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Featured Video Blog Interviews

VLOG of the Month: Media Takes “Hands Off” Approach to FTC Native Advertising Compliance According to D S Simon Report


SPOKEies™ University with Tiffany Guarnaccia

Doug Simon, Founder of The SPOKEies™ and influencer marketing firm D S Simon Media, had the chance to speak with Tiffany Guarnaccia, Founder of Communications Week and CEO of Kite Hill PR. Tiffany offered some of her best tips for spokespeople and highlighted the importance of authenticity and trust in communications.

Key Quotes:

“Whether it’s a positive message, an exciting time for the company– like a product launch or a new division that’s merging into the company– or if it’s something that’s a crisis communications time for the company, you really want to have that consistency of message overall.”

“Communications Week is something that really celebrates everything that’s happening in the world of public relations, media, and marketing. It was created for those not only in the PR industry but folks who are interested in PR. People who might be investing in public relations firms, a startup founder who needs to understand a bit more about DIY PR.”

SPOKEies™ University with Neil Foote

Neil Foote, CEO of Foote Communications, UNT Professor and President of National Black Public Relations Society, spoke with Doug Simon, Founder of The SPOKEies™ and D S Simon Media via Skype offering his best practices for brand and non-profit spokespeople. He also offered strategies for positioning your spokesperson in the best light while pitching your story.

Key Quotes:

“There’s an entire universe of reporters, journalists in earmarks, and bloggers who will listen to every keyword that you make and take everything that you say and potentially position it in context or out of context… we want to make sure that we’re understanding what are some of the conversations going on.”

“These awards are right on time at a time we need to recognize those who are doing great work, those who are sharing great stories, those who are representing their brands in many different ways under in some cases very difficult circumstances.”

SPOKEies™ University with Silvia Davi

Silvia Davi, Chief Communications Officer for Equities.com stopped by the D S Simon Media studio to discuss spokesperson best practices with Doug Simon, CEO of D S Simon Media and Founder of The SPOKEies™. Silvia offers her top three tips for being an effective spokesperson and the importance of establishing leaders of emerging growth companies as influencers.

Key Quotes: 

“Most importantly, understand and know your core messages. Never have more than three. But be very well-versed in your key organizational messages.”

“I think it’s very important to not only make statements, but to have supporting facts or statistics or anecdotes that will make you a credible spokesperson.”

SPOKEies™ University with Keith Trivitt

Keith Trivitt, Vice President of Corporate Communications at AXIS Capital stopped by the D S Simon Media studios to offer his spokesperson best practices with Doug Simon, CEO of D S Simon Media and Founder of The SPOKEies™. Keith also touched on potential pitfalls for spokespeople to avoid when navigating the media landscape.

Key Quotes: 

“Your job is to be a consistent advocate on behalf of your organization, but also to do so in a way that is effective to the different audiences.”

“It comes down to reputation. A really strong, consistent, credible spokesperson is going to increase that value and reputation of the business. And ultimately, that’s going to come back to the bottom line.”

Turn Your Experts Into Influencers

An organization with an influential leader has a direct line to the public, and an undeniable competitive advantage. Think Mark Zuckerberg, Elon Musk… when they speak, everyone’s listening. But who’s listening to your experts?  If you’ve tried to increase their visibility on broadcast, online, or social media, you’ve probably found that most doors are closed. We can help you open them.


Influencer Media Tours turn your leaders into influencers in just a few short hours. An Influencer Media Tour gets you 25 interviews on television, radio, and online media featuring your leaders. The interviews are conducted in a five-hour block from your headquarters or a comfortable studio at a convenient location. And our award-winning producers know just how to prepare your leaders to make an impact. Give your best and brightest the boost they need to reach a broader audience and grow your brand.

Authentcity in Leadership and the Importance of mentoring with David Albritton of General Motors

D S Simon Media CEO, Doug Simon had the opportunity to speak with David Albritton, Executive Director of Global Product Development Communications for General Motors at the Celebrating Black PR History panel event at the Museum of Public Relations. David offered his thoughts on the importance of authenticity in leadership communications as well as the integral role that mentoring plays in nurturing a new generation of PR professionals.

David Albritton’s VlogViews:

“People have to believe what they’re hearing out of your mouth. It’s not only your employees, it’s your consumers, it’s everybody that engages you. So being authentic, being true to your brand, true to your ethos and just being true to the product and services that you’re providing.”

“I learn as much from the people that I mentor as I hope they learn from me. Because they are experiencing different things and are on different paths in their career that maybe I have not experienced. I can carry that forward.”

Where United Went Wrong: Doug Simon Gives His Take On Their PR Nightmare

United Airlines has come under intense scrutiny after a video showing a passenger being violently dragged out of a United flight by police went viral. In the aftermath of the video, United Airlines CEO, Oscar Munoz, made a series of public relations missteps in handling the crisis. Doug Simon, Founder and CEO of D S Simon Media, gives his take on how the situation could have been handled differently.

Doug Simon’s VlogViews: 

“United’s problem started operationally. They didn’t have an overbooking plan when people were already on the plane. United, notoriously, has had a poor relationship with employees. From his letter to employees, Munoz clearly was thinking of them not the public. That doesn’t work anymore.”

“PR Week mistakenly honored business success not communications success when they named Munoz “Communicator of the Year.” This is clear in Editor-in-Chief Steve Barrett’s opinion piece on the debacle: http://bit.ly/2omXNQS Based on Munoz’s internal memo, regardless of his success in business, it’s doubtful his credentials as a communicator and as a human being capable of empathy were ever impeccable.”

D S Simon Media Launches Influencer Marketing Division

D S Simon Media is taking a new approach to Influencer Marketing. The goal is to turn an organization’s leaders and experts into Influencers.  Here’s how PR Week covered it (subscription required). The new division has key partnerships with, Equities.com, House Party Inc.LookSmart and DGTL ADVISORS. We work with Influencers to engage with your experts as media bringing your spokespeople to their followers and audiences without the risk. By acting as media, the influencers we connect with help amplify your internal spokesperson’s profile and by association build your brand.


Proprietary research of in-house communications teams found they were more than twice as likely to be satisfied with the ability of their in-house experts to help earn media compared with third-party spokespeople. They were four times more likely to be very satisfied with the performance of in-house experts. But they also said it’s harder than ever to earn media with their experts.

This new division at D S Simon Media will fill the void. It relies on video to significantly raise the profile of an organization’s leadership to accomplish business objectives. Service offerings in the space include Influencer Media Tours, Influencer Media Packages, Influencer Video Series and Influencer Junkets.

To read the full Press Release click here.

Highlights from the Facebook Leadership Communications Summit by Ragan Communications

D S Simon Media’s very own Kristina Doytchinova formerly of ABC News caught up with Mark Ragan, CEO of Ragan Communications, at the Ragan Communications Facebook Leadership Communications Summit. They discussed the importance of turning your senior leaders into influencers, the qualities of a good corporate spokesperson and the importance of using video in executive communications. Check out the video below as well as some of Kristina’s key takeaways from the summit:

Five Key Takeaways from the Facebook Leadership Communications Summit by Kristina Doytchinova: 

  • Live video is revolutionizing leadership communications and offers senior leaders the ability  to connect with their followers in an immediate and impactful way
  • Authenticity is key for senior leaders and CEOs when communicating on social media
  • Social leadership communications is not just about external audiences, it’s an important way to communicate with employees as well
  • Having an online presence makes organizations and their leaders seem more trustworthy and open
  • Your senior leaders are more authentic and knowledgeable than third-party spokespeople

Check Point Software and Toys ‘R Us Influencers: Why we use in-house spokespeople

Leading IT security firm Check Point Software and top retailer Toys ‘R Us decided to stay in-house when choosing a spokesperson for their Influencer Media Tours. Here’s why:

Michael Shaulov, a Senior Executive at Check Point Software said, “We are in the ecosystem day and night. When we talk about these topics we are more credible then someone you might bring from the outside because we can bring real examples that we’ve experienced.”

Nicole Hayes, a Spokesmom from Toys ‘R Us said, “We truly value what we do in bringing our expert toy opinions to the media so you get that inside look and that true inside opinion from us directly.”