Nope. Buzz will now call it the “Eric Clapton response.” When the topic of crisis communications comes up, the confident exec extends a fist and calmly knocks on the (wooden) conference room table, saying something along the lines of “we’re in good shape there and really don’t need a crisis plan, but let’s talk about your publicity services.” This was the second time in the span of a week Buzz has heard this response.
Yikes! That means when the crisis does occur (and, yes, all companies experience at least one unplanned situation at one point or another in their lifetimes) Buzz will be called upon for his expertise, but without a plan in place. Talk about expensive!
One more piece of advice from the Clapton song, “Knock on Wood.” Here’s the first line:
“I don’t want to lose this good thing that I’ve got. If I do, I would surely, surely lose a lot…”
Eerie, isn’t it?
In my experience as a newspaper reporter, the best quotes came outside the boundaries of the “formal” interview. On the record whether they realized it or not, my interviewees were more relaxed and able to provide good material while waiting for the PR assistant to show up, or walking to the elevator when the interview was over.
This is a time-tested media technique we now call the “awkward silence.” You’ve answered a question, the reporter looks down at his or her notepad, but the next question doesn’t appear to be coming. Seconds feel like days, so you decide to break the silence. That’s when you’ll likely go off track and make a statement that doesn’t quite fit your plans for the story.
If you answered the question, you answered the question. No need to dilute it just to fill space, so part of your media training should include recognizing and knowing how to deal with this tactic. Better to stumble in your conference room during a private media training session vs. when the cameras are rolling.
One of my favorite blogs, “You Don’t Say,” by Sun copy desk chief John E. McIntyre, offers a preview of worn-out holiday cliches that editors and reporters – and press release writers – will be tempted to use in the coming weeks.
If you’re thinking of leading off your piece with “‘Tis the Season…” or “Yes, Virginia,” John has a news flash for you: we’ve seen it already. Same goes for “white stuff” (are you listening, AMS certified meteorologists?), “Christmas came early…” for good news stories and references to “The Grinch” in stories about holiday thefts. It’s a list worth reading (and checking twice).
Image: George Eastman Hous
BALTIMORE, Md. (December 3, 2012) — Susan J. Anthony, partner, Baltimore PR firm Sawmill Marketing Public Relations, has been elected to the Northern Baltimore County Arts Foundation (NBCAF) Board, established in 2006 to promote arts awareness and education in northern Baltimore County as well as to financially support an arts scholarship program for area high school students.
“I’m delighted to be involved with the NBCAF and to help them move their important mission forward,” Anthony said. “I hope to increase the Foundation’s awareness among other arts/cultural organizations through introductions and similar activities as a strategy to accelerate its growth.”
NBCAF key fundraising activities include the annual Dinner with the Artists and the Gunpowder River Artfest held each June.