The President Meets The Press

On the day of the “fiscal cliff/sequestration” deadline, President Obama chose to give a lengthy interview on Meet The Press with David Gregory.  One of the key features of Modern Publicity is timing.  This is a perfect example of the use of timing to send a message, generate buzz and shape public opinion.Meet the Press

 

 

 

 

 

For the rest of the day and beyond, Democratic and Republican Party spokespersons repeated the talking points on the amazingly insatiable cable news message machines as part of a premeditated, coordinated legislative battle plan.  Truth be told, we’re also  part of the game – especially the “most likely” (to vote) independent voters – who politicians seek to charm as if they’re all lonely girls at final call.

A fascinating read is the Meet The Press LiveBlog – essentially an NBC White House Reporters’ RSS feed.  Anyone (you don’t have to be a highly-paid network news blogger) can set up the same feed up by using #MTP Twitter search and following these personalities:

  • @davidgregory is David’s personal account.
  • @meetthepress is the show account. Follow for video, insights, behind the scenes photos, more.
  • @betsymtp is executive producer Betsy Fischer’s personal account.
  • @AdamVerdugo is senior producer Adam Verdugo”s personal account.
  • @MTPGuest is our account to send out the latest Sunday guest info.

Read the Press Pass Blog for an excellent comprehensive recap. I prefer Facebook comments; lots of good give-and-take.  The best roundtable comment for publicists was made by presidential historian and author Jon Mechem who reminded us of two key leadership communications venues: wholesale and retail.  This Meet The Press appearance is Obama selling ideas wholesale, appealing to the American People as a mass market (3.5 million influential viewers).  Mechem – and others – points out that President Obama notoriously forgets the retail communications needs, to make person-to-person contact.  Phone, text, skype, visit, etc.

Not surprisingly  this is PR advice we give to many clients. Integrated communications is both wholesale and retail.  Often, companies and personalities habitually rest on their advertising and marketing budgets rather than leveraging their personal power to not simply pursued, but to inspire.  And that’s precisely why integrating social media and video with our publicity and marketing campaigns is so powerful. It gives us the ability to interact, to discuss, to communicate on a retail level – to network, chat, shmooze.  Modern Publicity views technology as a tool to establish greater intimacy and client loyalty.

Rather than analyzing the entire interview transcript (Looked up “shambolic“), I simply jotted down the presidential statements that jumped out at me.  Please note how simple, yet powerful, each phrase is.  These are Obama all quotes:

“The pressure is on Congress to produce”

“up or down vote”

“dysfunction in Washington”

“$2 of spending cuts for every $1 of increased revenue”

“[the American people] made a clear decision”

“overriding unifying theme”

“[the fallacy that] deficit reduction is only about cutting”

“a balanced approach”

“shared sacrifice”

 

YouTube + WordPress

One of the most powerful ways to communicate is by using YouTube videos embedded into blog posts.  The process is simple.  Record the video.  Upload it to YouTube.  Copy the YouTube video URL into the wordpress blog post (without a hyperlink).  The result is a YouTube video embedded into your blog post.

Seven Publicity Tricks

Any business can generate publicity for themselves.  It takes creativity, diplomacy and patience.  It not “who you know” it’s “how you say it” that makes the difference.
We’ve included seven go-to publicity tips to help with the creativity.  These are very common business story angles that journalists look for when deciding what to report.  So, what does diplomacy and patience have to do with publicity?
It is very easy for us to get caught up in our own enthusiasm for our business.  This is a good thing.  Reporters like enthusiasm and passion.  In fact, if our clients aren’t passionate about what they do and how they do it, we don’t take the account.  Passion is key – if it’s combined with diplomacy.
Journalists are very busy workers.  They are under a tremendous amount of pressure from their editors and producers to generate compelling, newsworthy stories.  Moreover, they have dozens, perhaps hundreds, of story pitches and press releases being thrown their way by passionate advocates for their own cause.  Some of the people contacting them are more aggressive than others.   Diplomacy can help you rise to the top compared to amateurs who can become pushy when a journalist doesn’t call them back much less cover their story. Yes, it can be frustrating, but it’s all part of the process.  Be diplomatic.
Often, a journalist will be able to fit your story in later – not now.  So you also have to be patient and continue to feed the journalists story ideas month after month.  Soon enough – one will be the right topic at the right time.  This is why it’s important to be consistent with your publicity over time.  Help the journalist write about you when they have a demand for a story, not when you have a demand for a story to be written.
Here are some ideas:
  1. Be the first, newest, oldest, biggest, smallest, etc. and explain why this is important.
  2. Introduce something new or improved and focus on key benefits or problems it solves.
  3. Announce anniversaries and stage a special event to celebrate.
  4. Announce a new member of your team and how they will change the way you do business.
  5. Win an award. Of course, you have to find them and apply, but third-party recognition are great tools.
  6. Announce a new major client – the bigger the better. Another third-party endorsement.
  7. Offer to be an expert on a specific topic or event. Journalists always need quotes from experts. Help them out and they’ll put you in an article.

Seven Social Media Tips For Local Government

Increasing Constituent Satisfaction and

Citizen Involvement

 Step 1: Understand how the agency is being portrayed in social media.

A person, business or institution does not have to be an active user of social media to have a social media presence.  People online are already talking about you – the good, the bad and the ugly.  Moreover, for a public agency, there are important topics and issues that are being addressed in social media that government can have a positive role if it is aware of online public sentiment.  So, the first step to engaging in social media is to listen to cyberspace and analyze what is happening.  Continue reading “Seven Social Media Tips For Local Government”

Creating the right message

Emergency "Twitter was down so I wrote my...
Image via Wikipedia

I am creating a powerpoint tool to walk my clients through the social media message-making process.  If you can relax for just three minutes – long enough to read this post – I’ll let you know what it does:

I am a publicist. In my world, the message rules. The technology (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Flicker, YouTube, Google Analytics) is simply a tool to serve the message. Knowing about all the technical bells and whistles has as much to do with social networking as sports announcers spouting box scores have to do with winning the baseball game.  In sports, it’s the athletes.  In publicity, it’s the message.

Everything starts by defining your online ‘voice.’  The voice must be simple, direct and transparent. This is true of all effective publicity.

“I’ll be back.”

“Heeeeeare’s Johnny!”

“What ju talken’ ’bout, Willis?”

Technology is fantastic. I listen to Irish radio live on my phone. As you know, the Irish are known for their wonderful word smithing. This morning, a news columnist who wanted desperately to keep a specific area – a remote peninsula jutting into the wild Atlantic Ocean – preserved as-is was interviewed. Her key message: “above all, no cars.” Simple, direct, transparent. Common sense, really.

Irish coast
Image by K2D2vaca via Flickr

She did not focus on the people and interests who want the area developed for tourism. She didn’t counter complex arguments about jobs, the economic development, politics, the environment, etc. making it a point; counter-point debate. Instead, she characterized the place as “shutting the door behind you” to enter a world of silence away from the noise of the modern world. “If you like silence, this place must be preserved. That means no cars.” No cars. That’s her catch-phrase, her mission, her message. Our job is to develop the same message simplicity for you, too.

What is your “no cars” catch-phrase? Let’s find it and use it. Remember, the message rules!

First, we need you to express your voice effortlessly in a simple of manner. Then, we add volume, lots and lots of volume. The real difficulty is keeping the transparency (honesty/authenticity).  That is the first place most social media campaigns fail.

Your friends and fans, prospects and clients,  strangers and nair-do-wells don’t want to read what your ad agency says you should say.  Nope.  They want to hear your voice. They want to know, “Hey, YOU – Cars? No cars? What do YOU think? Oh, you’re in business, too? Cool. My sister needs two of everything you got.”

I solve the challenge of transparency by asking you up front to define the following:

  1. What are the three things professionally you do better than anyone else? [What makes you uniquely qualified? What is your niche in the marketplace?]
  2. What are the three biggest problems your best clients need solved?
  3. What are the three biggest problems you solve for clients best?

We use your own answers to craft three very simple general messages that reflect the values you and your little township of prospects and clients have in common. Those messages are then translated into posts using a variety of grammatical devices such as analogies, similes, examples, etc.

The posts are then linked to either your web page, your blog or something else. The idea is to:

A) Always offer genuine value

B) Be a good (social networking) neighbor

C) Engage your fans!

Every post has a link.  Every post is written to offer genuine value.  Every post reflects the values and priorities you have in common with your clients.

Once we have your voice defined, here’s what I do:

  • Distribute your key messages cleanly using LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.
  • Generate up to one post-per-hour (8/day – 56/wk) (can be pre-approved)
  • Create a conversational mix with about 1/5th being direct sales-oriented and the rest being your key messages (see fb page as example).

Beyond, this, as we drill down, we customize to include key words (SEO), web site landing page copy, blog posts, etc. within a comprehensive/holistic communications strategy. But it all revolves around the message – your key messages.

Why not do SEO and web copy first?  Why not post funny quotes and links to your site? Why not write a blog about your business.  Why not?  Because the message rules! We get the message nailed first.  From a compelling, pithy message, all things are possible.  In other words, Is Féidir Linn!”  Si se Puede!  Yes We Can!

Si Se Puede