PR’s Top Pros Talk – Matt Kucharski



Organizations need to get out of the “going back to normal” mentality. Matt shares findings of his team’s ethnography study that tries to understand how the mindset of executives is changing and evolving as a result of COVID-19 and racial unrest. The role of strategic communicators is increasingly becoming more important when it comes to giving advice on not only what to say during these challenging times, but what to do.

 
Matt also suggests that organizations be honest with their stakeholders and communicate with them, leveraging media, even if they don’t have all the answers. It is essential to acknowledge the issues that we are facing and actively cultivate change.

Media Guide for PR Pros – Episode 6: Viewing Impressions of Local TV Are Increasing

A recent report by TVB shows that local TV news viewership is up 162% among 18-34 year olds. What are PR professionals saying about the shifting local TV landscape?

 

61% were surprised that a high percentage of journalists is interested in interviewing brand executives.
More than 80% said that COVID-19 made it more important to get organization leaders and CEOs featured on television, with 52% increasing their efforts in trying to realize this goal.
Only 37% felt that they were technically prepared to make sure their leaders looked and sounded their best.

 
It is more important than ever for PR professionals to recognize the importance of leveraging local TV news and presenting organization leaders in the best way.
 

Need some help getting ready for an interview? D S Simon Media is providing free tech checks to help make sure spokespeople deliver the best audio and video quality for their next TV interview. Contact Doug Simon, dougs@dssimonmedia.com to schedule.

PR’s Top Pros Talk – Olga Fleming



Communities are stronger than ever. Olga encourages communicators to really take the time and understand what their communities are going through to convey  authentic messaging and show empathy.

 
She also stresses the importance of taking care of your employees first and then informing your customers on how you’re navigating the new environment on the channels that your audiences engage with. When it comes to social justice, staying silent Is no longer an option. Brands need to define what steps they are taking in the fight for social justice.

PR’s Top Pros Talk COVID – Marvin Stockwell



Marvin reminds us that this is the whole world’s crisis and we all have a role to play. This is a time for brands and non-profits to be flexible and give themselves permission to try new things. He encourages organizations to use television and media to convey how they are being helpful and useful during these challenging times.

Marvin also emphasizes the uptick in the interest and demand in science-related stories among the media. Audiences want to hear these stories now more than ever.

PR’s Top Pros Talk COVID – Gil Bashe



Transparency + Timeliness = Trust. This equation is crucial for businesses and communicators as they transform due to the accelerated change brought on by COVID. Will these changes be permanent? Gil shares his take for communicators and shares insight into the tidal wave of change within our healthcare system.

He also addresses the importance of getting your leadership communicating effectively through the media during these troubled times.

PR’s Top Pros Talk COVID – Tamara Norman



Employees are your number one stakeholder. Companies need to be empathetic and responsive to their employee needs now more than ever. During these times communicators really need to understand what their audiences care about and what’s important to them. This way communicators can adapt their strategy to reach the audiences effectively. Tamara’s suggestions include leveraging media and TV to go the stakeholders directly, be transparent and show what your response is to the new norm.

She also stresses the importance of maintaining diversity and educating the workforce on inclusion, even as we move into a virtual office environment.

PR’s Top Pros Talk COVID – Michael Kempner

The actions brands take today will have significant impact on how they perform during the next phase of the COVID economy. Those are among the key findings of a consumer study recently published by MWWPR. In his conversation with Doug Simon, CEO of D S Simon Media, Michael shares how brands can show leadership to stakeholders including customers and employees during this challenging time.

 

 

PR’s Top Pros Talk COVID – Lisa Ross

Lisa emphasizes the importance of taking action in this moment – especially regarding the dramatic effects of COVID-19 on historically-marginalized communities. She notes the responsibility for brands to be serving and solving, rather than selling. And she notes that, despite low marks for all four institutions studied in Edelman’s Trust Barometer in January, the pandemic offers government, business, nonprofits and the media a chance to rebuild trust with their actions.

Check out Lisa’s most recent research piece.

PR’s Top Pros Talk COVID – Jim Joseph

It’s time to rethink your value as a brand. Brands need to seek new ways to offer value that goes beyond products and services. In his discussion with Doug Simon, CEO at D S Simon Media, Jim Joseph also encourages to listen closely to why customers are making the decisions they are–the subject of his new book The Conscious Marketer.

It’s also more important now to make appearances in the media and inform the public on the changes you’re making to ensure public safety and how they’re taking care of their employees during these times.

COVID-19 Media Guide for PR Pros – Episode 5: Tips for “At Home” TV Interviews

So, you’ve landed your client or senior leader an interview opportunity on a major outlet. You want to make sure they’ll look and sound their best in this era of Skype, Zoom and Cisco Webex interviews. While audiences have quickly gotten used to cable news interviews from home environments, the better the picture and sound quality, the more effective your message. In this issue of COVID-19 Media Guide for PR Pros, we provide you with tips on:

 

Video Set Up

Position the camera at eye level or slightly above to give you the most complimentary appearance. We’ve found Zoom provides the best video quality and is easiest to use.
Make sure the device and program you use can send the signal in landscape 16 x 9 mode. Note: Using Zoom on an iPhone will not send in full 16 x 9 so that is not ideal.
Frame the shot just slightly above your head to your belly button or slightly above. This allows the station to crop out your name and other information that appears on the bottom of your screen that shouldn’t be broadcast.

 

Lighting and Your Appearance

The best option is to be in a room that is evenly lit.
If you add light, it should be in front of you and above you. If it’s too bright push it further from you.
Avoid a window in the background as it causes a light imbalance during the day and reflections at night.
Avoid shooting against a flat wall. Shooting in corners gives the shot more depth.
Wear solid colors. Their transmission takes up less bandwidth than busy patterns.
If you don’t use make up, wash your face with a non-abrasive soap beforehand and pat it dry. Dab your face with a tissue beforehand to absorb oils.

 

Audio

It’s best to use in ear headsets to limit audio feedback from a speaker and deliver the best audio quality as the microphone is near you.
Wireless ear buds eliminate the visual of wires in front of you.
If you don’t have wireless ear buds, a headphone extension cord will allow you to run the wires behind you for a better visual. Consider using masking tape to tape the wires to your clothing behind you so it won’t fall out during the interview.
Identify a quiet place in your home to broadcast from. Notify others in your home to keep sounds down and not interrupt you.

 

Make Sure You Do This

Look at the camera! It seems easy but we frequently look at the other images on screen instead of the camera. Use a Post-it note or tape to point to, and focus your attention directly on, the camera.
Test everything in advance. Do a practice interview using the spokesperson’s set-up to make sure you check all best practices.
Turn off notifications on whatever device you are using so it doesn’t interrupt the conversation
Have your PR team connect with the spokesperson to provide tips up until the interview starts, if needed

 

Need some help getting ready for an interview? D S Simon Media is providing free tech checks to help make sure spokespeople deliver the best audio and video quality for their next TV interview. Contact Doug Simon, dougs@dssimonmedia.com to schedule.