Monday, January 28, 2013

Frequently Asked Questions

I’ve met a few people who’ve said they have visited this blog for background before we met. That said, some questions have come up in some of these meetings that I thought are worthy of addressing here.  From time to time, I’ll include some of these kinds of questions and some responses.  Here are three “Frequently Asked Questions:”

1.       Do you have media contacts in my industry?

Over the years, I’ve developed many media contacts, but the industry is very transient, and in today’s operating environment, downsizings occur far too frequently.  Good public relations requires good relationships with the media, but that is not as important as knowing how to navigate news rooms and how to present a good, newsworthy story idea to editors, whether you have known them or not. I’ve followed a process that’s time-tested and true.  Think like a reporter and put yourself in his or her shoes when that reporter has to convince an editor to spare the appropriate resources and time to develop the story.  Answer the questions: “Why is it important, and why do it now?”

2.       What experience do you have in my industry?

My focus is corporate communications, which covers a broad range of industries.  I have experience in professional services, financial services, manufacturing, technology, life sciences, biotechnology, professional sports and several other industries.  Like the answer above  about media contacts, I’ve found that having specific industry experience is less important than having the right experience with the communications issues involved, be it a crisis, an employee communications or investor relations issue, or whether it’s marketing communications.  I have listed some key industries on my Web site that provide some background on industries served.  You can always call, and I’d be glad to candidly discuss any questions you may have on industry experience.

3.       What do I (the client) have to do?

PR always works best when the client is engaged. That means involved from the standpoint of serving as an internal subject matter expert for the development of content, and by being accessible when called upon to serve as a spokesperson to the media and other constituencies.  The more involved you are in the public relations effort, the better the outcome.

Those are three questions I hear quite often.  Just let me know if you have any questions.  

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