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spokesperson

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How to have a hugely successful PR campaign

Seth Godin blogged about it today.  One option is to struggle to be heard whenever you're in the room... Another is to be the sort of person who is missed when you're not.

The first involves making noise. The second involves making a difference.

And so it is with succssful public relations. We take the unusual step of saying to our clients (either during a pitch or after it is successful won) that frankly we don't care how many press releases we are asked to distribute.  All too many agencies seem to want to calculate their retainer or projects based on the number of press releases.  This doesn't make sense to us.  So long as each and every press release is newsworthy and relevant we don't mind working on one a day.  

Off course I've yet to meet a client that had that many newsworth releases... in fact back in 1999 I was speaking to a journalist who was compaining to me that Microsoft sent them a press release every two days.  They actually didn't care that the releases were every two days (they were allready clearing 100+ emails from their email of usless pitches), but they did care that 99% were irrelivent to the title they wrote on.  Of course it wasn't Micorsoft's fault - just the agency at the time that wanted to spam all journalists.

Successful PR campaigns and to add to that - campaigns with longevity - require a spokesperson that makes a difference - or to put it another way, one that will be missed if they are not commenting.

How is your spokesperson doing?

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Who are the key decision makers and are the spokes people media trained?

Every company has a organizational chart - a ladder of power, but how this structure functions during a crisis must be clarified with all the stakeholders in the company; particularly the communications department. A crisis can hit at any time, and the company needs to determine secondary command structures in case key decision-makers are unavailable at the time.

Not only is it important for those to know who need to spring to action (and how those people are contacted) - it is equally important that everyone else in the organization knows they can not speak on behalf of the company or to the press. Something that is best handled in a company employee handbook.

Organizations also need to decide which situations warrant which spokes person, and plan accordingly.

Most importantly, the spokes people need to be media trained in advance. Effective spokes people should receive professional media training and should be well versed on how to deal with the press. An organization's spokes person need not necessarily be the most senior staffers. For example, in some cases, the CEO is not the most efficient spokes person due to experience, knowledge or geographical location.

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Media Training 101

Why should you have media training?
What will it take to be a successful spokesperson?

All you need to know about media training in under 2 minutes...

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