Friday, February 17, 2017
The one person you don't want scratching a head and wondering what's just happened is a member of the press.
Although I am far from an expert on crisis communications, I do know a thing or two about communicating with members of the press and how to handle a call from a reporter. That call may be in search of your perspective or information about your company (or client, if you are in PR) as it relates to a particular issue in your field or in your community. Or, it could be in response to a negative matter your business was embroiled in for one reason or another. Either way, keep your head on straight, keep your cool, and like the stalwart Joe Friday of "Dragnet" fame, deliver just the facts.
Appoint the right spokesperson
This should (must) be someone who is very articulate, fluid with public speaking, and who thinks on his or her feet. It's important that this person have a nimble mind and stay a step ahead of anticipated conversation or be able to respond quickly (and well) to a question or comment. If the CEO, COO or president is not a great speaker or not necessarily the person the journalist is trying to reach, your marketing manager, community liaison coordinator, or public relations officer is the one to take the call. It needs to be someone who can ...
That's not to say you should be robotic, but communicating with a journalist is not the time to get emotional. This person is writing a story and is requesting your input, not your hysteria or gloominess. Journalists are seeking facts for their stories and dispassionate discourse is a great way to get your point across. You can be friendly and conversational but stay on guard as well. This speaks to the importance of ...
Know your talking points
Be like a Scout and be very prepared in advance with your talking points. Write them down, rehearse them if you need to. Whether you are discussing the positives about your company or organization or the organization's viewpoint about a particular issue, be very clear, concise, and on message. Know your mission statement, think about the "About Us" page on your website and what it says about your company or agency, and know the stance on the issue at hand. If your organization was involved in some way and it was a positive participation, be proud of it and state why. If there was a misstep of any kind, acknowledge it, apologize, and move on with positive points because ...
This is your chance to get free press
And you don't want to blow it! This is an opportunity to show your organization in a good light with the public, stakeholders, or employees. Even one positive quote in a long story is a good thing ... and many times better than one negative quote anywhere! This is also an opportunity to start developing a relationship with the reporter or writer, who might tap you in the future for comments about a news story, which can position you as an expert in your field (more good press). Being truly helpful to the journalist--by staying calm, delivering your talking points well (in a manner that moves the story along a positive path), and engaging the caller in a way that shows you are a partner and not an adversary, you'll drive good media relations for your brand.
Tuesday, November 1, 2016
Tuesday, June 28, 2016
It’s not just large corporations that use social collaboration tools and content to connect different audiences. Institutions of higher learning are reaching out and communicating with their various stakeholders through different types of content as well.
Students, faculty, staff, alumni and donors … these all represent different audiences for whom content must be tailored. Those colleges that are using content to engage and create stronger community are going to the head of the class.
- Students want to read about what they’ll discover at the school or get information about courses, clubs and schedules; staff needs access to content regarding employee policies and procedures or financials.
- Prospective and current students may want to read the school’s blog on career advice, the advantages of various majors, or learn about successful graduates and their paths to success.
For example, the Fashion Instituteof Design & Merchandising (FIDM) in California had needed to create content and platforms for its various groups to use. Students, staff members, alumni, student prospects all need access to different information and applications (not the enrollment kind).
The college needed solutions that would weave together the thousands of students, employees and others. Three portals are used (one for the public, one for students and alumni, and another for employees), the different programs are related to those specific audiences, but all users have a single point of access to get the content they need and enjoy online collaboration. You can read the full case study of how solutions from IBM helped various stakeholders access the online information and apps they need.
Content for different users: students, faculty and staff
There are many ways to create content geared to the different constituents in a college/university setting—and many reasons to do so. From developing and maintaining a donor base to recruiting new students, content can be a dynamic growth generator. And because the audiences are so diverse across ages in particular, the need to communicate across traditional and digital channels is important. Here are a few ways to bring content marketing into higher education and go to the head of the marketing class.
Articles may be about interesting faculty or alumni, new research or curriculum initiatives, and showcase outstanding students or staff. These stories all engage alumni and can help keep endowments strong and develop the next generation of students there.
For younger students or alums who are accustomed to doing lots of reading online, digital editions make a lot of sense and save money over print versions.
- Another CASE study* (about the use of social media in higher education) found that many school administrators think of email as a legacy medium that is being replaced by texting and other short messaging tools; however, the white paper states that, “When asked to compare email to social media for its success in meeting unit goals, 46 percent of this year’s respondents confirmed that they considered email more effective than some social media channels, and an additional 31 percent rated it over all social media.” [Source: *Social Media Enters the Mainstream: Report on the Use of Social Media in Advancement, 2014 by Jennifer Mack and Michael Stoner
Tuesday, April 5, 2016
That’s because content allows for a productive exchange of feedback. Whether it’s a survey or an article that encourages comments, brands can use the feedback that is elicited to develop customer loyalty programs, employee recognition programs and other activities that engage everyone on both sides of the content (and corporate) fence.
- Content fosters collaboration -- Content is ready-made to get the conversation started. It brings employees and their customers together over common ground; collaboration tools, if employed by your company, keep the conversation going.
- Content fosters social learning -- Users are reading the articles or training materials—and in so doing, they are learning and sharing information.
- Content aligns users around brand goals -- Share blog posts and newsletter content that promotes a brand with employees and/or customers; encourage them to comment and exchange opinions (moderated, of course) about the shared content.
- Content creates data -- By curating shared content generated by employees—blogs, social posts, newsletters—a company can develop a content database that can help brands provide better service or expand their product lines.