2014 PRSA Southeast District Conference Session Notes

Session notes will be added as they are available. If something you’re looking for is not here, please check back at a later date. Thank you!


Philip Tate & Judi Wax

How LGA helped move National Gypsum from commodity to category leader


1. LGA/National Gypsum relationship since 1994

2. B2B approach

3. Shift i strategy to add outreach to homeowners/Do it yourselfers

4. PURPLE trademark on specialty drywall products.

5. First consumer facing campaign in more that 30 years


PURPLE Campaign overview

1. Started with research. Consumers think about projects, not necessarily products. Opportunity to change the drywall category by speaking to consumers

2. Develop an integrated program. DIY Network Blog Cabin sponsorship as platform (on-air and online).

3. Impact of working lunch meetings on campaign and relationship


PURPLE campaign creative brief

1. Target audience

2. Key insights. No awareness among consumers about drywall. How to motivate to care enough to ask about drywall

3. Key benefits


PURPLE key awareness

1. When modeling a home, walls are thought of last.

2. Wall are important, but not all are the same.

3. Using PURPLE drywall will last for a long time

4. In remodeling bathrooms or home, PURPLE lasts

5. A whole new way to look at walls. Go to Askforpurple.com


PURPLE elements

1. Log/tagline “Evolve you walls”

2. Trade prints ads – Different types: Impact resistant, mil due, quiet, helps keep air clean

3. Digital banners

4. TV – Used Anitra Mecadon, TV host mega dens, interior designer. She knows how to hang drywall, loves color, on social media, and eccentric. “Ten tips” on how to hang drywall.

5. Media coverage

6. Digital.

7. Social media – 10,000 likes on Facebook. Communication through Twitter.

8. The work. Challenge: a story that needs to told visually. Four video examples. TV advertisements.


Challenges throughout: Getting consumers to care about drywall and for PURPLE. Putting a face on PURPLE. Educating consumers on PURPLE. Getting people in conversations about PURPLE drywall (used Facebook and Twitter).



1. 20.1 million impressions through TV

2. 10 million through digital banners and pre-roll video

3. 34,000 on website

4. 14,000 view on “where to buy”

5. 10,000 likes on Facebook page


What’s next?

Challenge: Maintaining momentum across multi-year effort to continue driving sales of PURPLE products.



1. Value of integrated approach. Think of all the ways you get the message out beyond the traditional PR .

2. Talk to your target – in this case shift mind shift from B2B to B2C. Remember dealer and drywall contractors are consumers, too.

3. Value of regular working lunch meeting with client. Getting approvals, solving problems, celebrating successes – building the relationship.



Dr. Joe Trahan’s Media Training:

Breakout Group #1

Interviews evaluated in 3 areas:

  1. Credibility: determined by the receiver
  2. Believability: Don’t talk down to people
  3. Accessibility: Are people open or closed? Are you approachable?


Include Bridge Statements. (Recommended statements attached)


At the end, have a STRONG closing statement. It is recommended to end with opening statement.


Anytime someone is in your presence, it is on the record. This is based on personal practice.


It adds to you credibility when you say,” I don’t know.” It shows that you are human.


Express concern for the family of a victim? There is nothing wrong with a condolence message.


Notes about recorded interviews (available on YouTube):


First Interview

  • Credible
  • Very Open
  • Had PASSION- very important to be passionate about your organization. Affects the believability factor
  • Did not touch glasses


Second Interview

  • Courteous, not firm
  • “All of our surgeons are good.”-Bridging statement
  • Maintained a neutral expression. Facial expression should be open when you talk about your organization.


When your CEO is speaking/ being interviewed, make sure he/she gives action to people.


 Powerful Personal Branding

In this economy, no one knows where he or she will end up.


Personal Brand- everyone’s perception of us


“It takes 20 years to build a reputation and 5 minutes to ruin It.” –Warren Buffet


Personal Branding= Job Security. Build it before you need it.


Blogging Tribe- People who come together and agree to read and write on each other’s blogs.


What’s your story?

  • What do people want to “pick you brain for?” This is your zone of genius.
  • Discover your strengths and put them to work—Don’t worry about what you’re not good at


Create a personal mission statement including a mission and vision.


Do your own PR!

  • Put yourself with a winner. Take pics with someone who has won a contest, prize, award, etc.
  • Blog


Important to have a team!


Social media can help you….

  • Showcase your personality
  • Network with peers
  • Differentiate yourself from others
  • Promote your blog
  • Gives you “Google juice”- helps to puts you ahead on Google search results

Tips for impact

  • Be consistent
  • Don’t lose your voice
  • Avoid over sharing
  • Talk back
  • Think before you post


Outside of Web

  • Put your brand on nametag
  • Get quoted
  • Go on local radio shows


Breakout Group #2


When talking to the media:

Answer and Acknowledge

If you know the answer…answer. If you don’t…say so and then find out.

Bridge to…..

Think in 3’s

–       3 things you want people to walk away with from your interview.

Answer the five W’s of journalism: Who, what, when, where, and why

Give the command message.

Then STOP!

When being interviewed:

–       Make sure it is the right person and the right message

  • Must be credible, believable, and accessible

–       Do not seem cheesy or try to force anything.

–       Never leave interview without having said the last word.

–       Nerves are normal. “If you’re not nervous, you’re dead.”

–       Stay calm and make eye contact.

–       Craft your specific messages and know your audience.



Michelle Boudin

Help me help you: How to work better with journalists


Michelle Boudin is a T.V. journalist for NBC Charlotte and a writer for People magazine.  In the beginning of her speech she threw out condoms in tin cans to the audience. This was an attention getter to promote a gynecologist that wants to promote safe sex for women. “They say you have 30 seconds to grab someone’s attention, but today with people watching T.V. with phones and Ipads in their hand you only have three seconds.” News reporters have a very busy schedule and don’t have time to read every e-mail. When sending a press release to a journalist write a short description of the story in the email and attach the media kit. The subject line in the e-mail matters, so make sure it will grab the journalist’s attention otherwise they won’t even open it.

Having the right story is everything you must make sure it’s newsworthy. When pitching the story think outside of the box, what kind of media value does the story have rather than what it can do for your client? A good story is about people and emotion. You should personalize your pitch, read the reporters specialties and watch bylines. “Twitter stalk to see what I talk about and what kind of stories I like doing.”  For example Michelle says she often picks up stories that involve animals. After you send your pitch make sure you have access to everything. You must make sure you have access to your client, files, staff, family, everything that might be needed for the story. Reporters have deadlines and only a few hours to get a story together so its important to for them to gain access to the information they might need in a short times notice.  Think about the visuals when writing a press release, how will it look on film or in pictures?  Timing is also important when sending your pitch. Make sure there aren’t any big events happening in the community that day because then the reporter will probably not look at your pitch.  Try to understand the way journalists have to work, most of the time they have to write up the whole story before they can even show it to the editor to get a green light.  Lastly just try to be a pleasant and accommodating P.R. person.


Amanda Mauck

Untangling the Web: Creating a Content Strategy That Works


This session was in a case study style of Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital.

–       Le Bonheur has 2,500 employees, 900 medical staff and opened a new facility in December 2010.

–       The break down within the Communication dept. is Director, Marketing, Publications, Media Relations and Digital (Amanda Mauck is the only employee in this division.)

–       The company had a problem with people just suggesting to “put it online” without any content strategy.

–       Before their strategy, the Le Bonheur website had 1,600 pages of info.

–       It had too broad of an audience (parents).

–       It utilized social media, blogs, fundraising sites and other sites; but each site didn’t talk to each other.

–       Le Bonheur’s communication team devised a 250 page living document as their content strategy.

A content strategy: Defines how you’re going to use content to meet your business goals and satisfy your users’ needs. Guides decisions about content through its life cycle- from discovery to deletion. Sets benchmarks against which to measure the success of your content.

–       In 2011, Le Bonheur had a major paradigm shift when they engaged with Brain Traffic. The team began to develop the implementation plan in Feb. 2012. They began phase one from March to Dec. 2012.

Research: Listen to your users. Dive into your analytics. Review your business objectives. Discover what makes your brand unique. Learn from the best in class in your industry.

–       “Google analytics is probably the best PR tool to understand who your consumers are.” Amanda Mauck

–       After research, the team found that the “About Us” was a throw away section. (Only 32% of website viewers clicked the link and it was the first on the navigation).

–       They found their primary audience were parents of children with a serious medical issue. They could laser focus their content to appeal directly to this audience having this research in mind.

–       They had to consider the types of technology the audience are using to search their company (desktop, laptop, phone, tablet).

–       Their primary purpose was to demonstrate why Le Bonheur is the best choice for children and their families.

Define the strategy: Structural changescontent guidelinesworkflow and governance.

Structural changes: Information architecture is key. How will you structure the navigation bar? What order will you put headers in?

Content guidelines: Develop writing guidelines. Be concise, write for primary audience, structure content for easy reading and use a reassuring, supportive tone. Use the most appropriate format.

–       Give other team members examples to demonstrate the writing guidelines. Be able to reduce one paragraph to one sentence for clarity.

–       Sometimes the written word isn’t good enough. Use photos, videos, graphs to show not tell.

–       In order to be published, all content must be strategic, helpful, proportionate, differentiated, high quality and cared for.

–       “Only we can showcase who we are best.” Amanda Mauck

Workflow, Governance: Assign roles and define clear responsibilities. Create a workflow process (plan, create and maintain). Review process changes through an editorial board and meetings.

From Strategy to Reality: Create a plan and stick to it. Prioritize! Teamwork is key. Relax- it’s going to take a while (it was a 9 month process for Le Bonheur).

Work like a team: Think beyond the web team. Include editorial board, content owners and subject-matter experts.

Find an executive champion: Use “What is your goal behind this?” to redirect others thoughts and opinions.

Lessons learned: Keeping the momentum going, implementing the buddy system, balancing internal politics, saying no and delete, patience and set expectations.

–       Their content on the website has a shelf life of 6 months.

–       They currently have 800 pages on the web, which has been cut in half since the beginning of the process.



Andrew Martin

Introduction to Crisis Communications


Crisis: situation that creates a firestorm of harshly negative perceptions that could damage the reputation, valuation or viability of an organization.




–       What we can expect in a crisis: Media is amplified. 24/7 news cycle- first counts. Difficult to correct “bad” information. Anyone is an expert. Social media is news. Silence will be filled by the media

–       “The only thing we have to protect our reputation is our response to the crisis.”

–       Whose job is it to protect the reputation? The communications team.

–       What keeps you up at night. The worst possible situation.

–       Take a meeting with your team to brainstorm these possible crises.


–       Instant information: Get information as fast as possible.

–       Analysis: Why did this happen?

–       Finger pointing: Blaming.

–       Resolution: The frenzy and media attention ceases.

–       Anniversary/Follow-up: We find it newsworthy to catch up on anniversaries.

(A 5-step process)

–       A crisis DOES end.

–       Who gets the first phone call? The receptionist. The command center.

–       Develop tools for these people to divert the media.

–       Consider that everyone is involved in your crisis plan. Don’t forget the people that answer the phone.

–       Mistakes do happen: Responding too slowly, denying/finger pointing, stonewalling the press, being defensive/testy, keeping staff in the dark, believing the crisis will just go away.

Build your toolbox: Holding statement, key actions, strategic guidelines, communication plans, and preparation.

–       Instant information: Using a holding statement. (A simple statement to let the media know you know what’s going on). Don’t hide anything. Be honest.

–       Defer statement: Defer first, then hold. “We are aware of…. We are working to… and we will have information to share.”

–       Key actions/compassion: “Our thoughts go to…we have (done) and are continuing to (do)… because… is important to us…”

–       Blaming/finger pointing: Strategy. “We are saddened by, sorry for victims… because… is important to us… we will do…” (Looking to the future)

–       Resolution: Communication. The action has stopped. Facts, feelings and actions.

–       Anniversary/Follow up: Preparation. Review internally, prepare externally.



3:30 p.m.


A Professional Approach to Social Media Strategic Planning and Measurement

Kristie Byrum, APR


This session took a look at social media measurement, technology tools and workshop/best practices.

–       In 2012, $4.5 billion went into to advertise on social media.

–       In one day, Facebook hit a trillion views.

–       The gender gap is narrowing to 50/50 men/women on social media.

–       71% of all online adults use social media.

–       The generation who grew using social media is called the “digital natives”.


According to PRSA, “PR is a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics.”

–       It is both a process and a relationship. Social media also implements both of these practices. There is a two-way flow of communication.

–       Social media allows access to instant feedback.

–       Measure What Matters by Katie Paine is book explaining the 5-step protocol for measuring social media.

–       Barcelona Principals: AMEC’s Global Standard for Measurement. Goal setting and measurement. Outcomes over outputs. Business results. Media measurement requires quantity and quality. AVEs are not the value of PR. Social media measurement. Transparency and replicability.


Key stakeholders must be kept in mind. Social media is a channel for communication. Dialogic communication. Enhancing stakeholder bond.


Clemson has it’s own social media listening center. It uses Dell and Sales Force (Radian 6). Uses social media listening for research and education. It monitors and measures public conversations with just a 6-minute delay.


Implementation: Research, education, brand management, public affairs.

–       The interface takes what’s being said (positive or negative) which reports back to public affairs. The students are able to communicate with stakeholders.

–       At Clemson, they have looked to the college recruitment process conversations on social media.

–       Sometimes people aren’t conversing about your company. When this happens, you must go back to your core messages.

–       The key message is what you’re trying to accomplish which feeds down into the tactics and strategies second.



Jenifer Daniels, APR

You Talk Too Much: How to Lose Friends and Alienate People on Social Media


Ms. Jenifer Daniels explains that during the crisis of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library budget cuts they discovered that an important rule of using social media for their audience was to do a lot more listening to their audience.

The Pareta Principle(aka the 80/20 rule)

-This rule states that for many events, roughly 80% of effects come from 20% of the cause.

-When it comes to your audience you have about 80% who are listening and 20% who are active. So, we must in turn spend more time being active listeners ourselves. Active listening is that mutual relationship. We must show that we understand and care about what are audience is saying.

-If we become active listeners we will find what our customers really think of us.


Facebook Metrics

-When measuring your Facebook analytics look at reach and engagements. Look at the timing that you audience is on and posting, use pictures, look at the numbers related to timing and pictures and do not focus on selling.

Jenifer says:

Cat, Baby, Dog = Win!

People like nostalgia.

Know and learn your patrons.

–       Don’t chase followers. Use smart tools like SocialBro.

–       Don’t be a lazy listener.

  • Get reports about your followers:
    • Find out when your followers are online, by hour, day of the week and use information for potential exposure.
    • By knowing your patrons through analytics you can discover the best time to post. Then use posts to gauge and compare to your twitter growth.

Don’t lose customers due to negativity

–       Time has no value

–       Everything is happening in real time therefore people expect real time responses.

–       If negativity is happening online it could still be or lead to a bigger crisis.

  • If you can fix it…fix it.

What should you be measuring as a listener?

–       Sentiment, Tone, and Frequency

Don’t over indulge

–       Post how your users post

“No dumping on the internet”


Break the 80/20 into posting:

–       80% helpful, interesting, funny, and irreverent  information

–       20% original or about yourself or product


–       Use storify to help tell your story in your press releases.

What do you measure as a talker?

–       Engagement and Awareness

80/20 in Action:

–       Be transparent (during crisis)

–       Your brand is what your customers think of you

–       Focus on the most effective areas

–       Listen for what customers and non-customers are saying

–       Be interesting


And remember…If you can’t measure it, it doesn’t matter.



Kelly Fletcher, Cheryl Ball, Michael Pranikoff

When Traditional PR Needs a Boost: Strategies for Placement & Results


In 1965 80% of consumers could be reached through commercials. Today it is a mobile world and everyone wants their info now!

The new media…

–       Bloggers are media

  • They can be influential

–       Citizen Journalists

  • Making it harder to do our jobs

-If you’re not putting your press release on a news wire, it’s pointless to write one.

– 73% of reporters think press releases should contain images

– A press release with image and video gets used 7.4 times more often.

-The percentage of publication using no digital assets fell to 8% in 2012

-After 96hrs your communication is pretty much done.

-Anheuser Busch planned to have 50% more earned media this year

Awareness vs Attention

The Value Exchange

–       Is the action we are taking getting the attention we want, the action we want, and the email address!

Define the Action

–       60% of people use at least 2 electronic devices a day

–       20% use at least 3 devices a day

-Our Brains process visuals 60% faster than text



-Earned media trumps branded content


Clayton Homes Case Study

–       Use PR-max celebrity endorsement

–       Increase interaction w/ multimedia content over 6 months

–       Localize

–       Garner traditional and social media attention

–       Deliver high campaign impressions




–       Accessing all your audiences across all boards, multi-channel content distribution, reach everywhere.

–       2 calls to action once per month = 12 calls to action in 6 months

–       Embed media player

Public relations activities focused on specific products or aspects of marketing campaigns that deliver integrated journalistic style content across multiple platforms.



Ruth Kinzy

The Reputation Riddle


Ms. Ruth Kinzy speaks of the importance of a good reputation.

Benefits of a good reputation:

–       Attracts Talent

–       Improves Crisis Recovery

–       Influence

–       Credibility

–       Trusted

–       Financial Reward

–       Mitigate Risk and Crises

Loss of Reputation can equal financial loss.

–       Loss of current/future customers = loss in revenue, increased marketing cost

–       Loss of employees and managers= increased hiring costs, decline in productivity

–       Reduction in current and future partnerships

–       Increase costs due to govt. regulations, fines, and penalties

–       Increased costs financial funding via credit or equity markets

A positive reputation can save money!

Defining reputation:

–       Desired

–       Ideal

–       Actual

–       Covenanted

–       Communicated

–       Construed-what we think they think of us

–       Perceived- what they actually think

How reputations are formed

What you communicate….direct interaction…..what others say

Risk Assessment

–       Look where you’re vulnerable and assess it.

  • Internal and External
  • Make sure you’re mission statement and personnel are all aligned
  • Think globally

–       Assess the probability of the risk being exploited or developing into a crisis.

–       Seek Solutions

  • Annually or even quarterly
  • Create a special situations task force

Advantages of Risk Assessment

–       Crisis avoidance

–       Improved issue management

–       Relationship development with key stakeholders

–       Consensus building with adversaries

  • Know your enemies and hold them close

–       Enhanced ROI = Reputation Intact

Reputation Implications of:

–       Bank Account

–       The Halo Effect

  • Ex. Banks used to have good reputations, everyone wanted to work for them 10yrs ago on the other side there are gas/oil companies who have no halo.

–       The Velcro Theory

  • Once the hits start they keep coming and keep attracting


Reputation Recovery/Renewal

–       Organizations are more likely to experience reputational  renewal when they:

  • Base communication on strong, positive, original values
  • Focus on moving beyond the crisis rather than on escaping blame
  • Distinguish yourself as a model…use innovation
    • Ex. Tylenol Crisis

The sustainable citizenship

–       Stakeholders expect it

If you don’t tell yourself someone else will

–       Educate

  • Identify what you do well
  • Be mindful of gap analysis
  • Stay “true” to what you do

–       Engage

  • Authenticity
  • Visibility
  • Transparency

Broaden Appeal to:

–       Enhanced consensus building

–       Reduce pressure from special interest and NGOs

–       Improve market value

–       Build trust and enhance credibility

–       Motivate the workforce


“A positive reputation must be built strategically, protected fiercely, and enhanced whenever possible”



Melody Callaway

Survey Says: Thought Leadership


The goal of the organization was to conduct surveys on their clients and turn the results into news. The four public relations challenges the corporation had to overcome when conducting these surveys were client confidentiality, financial services industry, the program was in its infancy, and competition from other consulting groups. The surveys from clients were used to stand out from competitors like Deloitte, Accenture, and Bain & Company. Surveys were conducted because the company wanted to create original content, enable SMEs to educate the industry, and develop a sexy hypothesis. The company hired professionals to analyze the data. Market strategies that were used included social media, webinar, infographics, internal communication, white papers, and client events. The surveys were all online, had 60-80 questions, and the organization had a sample size of 1000.




Jessica Graham


Belk opened in 1888 in Monroe, NC and it is the country’s largest owned family-run department store. In 2010, Belk rebranded with the new slogan, “Modern. Southern. Style.” The company decided to celebrate its 125 anniversary and use it to announce their goal of reaching $6 billion in sales. The core corporate team for the anniversary included Communications & Community Relations, Credit, Ecommerce, Innovation, Marketing, Merchandising, Social Media, and Special Events. Belk did not want to look back at the past but to look forward, which is why the company decided on the tagline, “125 Years and Growing” for the anniversary. The objectives for the anniversary included educating customers on the fact that Belk is a family-run business, the store was based in the South, the company did community relations, to increase visibility, and to drive sales. The strategies were to drive media coverage for celebration events and initiatives, utilize key messages of the brand, and utilize existing vehicles and new technologies. The media plan included targeting the New York City publications and garn plenty of local press for service events. The results were 1100+ placements, including Women’s Wear Daily, audience of 124 million+, and ad value of $2 million+. Lessons that Jessica Graham learned were to understand the CEO’s vision when planning and executing a major campaign or event, form a cross functional team, incorporate all key messages into your media, be consistent and creative on all component of the brand, and be strategic.



David M. Marriott, APR

The Amanda Knox Story and the Role of the Media: How did this happen?

  • Marriott used Google Alert for seven years to track what was being sad about Amanda Knox.
  • The media presented Knox as a brutal person and as a killer.
  • Marriott would type Knox’s name in a variety of search engines and track the results.
  • Marriott instructed Knox’s parents to lead the media to Marriott to steer the media away from the Knox family.
  • Police would make announcements that they knew what happened and who committed the murder and these announcements would go viral.
  • Italy highly controls their media.
  • Police would translate Knox’s words originally in English into Italian. Then the Italian would be translated into British English and this would result in Knox’s words totally changing from what she originally said.
  • Knox texted her boss the night of the murder and said “see you later” this was translated into see you later as in later tonight.
  • Knox’s writing and taped conversations were taken out of context and leaked to the media.
  • Knox’s words were constantly being taken and reworded to be used against her.
  • Media would repeat the same stories over and over again which would result in very few original stories.
  • The advantage of this story was the media wanted to write and air this story.
  • Marriott received over 8,000 media contacts from this case alone.
  • Marriott applauded some of the media sources for actually seeking out the truth and this resulted in a gain of trust in the media.
  • Interviews were essential to showing the media and the people who Knox really was.
  • There was no research to show the impact of media on this case but Marriott believe it had an impact due to the tone of the media.
  • Finally, Knox was prepared very little for media events. Marriott wanted Knox to show the world the real Amanda Knox.


Raymond C. Jones

Networking as a Way of Life

  • Tips for workplace success:
    • Too many people are like the water buffalo. A water buffalo will stop if a reed is put in front of it. Do you act like a water buffalo when someone puts an obstacle in your path?
    • For insight in how to get around obstacles, watch the DVD “All the President’s Men.” See how Woodward and Bernstein used their wits and determination to get around obstacles.
    • Do whatever you are asked to do.
    • Networking is building relationships with people without being annoying.
    • Always introduce yourself to everyone at a table before you sit down.
    • Always carry a business card and know where it is.
    • Never throw out a business card.
    • Keep the business card where it‘s handy.
    • When you get a business card, write down the date and place of meeting.
    • Add notes over time – like marriages or children or job changes.
    • When it comes to professional meetings, don’t go for the topic; go for the people.
    • At meetings, don’t set at a table full of people you already know.
    • After the meeting, send an email and say “I enjoyed meeting you,” etc.
    • Look for ways to meet people you want to know.
    • Look for ways to stay in touch.
    • Gary McCormick, past national president of PRSA said: “I have never gotten a job in 35 years that I didn’t get through networking.”
    • If you do a favor for other people, any time you can, and expect absolutely nothing in return, it will come back to benefit you in ways you could never have imagined.
    • In other words, enjoy getting to know people for the sake of getting to know people. If you have an agenda, they will figure it out.
    • If you can’t be sincere, fake it.
      • Don’t:
        • Show up anywhere without a business card.
        • Wave around resumes.
        • Turn information interviews into job interviews.
        • Creativity
          • Getting people’s attention is really hard.
          • Thinking outside the box.
          • Always volunteer to arrange media panels at professional meetings.
          • Always volunteer to take a speaker to and from the airport.
          • The people you most want to get acquainted with will be people who don’t want to be reached.



Katherine Whitfield & Andrew Sullivan

Video Killed the Radio Star: Storytelling Through Film


  • ACS Level 1 Trauma Center
  • US News & World Report – one of the best children’s hospitals


  • Ignites regions of the brain that process meaning
  • Telling Le Bonheur’s story


  • A lot of places, short amount of time
  • Show AND tell
  • Distribution channels expanding
  • Portable
  • Sharable
    • Grows brand ambassadors
    • Production cost limited

Le Bonheur Stories

  • Testimonials
  • Behind-the-scenes
  • Personal messages from leaders (mixed feelings)
  • Recognize high-performance
  • Brand recognition
  • Special events (VIP)
  • Community engagement
  • Showcase organizational expertise
  • Policy/procedure – dry message in a fun way

Is video the right medium?

  • No:
    • Avoiding face-to-face (never break this rule)
    • Chasing a fad (ex. Harlem Shake)
    • Haven’t thought through delivery channels
    • Not clear on message
    • Overshadowing your message
    • Yes:
      • Clear message
      • Interesting topic
      • Specific audience
      • Thought about how to reach audience
      • Time!


  • For internal
    • Both positive and negative
    • Good learning tool
    • Video: needle sticks, targeted at nurses
    • Video: awesome recognition, shown to leaders, also on social media
      • Timeless

Building the brand through expertise

  • Parenting blog – neglected
  • Started using ‘vlogs’
    • Ex. Treating the flu, asthma system
    • Parenting magazine picked it up
    • Blog grew substantially

Community Engagement

  • 12 Days of Bonheur
    • Rhodes College Acapella became ambassadors through their social media
    • Shared many more times than expected

Policy/Procedures Info Videos

  • Make video instead of dry paper content
  • Not using as much anymore

Other suggested video uses

  • B-roll for media use
  • Snapshot promos of internal staff
  • Information available in other formats
  • Messages from leaderships (but face-to-face better)
  • Special Events Promotion (ex. Le Bon-Appetit)

Where to Start?

  • Videographer
    • Freelancer
    • Hire full-time
    • Grow your own (Andrew Sullivan)
    • Video capture
      • Free (smartphone, tablet, etc.)
      • Few hundred $$ (palmcorder, DSLR)
      • $1-3k range (professional DSLR)
      • Audio
        • Buy a GOOD microphone/audio recorder
        • Editing tools (free and not free)

Approval process

  • Take care of before you shoot!

Interview, script, talking points

  • Interview is best
  • Talking points good for experts
  • Script is unnatural

Effective Shoot

  • Project coordinator
  • Educate self
    • Rules of threes
    • Three-point lighting
    • Arrive early
    • Be the most ridiculous person in the room to make subjects comfortable
    • Take your time


  • Final Cut (Mac only)
  • Adobe Premier
  • AVID
  • Allow for plenty of editing time
    • Editing is re-editing


  • Youtube/social media
  • Public screening
  • Email (internal/donors)
  • DVD (rare today)


Stephen Brown (Cohn & Wolf) & Allyson Ilg

Dollar & Sense: Media Pitching on Any Size Budget


Stephen Brown: Find creative ways for clients to breakthrough the media

1% of major corporate have news


Solved three challenge that member of the audience:


Jordan Waldron (First Bank), promotion of a checking out that offer more interest than most savings account.

Jill, promote healthy choice event; month-long smoking

Zanika, media training no media coverage, quasi-government organization, public housing


Tips for solving these three challenges:


The Pitch Pyramid, invented by Stephen Brown, start working from the top of the iceberg and work your way down to the bottom.


After news, timeliness and relevance needs to be considered.


Bringing snippets of your organization in order to promote your organization on a national level.

Ex: the promotion of the surge protector with the pitch protection of digital tech, during thunderstorms


How is your organization impacting or impacted by the economy, culture/society, environment, etc.


Ask your executive about their hobbies?


The journalist wants to be apart of the trend story.


Write a compelling headline. Why is it news? Why is it news now? Next steps?


Brainstorming session to solve Jill’s media pitching problem; the long tail


Top 12 Tips for Securing Media Coverage

  1. Believe in your story
  2. Know your target
  3. Know your client’s industry
  4. Have a good spokesperson and a back-up
  5. Secure a third party endorser/expert and case study
  6. Practice your pitch
  7. Start small
  8. Be persistent
  9. Respect their time

10. Talk like the reporter

11. Keep organized

12. Have other story options available


Solving Zanika’s media coverage


Peer to peer; look to people at your same level and within a similar industry

Like to Ted talks.

Media Coaching, not media training.


Stephen and Allyson’s passion is media relations.


Question: Pitching media about hot zones?

Answer: He became more difficult, but it easier to lead with the product. Trade shows are were a lot of reporters are looking for exclusives and what’s newsworthy.


Question: Phoning vs. Social Media vs. Email?

Start making relationships, before strictly communicating through email.

Track reporters on Twitter/Facebook to learn more about them.


Pitching on Twitter?


Michelle Boudin

Help Me Help You: A Reporter’s Guide to crafting your message and getting it out there


A good PR person is the best resource a reporter can have.


Attention Grabbing

You’ve got 30 secons or do you? Three seconds

4th grade level

Write a quick note, attach full press release

Subject line really matters


Bang for your buck

You can never know how far your story will go.


Who will see the story?


Saving Jed: A PR pitch in People Magazine

Alexander Youth Network


Access to Everything – staff, files, family

Always available – text, phone, email


It not organization or building, people are the story.


Be prepared as soon as you pitch a story! – Staffing, contact info; be read to go.


For news story for TV think visually.


When you’re pitching a story think outside the box.


The Process: TV

Start the day with morning meeting, then reporters pitch the stories.

Debate: News value

Can this story turn for today’s news?

What else is going on?  It is good to know what else going on in the community.

Will this work on web? Social media?


The Process: Print (People Magazine)

Write up a pitch, (basically write the full story)

Weekly conference call

My editor pitches to big voss



People magazine is looking conscious uncoupling (i.e., celebrity), but also human-interest story (i.e., Saving Jed). Medical mysteries.


Target your pitch – figure out reporter specialties, watch the news, look for bylines. Read TV bios and personalize your pitch! Don’t forget the reporters’ name.


Let’s Do Lunch – engage on twitter & facebook, twitter stalk, she what reporter are talking about.


Recommend a pitch coming out? Couple days in advanced, do not send in the afternoon. Depends on the reporters’ schedule.


Understand a reporter’s schedule.

Love people and telling stories.