wider range of assets to convey their narratives.” And, with this new class of digital journalists, their expectations of brand communications are now different than before. Primarily that credibility is crucial, and digital storytelling is key—supporting brand stories (press releases) with video, images, infographs, etc.

Do your recent media relations experiences jive with this study? Or how do they differ?

Growing Your Blog: Video Interview w/ Lisa Gerber, Spin Sucks, and Johna Burke, BurrellesLuce, at the 2011 PRSA Counselors Academy

Tuesday, September 6th, 2011

Transcript –

JOHNA BURKE: Hello, this is Johna Burke with BurrellesLuce, and we’re here at the PRSA Counselors Academy. I’m joined by Lisa.

Lisa, will you please introduce yourself?

LISA GERBER: Yes. I’m Lisa Gerber. I’m the chief content officer for Spin Sucks and Spin Sucks Pro.

BURKE: Excellent. You know, this is a blog that a lot of those in the PR community actively read and use as a great resource. Can you tell me about how writing for the blog and how managing the blog helps your business?

GERBER: Sure. It’s huge. We–you know, the blog started a couple of years ago. Gini Dietrich had started it. And it takes a really long time to grow, to gain followers, to gain subscribers and build a community. But now we are at a point where we just have this incredible local community, lots of great comments and discussions, and usually a lot of the–a lot of the gold is in the discussion and the comments section of the blog posts. We really welcome that and try to nurture that. In terms of what it does for our business, it just, it–a lot of things. It gives us a lot of credibility, and when we’re working with our clients and trying to show them and help them with their blogs and get them out there we’re able to show that this–you know, we actually do this and show as an example.

BURKE: And I think it’s a great example and, you know, a true testament to practicing what you preach.

GERBER: Right.

BURKE: And I mean, I love the manifestation of that in all of the posts and in the community that you’ve built. So congratulations on a job well done.

GERBER: Thank you.

BURKE: Where can people connect with you online and in social media?

GERBER: They can find me at I blog every other Wednesday. And on Twitter I’m @lisagerber.

Knowledge Empowers Relationship-Building with Your Clients

Wednesday, December 8th, 2010

by Richard Gallitelli*

Flickr Image: Knilram

Flickr Image: Knilram

This is my second BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas blog post.  And as I build my relationship with my editor, I began to think of countless other professionals trying to build relationships in and out of their respective industries. What is the best way to build relationships? There are countless theories, from “underselling and over promising” to “the client is always right,” but relationship building starts with credibility and credibility is wholly based on trust.  So how do you earn that trust with our clients in today’s business world?  The answer is knowledge.

Knowledge will empower you and, ultimately, your clients and help to forge a strong and lasting business relationship.  It will enable you to sell the product and more importantly sell your company’s brand.  Christine Knott, a managing director of training consultancy Beyond The Box, had this to say about rapport building and product knowledge: “…product knowledge is a must if you want to proceed to the next stage. Any salesperson who knows their product inside out and back to front is in a position to sell the right solution to the customer… A lack of product knowledge results in missed opportunities.”

Years ago, I began selling clothes at an upscale retail store. I was 20 years old with hair that nearly touched my shoulders.  Who in their right mind would expect a 40 year old corporate attorney or stock broker to buy a $200.00 shirt from me?  Well, I knew that what was going to separate me from my more experienced co-workers wasn’t just my personality, so I hit the books and learned all the product knowledge I could, right down to every stitch per inch.  Soon enough, there were plenty of corporate attorneys and stock brokers I was helping as repeat customers, which enabled me to proceed to the next stage of relationship building and then onto the next stage after that.  The relationships even outlasted the hair. Heck, two of these clients eventually were guests at my wedding twelve years later. 

“When you have answers your clients trust you.”  It may be a simple sentence, but it’s an even simpler concept.  It’s also the bridge to credibility.  It builds new relationships and strengthens existing ones.  It binds you professionally and your clients will come to know you for what you can deliver and seek you out for it.  Brand recognition effectively comes through word of mouth more than any other form of communication.  And a knowledgeable employee will in turn allow their client to effectively become an unpaid marketing consultant to sell the company’s brand for them.  No need to “under promise and over deliver,” because with knowledge in hand you can just deliver. 

If knowledge empowered that 20 year old with enough trust and credibility that a few years later he could flex could outfit the entire band “Aerosmith” for the Boston Pops, it even could empower you to tell your clients what your company can do for them, rather than what your competitors can’t do.

In today’s business world, just as business professionals need the news in real time, they also need answers in real time.  As a business professional you are going to rely on people you can trust.  And what is more trustworthy than a professional who actually knows what they are talking about? Knowledge untangles the lines of communication, sweeps away pretensions, and begins to build a relationship bridge with your clients.  A simple concept, as simple as two friends having a conversation over cocktails – after working hours of course!


*Bio: Richard Gallitelli brought a wealth of sales and customer-service experience when he came to BurrellesLuce in 2007. His outstanding performance as a sales associate and personalized shopper for Neiman Marcus (he also has worked for Nordstrom) earned him a nomination by Boston magazine as “Best of Boston” sales associate for high-end retail fashion stores. Rich’s talents also won him praise and a profile in the book, “What Customers Like About You: Adding Emotional Value for Service Excellence and Competitive Advantage,” written by best-selling business author Dr. David Freemantle. Rich majored in English Literature at William Paterson University, and is a published poet and short-story writer. Facebook: BurrellesLuce Twitter: BurrellesLuce LinkedIn: BurrellesLuce

PR News 2010 Media Relations Summit: Colleen Wilber, America’s Promise Alliance, interviewed by Johna Burke, BurrellesLuce

Monday, October 11th, 2010

Transcript –

JOHNA BURKE: Hello, this is Johna Burke with BurrellesLuce, and we’re at the PR News Media Relations Summit. I’m here with Colleen.

Colleen, will you please introduce yourself?

COLLEEN WILBER: I’m Colleen Wilber, vice president of media relations at America’s Promise Alliance.

BURKE: And, Colleen, we’re talking about how the media relations has impacted the bottom line of businesses, and you have a great example of that and the attributes that brought to your business and to you as a PR professional. Can you share those?

WILBER: Sure. For the past two and a half years, America’s Promise has been working to raise awareness of the high school dropout crisis in this country. And as a result of that work, we’ve seen nearly 3,000 news stories in print, more than 400 million media impressions. We’ve seen a fivefold increase in news coverage on the high school dropout issue, with nine out of 10 of those stories being directly attributable to America’s Promise Alliance. So not only has that meant an increase of awareness of the actual issue of the high school dropout crisis in this country, it’s meant a lot for our organization. It’s helped to raise our visibility and credibility. It’s helped to increase our partner network so the people who are working with us two and half times–we’ve gone from 150 partners when we started this campaign to close to 450 now. We’ve seen increase in financial support. And we’ve actually seen a big increase in the support in the action on the ground for the work that we’re doing. So it’s meant quite a bit.

BURKE: Great, Colleen. And where can people find you online and in social media?

WILBER: Sure. You can find us online at That’s our website. Check it out. You can see videos about our launch and the work and the media clips. And you can find us at Twitter. Our handle’s @fivepromises. And we’re on Facebook at

BURKE: Great. Thanks so much, Colleen.

WILBER: Thanks.

Managing Media Interviews

Friday, October 8th, 2010

InterviewLast week, I had the pleasure of joining Southwest Missouri PRSA for their annual professional development day.  The great lineup of speakers included retired Lt. Col. Joseph V. Trahan III, Ph.D., APR, Fellow PRSA.  “Doc Joe,” a self-described Cajun, has conducted hundreds of media training classes over his 30+ years for government agencies, law enforcement, higher education and non-profits.  His background is so extensive that if I went further, it could easily take up more space than this post itself!

Keeping in mind that his seminars are typically 1-2 days, what follows is only a handful of “key” takeaways.

The three C’s of media relations…
According to Doc Joe, the three “C’s” of media relations, especially when responding to the media, are:

  • Control: He says, “If you put a microphone in my face, it’s MINE!”
  • Competence: Clear, honest, simple information. No speculation.
  • Concern: For example,“Mayor Giuliani showed concern on 9/11. For a brief shining moment we were all New Yorkers.”

For any media interview, you must be prepared. No excuses.
Research the reporter’s questions, your own questions, and breakdown the elements of the news. “Be the devil’s advocate,” says Doc Joe, when thinking about what questions may be asked and how the media may respond.  He advises to spend one hour of prep time for every minute of air time. If it’s a 3-7 minute standup, that means up to seven hours of prep time. When developing your responses, be sure to use “command messages” (aka talking points), statements/info that you work into responses that explain position, and be consistent with them.  He also provided 10 examples of “bridging” connector phrases

Take advantage of the off-camera time to meet and greet.
Correct any misinformation.  Provide a starting point (hook).  Be sure to explain any restrictions.  Doc Joe calls these SAPP:

  • Security
  • Accuracy
  • Propriety
  • Policy

 Ready for the Interview? 
Open with a 24-40 second summary – who, what, when, where and what we’re doing about it. Listen, pause, think, then talk, when responding to media. And never repeat a negative question. Remember:

  • Each statement you make should be able to stand alone.
  • “Listen for understanding and comprehension, not to await your turn to speak.” (One of my key takeaways here.)
  • Tell the truth and stick to the facts. Talk only about what you know. 

“Know your audience; visualize them; the reporter is a channel to the audience” ~Dr. Joe Trahan

Non-verbal cues during the interview are extremely important also.  So, look at the reporter, not the camera. Remain calm, but if you “choke,” ask to try it again (if it’s not a live interview, of course).  Credibility and believability are critical for the interview to be a success.

Post-Interview Best Practices
Doc Joe says, after the interview, it’s okay to ask when it will air, but avoid asking for copies – you can get it later from the station or from you media monitoring service.  The only real reason to get back to the reporter is if you owe him answers or if he has bona fide accuracy issues.

How do you manage your media interviews? Do you agree with these points? What would you add? Please share your thoughts with me and the readers of BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas.