Media Training 29: Conclusion

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By Gerard Braud www.braudcommunications.com We began this 29 lesson discussion with the admonition, “Don’t talk to the media.” The original admonition was that you speak through the media to your audience and the media’s audience. But as we conclude, let me take this thought a bit further. We’ve poured out for you 29 lessons of […]

Media Training 28: Speaking Off the Record

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By Gerard Braud www.braudcommunications.com Never agree to speak off the record. This lesson really could end with just that phrase: Never speak off the record. Speaking off the record has been taboo among the wisest media trainers and public relations sages for decades, but rarely do I teach a media training class in which I don’t […]

Media Training 27: Body Language

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By Gerard Braud www.braudcommunications.com What you don’t say is often as important or more important than what you do say, when you are talking to a reporter. How you stand, how you act, how you fidget, how you move, how you stutter, how you sit, and where you look, all says a lot about you. […]

Media Training 26: Looks are Important

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By Gerard Braud www.braudcommunications.com Looks are important. With just three lessons left to go, I would be remiss not to cover some important basics, such as how to dress for a news conference. Dress for men has always been easier than dress for women in the world of media. That’s because men’s fashions tend to remain […]

Media Training 25: Social Media Training

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By Gerard Braud www.braudcommunications.com  The internet, the media on the internet, and the proliferation of self-ordained pundits on the internet, has forever changed the world. So has the proliferation of gadgets that let us rapidly post pictures, comments and video to the web. The ability for the global community to post online comments in countless […]

Media Training 24: Death by News Conference

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By Gerard Braud www.braudcommunications.com Many reporters fear what I often call “death by news conference.” In lesson 17 we discussed the concept of committing news as a premeditated act. Reporters hate to cover news conferences for two main reasons. The first reason is because usually there are way too many spokespeople saying little if anything […]

Media Training 23: Selecting the Right Spokesperson

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By Gerard Braud www.braudcommunications.com Picking the right spokesperson really depends upon the situation. Many organizations tend to have two extremes in selecting spokespeople. Some organizations always send out their top PR person while other organizations insist that only the CEO speak. I endorse neither of these approaches as perfect and will suggest that sometimes the […]

Media Training 22: The Power of Passion

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By Gerard Braud www.braudcommunications.com Few things are as underestimated in a media interview as the passion a spokesperson conveys. In lesson #8 we talked about why the facts don’t matter and how to create great quotes. If you learn to combine great quotes with passion you not only insure your quote gets used in a […]

Media Training 21: The Secret to Handling Negative Questions

Braud Employee Comm_2710

By Gerard Braud www.braudcommunications.com Most questions from most reporters are negative. News in general tends to be negative because it is usually about serious change or a disaster. I wish news wasn’t negative, but I spent 15 years in the business trying to change that and couldn’t. Then I’ve spent every year since 1994 trying […]

Media Training 20: The Secret to Internalizing Key Messages

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By Gerard Braud www.braudcommunications.com In the early stages of media training, many students are skeptical about the concept of key messages. Accepting key messages and using key messages effectively takes time and practice. As I mentioned in lesson 15, in most media training classes I first conduct a baseline interview, then I introduce the concept […]

Media Training 19: Preparing for a Desk Side Visit

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By Gerard Braud www.braudcommunications.com  If you are a big organization, occasionally a reporter from a major media outlet will call and ask for permission to do a “desk side visit.” Be careful. These can be deadly. A desk side visit is when a reporter wants to come by the office, not to write a particular […]

Media Training 18: Practicing for the Big Negative News Story

Katrina Media_0318

By Gerard Braud www.braudcommunications.com  So far we’ve discussed what an ordinary media training program includes and we’ve discussed the need to practice before every interview. But if you are being interviewed about a negative issue by an investigative reporter or a major publication or network news magazine, you need more than your average media training […]

Media Training 17: What Makes the Media Say Wow! – Commit News

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By Gerard Braud www.braudcommunications.com As a reporter, I generally hated going to a news conference or a media event that was about good news. It’s not that I’m opposed to covering good news, it’s just that generally the spokespeople were poorly prepared and the organizers were completely oblivious of the wants, needs and desires of […]

Media Training 16: Practice, even if you only have 5 minutes

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By, Gerard Braud www.braudcommunications.com In our last lesson we talked about how to structure a media training class and how I always tell the executives I train that they must practice before every interview, even if they only have 5 minutes.  I’d like to expand on that and explain why this is so important. I was […]

Media Training 15: How to Structure Media Training

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By Gerard Braud www.braudcommunications.com One of the most difficult challenges I have in my job as a media trainer is to get executives to carve out time in their schedule for training. As mentioned in lesson 2, some don’t see the financial benefit. An even greater percentage are afraid of what ever embarrassment they may […]

Media Training 14: Reporters like to Speculate

Braud book:CD

By Gerard Braud www.braudcommunications.com  What’s the worst that could happen? How much worse could it get? But what if… ? Oh, those great “what if” questions. Reporters love the what if question. Why? Well, reporters lover a great story and sometimes the story doesn’t materialize the way they hoped it would. Remember all the lessons […]

Media Training 13: The Vote of Confidence or No Confidence

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By Gerard Braud www.braudcommunications.com In lesson 11 we discussed the fact that when there is an industrial accident and a spokesperson does not appear in a timely manner, reporters often go looking for facts and quotes from other people, such as the ones with no teeth who live in trailers. Something else happens, which also […]

Media Training 12: Passing the Cynic Test

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By Gerard Braud (sign up for the free audio version of this program at http://blog.braudcommunications.com/?p=397) Reporters are among the biggest cynics in the world. They doubt everything you tell them and you have to prove everything to them. This is especially true if you are trying to promote a good news story. I have found […]

Media Training 11: Why do they interview people with no teeth who live in a trailer (with all due respect to trailer dwellers)

Gerard Braud Audience 11

By Gerard Braud www.braudcommunications.com Let’s be respectful here and realize that many poor people don’t have either dental insurance or the ability to pay out of pocket for dental care. And let’s realize that while hoping to someday fulfill the dream of home ownership, many people live in an affordable alternative – a mobile home. Let’s […]

Media Training 10: What Does That Mean?

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By Gerard Braud www.braudcommunications.com  The question I ask most often these days is, “What does that mean?” I’m relatively well educated. I’m well read. I travel the world constantly teaching media relations and crisis communications. But what bugs the ever living daylights out of me is hearing people speak in mumble jumble that they think […]

Media Training 9: The Myth about 3 Key Messages

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By Gerard Braud www.braudcommunications.com  So in the last lesson, we talked about not letting facts get in the way of a good story. The secret is to keep it simple. When you go through media training (which I enjoy teaching more than anything in the world and I would still do every day even if I […]

Media Training 8: The Facts Don’t Matter

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By Gerard Braud www.braudcommunications.com One day, as a joke in the newsroom, I uttered the phrase, “don’t let the facts get in the way of a good story.” We all laughed. A colleague was pushing for a story to make the evening news, but there were lots of holes in the story and I (who in […]

Media Training 7: Never get in a fight with someone who buys ink by the barrel

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By Gerard Braud www.braudcommunications.com  I find it unbelievable that in the 21st century we still find executives who don’t want to take on a reporter or news outlet that has wrongly damaged their reputation.  The traditional way of responding to a media outlet that makes a factual error is to ask the management for a retraction. But […]

Media Training 6: I Wonder What the Next Question Will Be?

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By Gerard Braud www.braudcommunications.com  I want you to think for a moment about the last interview you did with a reporter. The reporter asks you a question then you start talking. Think very carefully now – what were you wondering the entire time you were answering the question? In most cases, my media training students […]

Media Training 5: The Media are Biased

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By Gerard Braud www.braudcommunications.com There is much debate about whether the media are biased; especially whether there is a liberal bias. If you truly want to explore that subject, I suggest you read the book Bias by Bernard Goldberg. It has been my experience over the years that much of what is perceived as bias is really […]

Media Training 4: They Took Me Out of Context and They Left My Best Stuff on the Cutting Room Floor

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By Gerard Braud www.braudcommunications.com The 2 single biggest complaints I have heard from executives over the years, after they have done an interview, is that “the reporter took me out of context” or that “the reporter left my best stuff on the cutting room floor.” (If you are young, the cutting room is where film […]

Media Training 3: It’s About Me

Gerard Braud Superbowl

By Gerard Braud www.braudcommunications.com My wife often reminds me that it’s “not about me.” But she forgets that I come from a 15 year career as a journalist, where everything was about me. Everyday it was my story; my interviews; my scoop. Reporters have big egos. Accept it. You can’t change it so don’t even […]

Media Training Breakthrough 2: Ask Yourself the Big IF Question

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By Gerard Braud www.braudcommunications.com The Big IF is what I call my philosophy of media training. I ask every executive that I media train this all important question: If you could attach a dollar to every word that comes out of your mouth, would you make money or lose money? This is true for corporations […]

Media Training 1: Don’t Talk to the Media

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Editor’s Note: To all of you that I have met at the conferences where I’ve been a speaker, through the webinars you’ve attended, or to the clients I’ve worked with directly, I’d like to say thank you and extend my gratitude as we approach Thanksgiving here in the U.S.   As a way to show […]

The Super Bowl of Quotes: How Media Training Can Make You an Expert Spokesperson

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As a public relations expert, what would be your Super Bowl victory? How about having a front page headline quote? Here is the inside story on how I scored a front page headline quote when the New Orleans Saints won the Super Bowl in 2010… and how you and your spokespeople can learn to do […]

Virginia Tech Shooting Today: Crisis Communications Case Unfolding – Social Media Impact

Virginia Tech Shooting - Gerard Braud blog

Virginia Tech has another school shooting today. Two have died. Please keep these people in your prayers today. For those who are students of Crisis Communications – both university students and public relations professionals wishing to learn more about proper crisis communications in the age of social media – today is sadly one of those […]

Lesson 29: Conclusion

By Gerard Braud www.braudcommunications.com We began this 29 lesson discussion with the admonition, “Don’t talk to the media.” The original admonition was that you speak through the media to your audience and the media’s audience. But as we conclude, let me take this thought a bit further. We’ve poured out for you 29 lessons of […]

Lesson 28: Speaking Off the Record

By Gerard Braud www.braudcommunications.com   Never agree to speak off the record. This lesson really could end with just that phrase: Never speak off the record. Speaking off the record has been taboo among the wisest media trainers and public relations sages for decades, but rarely do I teach a media training class in which […]

Lesson 27: Body Language

By Gerard Braud www.braudcommunications.com What you don’t say is often as important or more important than what you do say, when you are talking to a reporter. How you stand, how you act, how you fidget, how you move, how you stutter, how you sit, and where you look, all says a lot about you. […]

Lesson 26: Looks are Important

By Gerard Braud www.braudcommunications.com Looks are important. With just three lessons left to go, I would be remiss not to cover some important basics, such as how to dress for a news conference. Dress for men has always been easier than dress for women in the world of media. That’s because men’s fashions tend to […]

Lesson 25: Social Media Training

By Gerard Braud www.braudcommunications.com  The internet, the media on the internet, and the proliferation of self-ordained pundits on the internet, has forever changed the world. So has the proliferation of gadgets that let us rapidly post pictures, comments and video to the web. The ability for the global community to post online comments in countless […]

Lesson 24: Death by News Conference

By Gerard Braud www.braudcommunications.com Many reporters fear what I often call “death by news conference.” In lesson 17 we discussed the concept of committing news as a premeditated act. Reporters hate to cover news conferences for two main reasons. The first reason is because usually there are way too many spokespeople saying little if anything […]

Lesson 23: Selecting the Right Spokesperson

By Gerard Braud www.braudcommunications.com Picking the right spokesperson really depends upon the situation. Many organizations tend to have two extremes in selecting spokespeople. Some organizations always send out their top PR person while other organizations insist that only the CEO speak. I endorse neither of these approaches as perfect and will suggest that sometimes the […]

Lesson 22: The Power of Passion

By Gerard Braud www.braudcommunications.com  Few things are as underestimated in a media interview as the passion a spokesperson conveys. In lesson #8 we talked about why the facts don’t matter and how to create great quotes. If you learn to combine great quotes with passion you not only insure your quote gets used in a […]

Lesson 21: The Secret to Handling Negative Questions

By Gerard Braud www.braudcommunications.com Most questions from most reporters are negative. News in general tends to be negative because it is usually about serious change or a disaster. I wish news wasn’t negative, but I spent 15 years in the business trying to change that and couldn’t. Then I’ve spent every year since 1994 trying […]

Lesson 20: The Secret to Internalizing Key Messages

By Gerard Braud www.braudcommunications.com In the early stages of media training, many students are skeptical about the concept of key messages. Accepting key messages and using key messages effectively takes time and practice. As I mentioned in lesson 15, in most media training classes I first conduct a baseline interview, then I introduce the concept […]

Lesson 19: Preparing for a Desk Side Visit

By Gerard Braud www.braudcommunications.com  If you are a big organization, occasionally a reporter from a major media outlet will call and ask for permission to do a “desk side visit.” Be careful. These can be deadly. A desk side visit is when a reporter wants to come by the office, not to write a particular […]

Lesson 18: Practicing for the Big Negative News Story

By Gerard Braud www.braudcommunications.com  So far we’ve discussed what an ordinary media training program includes and we’ve discussed the need to practice before every interview. But if you are being interviewed about a negative issue by an investigative reporter or a major publication or network news magazine, you need more than your average media training […]

Lesson 17: What Makes the Media Say Wow! – Commit News

By Gerard Braud www.braudcommunications.com As a reporter, I generally hated going to a news conference or a media event that was about good news. It’s not that I’m opposed to covering good news, it’s just that generally the spokespeople were poorly prepared and the organizers were completely oblivious of the wants, needs and desires of […]

Lesson 16: Practice, even if you only have 5 minutes

By Gerard Braud www.braudcommunications.com In our last lesson we talked about how to structure a media training class and how I always tell the executives I train that they must practice before every interview, even if they only have 5 minutes.  I’d like to expand on that and explain why this is so important. I […]

Lesson 15: How to Structure Media Training

By Gerard Braud www.braudcommunications.com One of the most difficult challenges I have in my job as a media trainer is to get executives to carve out time in their schedule for training. As mentioned in lesson 2, some don’t see the financial benefit. An even greater percentage are afraid of what ever embarrassment they may […]

Lessons 14: Reporters Like to Speculate

By Gerard Braud www.braudcommunications.com  What’s the worst that could happen? How much worse could it get? But what if… ? Oh, those great “what if” questions. Reporters love the what if question. Why? Well, reporters lover a great story and sometimes the story doesn’t materialize the way they hoped it would. Remember all the lessons […]

Lesson 13: The Vote of Confidence or No Confidence

By Gerard Braud www.braudcommunications.com In lesson 11 we discussed the fact that when there is an industrial accident and a spokesperson does not appear in a timely manner, reporters often go looking for facts and quotes from other people, such as the ones with no teeth who live in trailers. Something else happens, which also […]

Lesson 12: Passing the Cynic Test

By Gerard Braud (sign up for the free audio version of this program at gerard@braudcommunications.com) Reporters are among the biggest cynics in the world. They doubt everything you tell them and you have to prove everything to them. This is especially true if you are trying to promote a good news story. I have found […]

Lesson 11: Why do they interview people with no teeth who live in a trailer (with all due respect to trailer dwellers)

By Gerard Braud www.braudcommunications.com Let’s be respectful here and realize that many poor people don’t have either dental insurance or the ability to pay out of pocket for dental care. And let’s realize that while hoping to someday fulfill the dream of home ownership, many people live in an affordable alternative – a mobile home. […]

Lesson 10: What Does That Mean?

By Gerard Braud www.braudcommunications.com  The question I ask most often these days is, “What does that mean?” I’m relatively well educated. I’m well read. I travel the world constantly teaching media relations and crisis communications. But what bugs the ever living daylights out of me is hearing people speak in mumble jumble that they think […]

Lesson 9: The Myth about 3 Key Messages

By Gerard Braud www.braudcommunications.com  So in the last lesson, we talked about not letting facts get in the way of a good story. The secret is to keep it simple. When you go through media training (which I enjoy teaching more than anything in the world and I would still do every day even if […]

Lesson 8: The Facts Don’t Matter

By Gerard Braud www.braudcommunications.com One day, as a joke in the newsroom, I uttered the phrase, “don’t let the facts get in the way of a good story.” We all laughed. A colleague was pushing for a story to make the evening news, but there were lots of holes in the story and I (who […]

Lesson 7: Never get in a fight with someone who buys ink by the barrel

By Gerard Braud www.braudcommunications.com  I find it unbelievable that in the 21st century we still find executives who don’t want to take on a reporter or news outlet that has wrongly damaged their reputation. The traditional way of responding to a media outlet that makes a factual error is to ask the management for a […]

Lesson 6: I Wonder What the Next Question Will Be?

By Gerard Braud www.braudcommunications.com  I want you to think for a moment about the last interview you did with a reporter. The reporter asks you a question then you start talking. Think very carefully now – what were you wondering the entire time you were answering the question? In most cases, my media training students […]

Lesson 5: The Media is Biased

By Gerard Braud www.braudcommunications.com There is much debate about whether the media are biased; especially whether there is a liberal bias. If you truly want to explore that subject, I suggest you read the book Bias by Bernard Goldberg. It has been my experience over the years that much of what is perceived as bias […]

Lesson 4: They Took Me Out of Context and They Left My Best Stuff on the Cutting Room Floor

By Gerard Braud www.braudcommunications.com The 2 single biggest complaints I have heard from executives over the years, after they have done an interview, is that “the reporter took me out of context” or that “the reporter left my best stuff on the cutting room floor.” (If you are young, the cutting room is where film […]

Lesson 3: It’s About Me

By Gerard Braud www.braudcommunications.com My wife often reminds me that it’s “not about me.” But she forgets that I come from a 15 year career as a journalist, where everything was about me. Everyday it was my story; my interviews; my scoop. Reporters have big egos. Accept it. You can’t change it so don’t even […]

Lesson 2: The Big IF

By Gerard Braud www.braudcommunications.com The Big IF is what I call my philosophy of media training. I ask every executive that I media train this all important question: If you could attach a dollar to every word that comes out of your mouth, would you make money or lose money? This is true for corporations […]

Media Training: Don’t Talk to the Media

Gerard-Braud-Author-Book

by Gerard Braud www.braudcommunications.com This first lesson may seem counter intuitive, so let me explain what I mean. You don’t want to talk to the media, but to the media’s audience. Ask yourself, who is that audience and how smart are they? The general rule is that the average person who watches TV news has […]