What do you think? If a reporter calls you, how long do you have to prepare before you have to call back?

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  If a reporter calls you how long do you have to prepare before you have to call them back? That is the public relations discussion question we are posing this week to our BraudCast viewers and social media followers. We are asking public relations professionals and media relations experts to weigh in with their best practices […]

If Your Leadership Team Listens to Corporate Lawyers More Than They Listen to the Public Relations Team How Do You Rectify That?

By Gerard Braud – Each week we seek your best public relations practices on the BraudCast. Your discussion question this week is, “If Your Leadership Team Listens to Corporate Lawyers More Than They Listen to the Public Relations Team How Do You Rectify That?” What are your best public relations and communications practices to ensure that your voice […]

The Graduation Speech Crowdsourced by Social Media: Louisiana Tech University Commencement Address by Gerard Braud

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– by Gerard Braud Think about it: Today’s college graduates have spent half of their lives on mobile devices and social media. This was the inspiration behind the idea of going to social media to ask the world to provide wisdom for me to share with the 2015 Fall Graduates of Louisiana Tech. It was a […]

BraudCast Question: How do you get your executives to buy into the concept of using social media if your organization is not yet using it?

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By Gerard Braud – This week the BraudCast question is, “How do you get your executives to buy into the concept of using social media if your organization is not yet using it?” Your executives may be more traditional in their communication skills. They may be hesitant about opening their organization up to harsh criticism online, […]

BraudCast Question: Who should be your spokesperson in a crisis?

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In the public relations industry there is often a debate about who should be the spokesperson for a company in a crisis. Some may argue that it should be the CEO or a senior executive, while others argue it should be a public relations professional. Please share your opinion with us and it may be […]

Please Share Your Public Relations Smarts: Here is How

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Because you are so darn smart, it is time to share YOUR smarts. Your bite size bits of best practices are valuable to others just like you. So — ta-dah, drum roll – behold, The BraudCast 2.0 where you are invited to share your best practices in public relations, media relations, social media, crisis communications […]

Tutorial #23 Your Official Responsibility as a Public Relations Professional or Corporate Spokesperson

Tutorial #23 by Gerard Braud – These 23 crisis communication tutorials are meant to inform you and help you realize  your official responsibility as a spokesperson. You need to communicate to the media within the first hour of a breaking crisis.  You can do this by uploading your own professionally done videos to the web, which also […]

Tutorial #21 Great New Technology for Uploading Videos to the Web During Your Crisis

Tutorial #21 by Gerard Braud– In this series of tutorials I have reviewed the basics on getting great audio, perfecting your lighting, and how to hold your smart device. In this tutorial, I am taking it a step further to show you some of the latest pieces of equipment I purchased that make iReporting or […]

Tutorial #19 What is B-Roll? Why You Should Videotape it and Send it to the Media During Your Crisis

Tutorial #19 By Gerard Braud –   When uploading a video to the web or a CNN iReport during your crisis, you can either place yourself on camera as a narrator of events, or send video of an event that is still ongoing. The video of an event that is still happening is known in […]

Tutorial #18 How to Film a Reporter Style “Selfie” Standup with Your Smartphone

Tutorial #18 by Gerard Braud – You may be wondering why you would want to upload your own selfie videos to the web during your crisis. You might think it is the last thing you would want to do, or that it could make your organization vulnerable to more negative feedback or more negative press. However, filming […]

Tutorial #15 How to Prepare for a Live Skype Interview with Local or National Media

Tutorial # 15 By Gerard Braud – In this series of 23 articles and videos, you will learn the skills needed to film and publish an online news report video about your crisis. If your event is newsworthy and your video is shot professionally, it could lead to a live interview with local or national […]

Tutorial #13 How to Get Good Audio for Your Crisis Communications Videos

Tutorial #13 By Gerard Braud – Creating smartphone or iPad videos for effective crisis communications is something that is not being done by enough Public Information Officers (PIO), Emergency Managers, government officials or corporate spokespeople. Quite possibly, these groups of people are not creating videos because they have not been trained in doing so.  This […]

Tutorial #6: Crisis Communications Technology for Hurricane Season

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Tutorial #6 by CNN iReporter Evangelist Gerard Braud – In order to shoot your own videos to tell the story of your crisis, it is crucial that you have the right technology. Having the right crisis communications tools will help you communicate quickly and effectively to your audiences on your darkest day, whether your organization faces […]

4 Tips to Avoid the Worst Sentence in a News Release

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By Gerard Braud – The worst sentence to begin a news release is, “We are excited to announce…” If you hire a so-called public relations expert to write your news release and they write this, you should fire them. If you have written this yourself because you’ve seen others do the same thing, please stop. […]

6 PR Questions: Are You a Rug or a Flying Carpet?

By Gerard Braud – In your public relations and communications role, which are you? Are you a rug or a flying carpet? My dream is for you to soar as a PR expert, being both a thought leader and a brilliant, innovative, practitioner of your craft. My fear is that you let the so-called leaders […]

3 Key Human Resources Considerations & 5 Strategies for Employee Communications in a Crisis

By Gerard Braud – You’ve heard HR leaders and executives say it many times, “Our employees are our number one asset.” If this is true, should those same employees also become your most important audience when a crisis strikes? An increasing number of HR departments are taking the lead in crisis communications planning to make […]

Media Interview Mistakes of Jeb Bush: The Sequel

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By Gerard Braud – In yesterday’s blog we talked about the impact a bad media interview can have on a spokesperson, whether it is a candidate running for office or a corporate executive. In the article, we examined presidential candidate Jeb Bush and his interview with Fox News. One additional aspect of a bad interview […]

The Crisis Management Wake-up Call for Communities, Government, Law Enforcement and Business

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By Gerard Braud – Generally we talk about crisis communications. But sometimes, we need to talk about crisis management. If we manage a crisis to keep it from happening, then we don’t need to communicate about it. Often, crisis management can begin by looking at case studies. The crisis in Ferguson, Missouri should have been […]

When “It” Hits the Fan – Hurricane Season Readiness & Effective Communications

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By Gerard Braud – Forecasters are watching for what might be the development of the first hurricane of 2015.  This happens just as the Louisiana Emergency Preparedness Association (LEPA) meets in Lake Charles, Louisiana, in advance of the official hurricane season. I’m delivering the opening keynote presentation to LEPA emergency managers this morning as we […]

4 Considerations When Speaking About the Baltimore Crisis

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By Gerard Braud What do you think about the crisis going on in Baltimore? Before you verbalize your answer, think not just about your answer to the question, but also the impact your answer could have on the reputation and revenue of your business. This is especially true for those of you who are in […]

When “It” Hits the Fan: Effective Crisis Communication for the Chemical Industry

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By Gerard Braud – It’s an honor to be invited to deliver the morning keynote presentation today to the Chemistry Council of New Jersey at their 2015 Conference. You can view today’s handout here. The crisis communications lessons being discussed on stage serve as a reminder to everyone in the C-Suite, in emergency response, and in […]

Bruce Jenner: 4 Media Lessons in Teasing, Ratings & Public Relations Pitching

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By Gerard Braud – Pitching a story to the media is hard. Today I’m making a presentation to a group of public relations students at Loyola University in New Orleans. They want to know about secrets to pitching stories to the media. Their instructor wanted me to share my perspective since I have been both […]

5 Media Training Lessons About Parsing Your Words So You Are Never Taken Out of Context

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By Gerard Braud – CEOs and other executives – in fact an enormous number of spokespeople I meet in media training classes — all complain that in their past, “The media took me out of context.” As we look at public relations lessons from political campaigns this week, we can examine the failed presidential campaign […]

Media Training Case Study: Political Season Is Upon Us

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By Gerard Braud – In yesterday’s article I mentioned The New York Times called me Friday for a comment about Rand Paul’s hostile interview with NBC’s Savannah Guthrie. When the Times starts calling for observations, that means the political season is in full swing. You can learn a lot about your own media interview dos […]

4 Media Relations Lessons from Rolling Stone and 5 Public Relations Ways to Deal With Bad Reporters

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By Gerard Braud – The Rolling Stone Magazine retraction of their University of Virginia gang rape story is filled with parallels I often warn of in my media training and crisis communications programs. Here are 4 realities: 1) Reporters love an underdog and generally value the word of the accuser more than the word of […]

Great Sound Bites for Dumb Questions: Lessons in Crisis Communication & Media Training

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By Gerard Braud The media, especially the 24 hour cable news channels, are asking some really dumb, speculative questions as they cover the tragic crash of Germanwings flight 9525. In media training the trainer should teach the spokesperson to never speculate. Yet many spokespeople don’t always deflect the speculative questions as well as I would […]

In Defense of Social Media

By Greg Davis – [Editors Note from Gerard Braud – Today we have a guest blog from Greg Davis of Arkansas Valley Electric Cooperative. Greg wrote this as a follow up to my March 5, 2015 blog about utility companies avoiding a crisis by communicating with customers who take their complaints about high electric bills […]

Social Media When “It” Hits the Fan

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By Gerard Braud – Why are so many powerful people oblivious to the potent, negative power of social media? Every day there is a new crisis communication case study and today it is from Aaron Schock, who has resigned as Congressman from Illinois. Schock created his own crisis with excessive selfies and posts on social […]

Brand Judgment Day

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By Gerard Braud – Judgment day in the Biblical sense is the Godly determination of your fate at the end of time. We’ve been taught that we do not know the hour or the day of our death or judgment. But in the world of your brand, your products, and your services, we do know […]

The Self-Centered Media and How it Affects You  

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By Gerard Braud – The media love their gadgets. They also love promoting their gadgets. At KSLA 12 in Shreveport, Louisiana, LifeEye12 was our mother ship. That is why I laughed so hard when the opening scene of the movie Anchorman shows Ron Burgundy stepping out of his helicopter. I’m not, however, laughing at CNN’s […]

Cold Facts About High Bills: Crisis Communications Tips for Angry Customers

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By Gerard Braud – Today’s crisis communications tip looks at what happens when angry customers take to Facebook to complain about your company. Complaints on your Facebook page or complaints on a Facebook group page built for and by the complainers is creating public relations problems for companies. All of us can learn from this […]

When “It Hits the Fan: Effective Communications for Critical Times

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By Gerard Braud – The need for crisis communication has never been greater. The need for speed in crisis communications has never been greater. The reality is that if you experience an incident that the public knows about, you should be communicating to them about it in one hour or less. The biggest problem with […]

Media Interview Training Tips from Jimmy Kimmel and the Oscars

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By Gerard Braud Media interviews are often composed of opinion questions. Jimmy Kimmel Live provides us with today’s timely media interview perspectives, with interviews about the Oscars. As you watch and laugh at this, read on to the crisis communications tip at the end of this article. Reports are infamous for asking leading questions. In […]

Crisis Communication & Media Hide and Seek: The ExxonMobil Torrance Refinery Explosion

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By Gerard Braud – Where is the ExxonMobil news release for the ExxonMobil Torrance Refinery explosion? An explosion is a crisis, which requires expert crisis communications. The media would expect information on the corporate news release page. Media want it fast and easy to find. But look what you find on the ExxonMobil news release page […]

Anderson Cooper 360 on the Brian Williams Crisis

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By Gerard Braud – Anderson Cooper 360 is asking you on Twitter to respond to his question, “Do you think Brian Williams can ever return to the news?” My previous blog post outlines my latest take on the Brian Williams crisis and the conditions in which he could, but likely won’t return to the news […]

Je Suis Brian Williams

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By Gerard Braud Amid the media stories and lingering crisis surrounding Brian Williams, I will raise these questions. 1. Was the story true to the teller? 2. Would others on that mission recall events differently? 3. When you recall an event and tell that story, is it true to you, while others might recall it […]

Selecting the Right Spokesperson: Should it be Multiple People?

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Who should be your media spokesperson? In this series of blogs, we have reviewed the argument for the CEO serving as the spokesperson and the PR person serving as the media spokesperson. Consider option 3: Should a Variety of People Should Serve as Your Media Spokespeople? A subject matter expert, with proper media training, can be […]

Super Bowl Media Interviews: How to Manipulate What a Reporter Writes

How often do you do a media interview with the intended goal of having a specific quote used by the media? It is one of my intended goals for every media spokesperson in every media training class I teach, and here’s why… Every reporter writes their story around your quote. And guess what? You can […]

Marshawn Lynch and the High Cost of Super Bowl Media Interviews

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With Super Bowl media day at hand, Marshawn Lynch, the media shy Seattle Seahawk, can expect more attention for what he does NOT say than what he DOES say. In the past the NFL has issued fines as high as $100,000 for Lynch, because he didn’t want to talk to the media. Can Marshawn’s media […]

The Fog of Decision Paralysis: A Lesson in Crisis Behavior

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You should know it is fog season in New Orleans. With fog season comes some significant lessons about human behavior in a crisis. Dive in with me, if you will, on an incredibly foggy morning. We are crossing a 12 mile long bridge over Lake Pontchartrain from Mandeville, Louisiana to New Orleans. We’re on this […]

Public Relations Help for the Asking

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Today’s public relations epiphany is that too many people in public relations fail to ask for help when they need it. There are many sources for expert help and advice. There are great professional organizations like the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC), the Canadian Public Relations Society […]

What is Your Public Relations & Personal Epiphany?

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  I’d like you to stop for a moment as you plan for the New Year and your public relations goals. Reflect if you will, on the year that just ended, as well as the years before. Today is the Day of Epiphany, and I’d like to challenge you to identify moments of epiphany in […]

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 […]

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

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It is time to turn your corporate work brain off. It is time to rest. We’ll be taking our blog silent until January 5, 2015. But before we go, you deserve a special thank you. Your loyalty, support and readership over these many years is constantly appreciated. Many of you have grown from being colleagues […]

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 21: The Secret to Handling Negative Questions

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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 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 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 14: Reporters like to Speculate

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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 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 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 […]

Social Media Force Fit at KFC

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By Gerard Braud A soft drink cup at KFC screamed, “SOCIAL MEDIA FORCE FIT,” as I munched on my original recipe drum stick. The cup had the hashtag “#HowDoYouKFC?” Nothing says uncool like adults trying to get young people to be cool by doing something uncool in an attempt to be cool. (Did you follow […]

You’re “Excited” AND “Pleased” ??? Wow, That’s Effective Communications: NOT

What if you learned that your writing and communications skills are really are sub-par? Would you want someone to tell you? Here is an example– An IABC e-mail just reached my inbox. The lead sentence says, “I’m excited about…” That is sub-par writing and public relations. It is shocking that public relations people cannot write […]

Ebola Crisis Communications, Finding God, and Your Leadership Team

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Executives and crisis communications enthusiasts remind me of criminals who find God 15 minutes after then enter prison, then forget God 15 minutes after they are back on the street. Here’s why… True story from this week: The president of an institution wants crisis communications help now! Why? Because a crisis is at their door, […]

Ebola Crisis Communication Plan Update: Ebola Hysteria Requires Communications

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Business leaders and public relations professionals should continue to monitor signs of Ebola hysteria. The damage to the reputation and revenue of your organization is real. It can come from a direct Ebola contamination to one of your employees or customers. In the case of public institutions like schools, the institution could face a costly […]

5 Ebola Crisis Communications Considerations

5 Ebola Considerations Gerard Braud

By Gerard Braud Your personality type may decide the fate of your crisis communication response if the Ebola crisis touches your company (or the company for your work for.) On one extreme is the personality that says, “It’s too soon. Maybe we should watch it and wait and see.” On the other extreme are those […]

Ebola Crisis Communication Planning and Crisis Management Planning

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Is it too soon to talk about your Ebola crisis communications strategies and plan? A New York based public relations professional asked me that question today. I responded by saying, “Why wait? One week ago no one in Dallas gave Ebola crisis communications a second thought. Today, at lease 14 businesses and government entities have […]

Crisis Communication Leadership: Power of a Resignation

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It is always a good thing in crisis management when the person at the top says, “The buck stops here,” and they are willing to resign because a significant crisis happened under their watch. Listen to my opinion with Radio Host Kate Delaney:   This does 2 things. From a public relations and crisis communications […]

NFL Crisis Sets Off Cynics

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Don’t set me off. I’m a cynic. The NFL crisis and its flawed communications strategy continues to set off the cynic in me. A huge part of my crisis communications plan strategy and the crisis management advice provided to my clients is based upon understanding how to effectively communicate to the cynics. Sunday night the […]

Corporate Whitewashing

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By Gerard Braud The NFL now has two strikes against it for throwing money at advocacy groups and causes as a way to make it appear they care about an issue. Is this corporate whitewashing? It wasn’t until concussion issues became part of a high-profile lawsuit that the NFL began donating money to groups who […]

NFL Crisis Lesson: 3 Steps to Good Ethics and Leadership in Crisis Management and Crisis Communications

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By Gerard Braud Crisis management and crisis communications depend upon honesty and ethical leadership. The easiest way to define good, ethical behavior is to consider that your behavior and discussions in private should be the same as if the entire world were watching and listening. I suspect the NFL crisis is confounded by the same […]

3 Ways Your Brand Can Distance Itself from a Team, Athlete or Sport in Crisis

By Gerard Braud Brands live and die by sales. Sales associated with a star athlete or team are considered golden by many brands. But what happens in a crisis? What happens when the team loses? What happens when the player is disgraced? The NFL crisis and their failed crisis management and crisis communications should give […]

Gerard Braud Shares NFL Crisis Communications Advice With Radio Host Kate Delaney of America Tonight and NBC Sports Radio

As the communication silence continues from the NFL, everyone wants to know when the crisis will end. Kate Delaney called Gerard Braud for his expert opinion on the crisis.

NFL Failed Crisis Management Amid Sponsor Pressure

By Gerard Braud The NFL’s failed crisis management is hitting them in the wallet. It is hitting teams hard, as players under suspicion of wrong-doing are singled out. It shows weakness of leadership to not manage a crisis properly from the beginning. It shows failure of leadership not to communicate a response properly from the […]

The Financial Impact of Failed Crisis Management and Failed Crisis Communications

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By Gerard Braud What is your plan when the crisis of another entity becomes your crisis, forcing upon you a crisis communications challenge? Observe the NFL crisis as it spreads, causing damage to the reputation and revenue of various teams, players and sponsors. You would think the NFL would have an inside or outside expert […]

3 Questions to Ask about the Intersection of Crisis Management, Crisis Communication, and Crisis Communications Plans: The NFL

By Gerard Braud Another crisis management and crisis communication lesson plays out in the NFL as the Associated Press reports the NFL had a copy of the videotape showing Ray Rice punching his fiance in the face. This exposes a crisis management and crisis communication weakness found in many organizations, which either involves leaders intentionally […]

4 Crisis Communications Lessons as the NFL Management Struggles with the Ray Rice Smoldering Crisis

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By Gerard Braud The NFL has a crisis. Do they have a plan? Will the crisis get worse because of non-verbal communications? Can the NFL management communicate their way out of the crisis? Below are some observations and suggestions to help you cope with your own corporate crisis. The non-verbal message from the NFL is […]

Key Messages That Convey What’s In It For Your Audience: Apple iPhone 6

By Gerard Braud As I watch the Apple iPhone 6 roll out, I’m hearing lots of technical stuff. That’s great if you are a techno geek who cares about screen size, pixels and data points. But what does the new iPhone 6 do to make my life better? As a consumer where is the “What’s […]

Crisis Communications Statements That Say Nothing

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By Gerard Braud Leaders are slow to communicate in a crisis, so I get excited when I see an executive initiate some type of crisis communications. However, the example I’m going to show you here, in my expert opinion, does little to effectively communicate. Also, with two potential crises, this executive opts to focus on […]

Crisis Communications: 3 Steps to Take to Manage Social Media Trolls

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By Gerard Braud Would you let social media trolls take over your social media sites? In your crisis communications plan what pre-determines how you will deal with social media trolls? Social media trolls are usually mean-spirited people who hide behind an anonymous persona and live for the joy of making other people miserable by posting […]

Crisis Communications: When Social Media is Mandatory, When it is Optional, and When it is Useless in a Crisis

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By Gerard Braud Many thanks to Shel Holtz for his crisis communications podcast that explores whether there is ever a right time to take your social media sites dark during a crisis. You can listen to the entire podcast here. Some folks are appalled at the suggestion of taking a social media site dark and they […]

Social Media Is Not Always the Right Fit for Reaching Your Audience in Every Crisis

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By Gerard Braud When I mentioned on a blog and BraudCast video recently that sometimes in a crisis, taking your brand Facebook page dark may be the best option, I expected a lot of pushback or differing points of view. Crisis colleague Melissa Agnes posted the observations below and I want to share them with […]

Crisis Communications Checklist: Four Hidden Problems that Lead to Failure

Free Crisis Plan Gerard Braud

By Gerard Braud Public relations people are always searching for a free crisis communications checklist, as though some expert in crisis communications has the magic solution in a free template. Just search for crisis communications checklist, or free crisis communications checklist or free crisis communications template and you’ll see what I mean. The problem with […]

1 Confusing Name and 3 Things You Need to Know to Have to an Effective Crisis Communications Plan

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By Gerard Braud Imagine this: You are eating dinner at a major corporate event. The event is only serving soup for dinner. You need only a spoon to eat the soup. However the table is set with a knife and fork. You don’t have the right tool for the right job. In other words, you […]

A Crisis Plan vs. a Crisis Communications Plan

By Gerard Braud One of the greatest problems in crisis management today is a lack of consistent definitions and names for the various plans needed by a business. You may read this and recognize you don’t have what you need. Crisis Plan Many companies have a document that they call a “Crisis Plan.” What they […]

The Conclusion of Disturbing Television News Trends

Daily show Mocks CNN

By Gerard Braud It is all about ratings. Television news is all about ratings. What gets on television news is less about the public’s need to know for the betterment of society and more about drawing in viewers, so as to increase advertising revenue. Television news is a business for profit, where once it was […]

How to Write a Crisis Communications Plan?

Gerard Braud Crisis Communications Plan

By Gerard Braud How to write a crisis communications plan? That is a PR question asked daily by corporate communicators. How about I show you how to write a crisis communications plan? How about we do it together? How about we take my 20 years of crisis communication plan templates and customize them so they […]

Disturbing Media Trend #3: Exclusive

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By Gerard Braud Who would have ever thought that your media interview would be proclaimed by the television news media as an exclusive, when your interview might only be a run-of-the-mill, routine interview? Day and night we see the television news media proclaiming in words and news banner graphics that an interview or news story […]

Disturbing News Trend #4: Trending Now

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By Gerard Braud “Trending today” or “trending now” are phrases I hate to hear on television news. If news is defined as information that allows us to make smarter, more informed decisions, then a trending video of a cat playing with string is not news. Each day there is less news on news programs. News […]

7 Disturbing News Media Trends & How You Can Combat Them

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By Gerard Braud The television news media continue to go from bad to worse. New disturbing trends have a huge impact on public relations, your media interactions, and the reputation and revenues of your employer. How do you combat these disturbing trends? Join media relations expert and former journalist Gerard Braud (Jared Bro) on Wednesday, […]

Social Media When It Hits the Fan: Follow-up for NRECA Connect 14 Conference

Gerard Braud NRECA 14

By Gerard Braud Here are your Free Crisis Communications Plan resources we discussed during my NRECA conference presentation in San Antonio last week. Free Resource #1 To download a Free copy of the First Critical Statement used in my Crisis Communications Plan, use the coupon code CRISISCOMPLAN when you select the item from my shopping cart. […]

Social Media for Crisis Communications: Effective Communications for Critical Times (Like When “It” Hits the Fan)

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By Gerard Braud (Jared Bro) It is a challenge for public relations and crisis communication. In every workshop I teach, people ask, “How should a public  relations team, company, non-profit or government agency best use social media for crisis communication?”  They ask it from New Orleans to New York and everywhere in between. I respond […]

Crisis Team Truths

By Gerard Braud Many public relations people call their Crisis Communications Team a Crisis Team. The problem is, many other people in the same organization also claim to have a Crisis Team. We have word confusion. Every company should have these teams: 1. Crisis Management Team 2. Crisis Communications Team 3. Incident Command Team or […]

Crisis Plan Truths

crisis truth blog

By Gerard Braud Many public relations people who need a Crisis Communications Plan search for the words “crisis plan.” This leads to problems. Sometimes, as soon as you type the word “crisis,” your browser will auto fill with these options: Crisis Plan Template Crisis Plan Free Template Crisis Management Plan Crisis Communications Plan (with an […]

Media Training in New Orleans, Baton Rouge & Louisiana

By Gerard Braud Media training in New Orleans, Baton Rouge and other cities in Louisiana carry a special set of challenges. Usually the training is for spokesmen – as in all men. Seldom is the media training for spokespeople, representing both genders. The spokesmen generally work in the oil and chemical industry. Most are not […]

Getting Ready to Get Ready to Get Started to Begin

Gerard braud blog

by Gerard Braud Corporate public relations moves too slow. Not a day goes by that I don’t have a phone call with a public relations person who is telling me what they can’t do and why they can’t do it. This trend concerns me gravely. I call this getting ready to get ready to get […]

Crisis Communication Case Study: Malaysia Airlines

Malaysia-Blog

By Gerard Braud Ask any expert in global crisis communications how Malaysia Airlines should be communicating during their crisis and you will get varied opinions. Having worked in Malaysia many times writing crisis communications plans and teaching media training, I would like to offer five things worth considering, should you face a prolonged crisis that […]

Media Training and Word Vomit (Ew! Gross)

word vomit

By Gerard Braud While teaching interview skills in a media training class, a participating executive provided expert insight to the lesson I was teaching. “So you don’t want us to word vomit everything we know in a media interview, right?” he asked. That isn’t how I would have phrased it, but now that I think […]

Who Should Be Your Spokesperson in a Crisis?

Entergy Drill Gerard Braud

By Gerard Braud In media training and crisis communications training, there are many debates about who should be your spokesperson in a crisis. Here are three common arguments and what you should consider. Argument 1: The CEO Should Always Be the Spokesperson A CEO who wants to be the only spokesperson is destined for failure. […]

Crisis Management & Crisis Communication: The Justin Bieber Case

Justinbieber

By Gerard Braud In crisis management and crisis communication you must manage the rule of thirds, as it relates to your brand and the management of your reputation. Define the rule of thirds this way: One third of the audience loves you – and nothing can change that. One third of the audience hates you […]

3 Symptoms of Emergency News Release Syndrome and 3 Ways to Deal With Them

Emergency News Release Gerard Braud

By Gerard Braud Our last article focused on the need for public relations experts to be more strategic as they accomplish tactical tasks. You were reminded that the articles you write must result in behavior change. Your Tweets, Facebook posts and videos must also result in change such as better employee productivity, more sales, or […]

How Public Relations People Judge Success: One Monumental Secret to Achieving More Success in the Coming Year

Blog-Christmas

By Gerard Braud Public relations and communication professionals on a global basis are experts at creativity. One cute, creative holiday letter I received spoke volumes about how public relations people judge success and the urgent need for public relations people to rethink their approach. The card was a creative spoof of the dreaded “holiday letter” […]

Media Training for CEOs and Executives Worldwide May Save Their Jobs & Protect Their Profits – Ask Lululemon Founder Chip Wilson

Gerard Braud Media Training Manual

By Gerard Braud Every media training class I teach worldwide begins with this phrase: “If you could attach a dollar to every word that comes out of your mouth, would you make money or lose money?” Here is an image straight from my media training manual if you need proof. Here is a video lesson […]

Citizen Journalism: How Breaking News Got Broken and 5 Things You Need to Do Now

us-airways

By Gerard Braud Watch the news coverage as winter storms move across the United States, leaving many people without power in the cold for up to two weeks. Much of this story is being told through the eyes of the so-called, “citizen journalists.” Citizen journalism is one of the reasons breaking news got broken. While […]

Managing Expectations: 12 Crisis Communication Action Items for Winter Storms

winter storm cleon

By Gerard Braud Crisis Communications, a working Crisis Communication Plan as well as good media training skills will be critical in the next few days as bad weather moves across the United States. Before the weather gets to you, now is the time to begin managing the expectations of your customers and employees. Many of […]

3 Reasons Powerful People Say Dumb Things in Media Interviews

Click to watch video

By Gerard Braud Toronto Mayor Rob Ford has done it. So has Lululemon founder Chip Wilson. So have presidential candidates like Herman Cain and Sarah Palin. Each is guilty of saying dumb things in media interviews. Why do powerful people say dumb things in media interviews? Here are 3 reasons… First, powerful people fail to […]

Media Training Advice to Toronto Mayor Rob Ford

Toronto Media Training Braud

By Gerard Braud When media training a candidate, politician, or elected official, one of the hardest things to teach them is when to shut up. In every media training class I impart this expert advice to the trainee: “When you are digging a hole for yourself, put down the shovel.” Toronto May Rob Ford has […]

Navigate the Waters of Reputational Repair: 5 Steps to Effective Crisis Communications Planning

By Gerard Braud Navigating the waters of a crisis requires a good crisis communication plan before the waters ever begin to rise. Clear sunny day planning, long before your darkest day, is the secret. In today’s social media filled world, this has never been more true. Sadly, in our social media world some public relations […]

Did Lululemon’s Crisis Communication Efforts on Social Media Create a Bigger Crisis?

reax Lululemon FB

By Gerard Braud A bad media interview caused by insufficient media training is creating a crisis communication problem on social media. Experts will weigh in on this, but I don’t think any one expert has the answer as to the best way to handle this. I really want to know what you think. The founder […]

Media Trainer Gives Advice to Chip Wilson, Lululemon Founder

Chip Wilson Bloomberg

By Gerard Braud Media training, media trainers and the executives and spokespeople who go through media training need to understand the importance of practicing before every media interview. Chip Wilson, Lululemon Founder is being criticized today for comments about how Lululemon pants only fit some women and the ongoing crisis or controversy over allegations that […]

Lesson 11: Test Your Security Team During Your Crisis Communications Drill

CrisisDrillGerardBraud

By Gerard Braud While working with crisis communications clients, I provide a “first critical statement” template.  This template is intended to be read to the media, emailed to employees, and posted to the web in the first hour of a crisis when little is known about the emerging crisis. Some companies that operate facilities that […]

Lesson 8: Which Team is in Charge During Your Crisis Drill?

By Gerard Braud I worked in drills in which I facilitate everything on behalf of the crisis communications team, while also developing the scenario for the drill. I’ve also worked in drills in which the emergency manager selects the drill scenario and acts as lead facilitator. Simultaneously, I facilitate only the cascading events dealing with […]

PRSA Workshop Resources

As a PRSA member, here are some additional resources and links to supplement our program on social media, crisis communications, and secrets to effective communications when “it” hits the fan. 1) A copy of my First Critical Statement can be downloaded with this link. To download it for free, enter the coupon code CRISISCOMPLAN An […]

23 Tutorials on How to Effectively Use Social Media When the Next Katrina Hits

Today marks two years since Hurricane Isaac and ten years since Hurricane Katrina. In that short time between these two hurricanes, media relations and crisis communications has been affected by social media and technology. Are you ready to effectively communicate in your next big natural disaster, be it a tornado, snow storm, forest fire or […]

Crisis Communications for Schools Part 2: Defining a Crisis and a Crisis Plan

By Gerard Braud For the purpose of our discussion in these articles, we will define a crisis this way: A crisis is any incident that may seriously affect the safety, function, operation, reputation and/or revenue of any organization, public or private. We will not debate or parse words as to whether what is called a […]

Three Media Lessons from Paula Deen

Paula Deen Today Show

by Gerard Braud “I is what I is, and I’m not going to change.” That is the costly statement made by Paula Deen to Matt Lauer in an NBC Today Show. “If you could attach a dollar to every word you say, would you make money or lose money?” Those are the first words every […]

Get the Right Technology to be a CNN iReporter

By Gerard Braud {Editor’s note: In 2013, CNN selected me as one of their top iReporters, out of more than 11,000 iReporters. This is part of a series of articles about how you can be a good iReporter and how to make CNN iReports a vital part of your crisis communication and media relations strategy.} […]

Manage the Expectations of Your Audience: Story Telling Secrets of the Media and a CNN iReporter

By Gerard Braud {Editor’s note: In 2013, CNN selected me as one of their top iReporters, out of more than 11,000 iReporters. This is part of a series of articles about how you can be a good iReporter and how to make CNN iReports a vital part of your crisis communication and media relations strategy.} […]

Compare and Contrast News Stories: Secrets of the Media

Isaac Flooding Gerard Braud

By Gerard Braud {Editor’s note: In 2013, CNN selected me as one of their top iReporters, out of more than 11,000 iReporters. This is part of a series of articles about how you can be a good iReporter and how to make CNN iReports a vital part of your crisis communication and media relations strategy.} […]

Get the Right Tools to Be a Good iReporter

Tropical Storm Lee iReport

By Gerard Braud  {Editor’s note: In 2013, CNN selected me as one of their top iReporters, out of more than 11,000 iReporters. This is part of a series of articles about how you can be a good iReporter and how to make CNN iReports a vital part of your crisis communication and media relations strategy.} […]

Set Up Your CNN iReport Account on a Clear Sunny Day

By, Gerard Braud {Editor’s note: In 2013, CNN selected me as one of their top iReporters, out of more than 11,000 iReporters. This is part of a series of articles about how you can be a good iReporter and how to make CNN iReports a vital part of your crisis communication and media relations strategy.} […]

Hurricane Isaac: iReports Before, During and After. Is This Guy Crazy?

IReport Voting page

By, Gerard Braud (Editor’s note: In 2013, CNN selected me as one of their top iReporters, out of more than 11,000 iReporters. This is part of a series of articles about how you can be a good iReporter and how to make CNN iReports a vital part of your crisis communication and media relations strategy.) […]

How a Guy in Mandeville, Louisiana Became the Source of Breaking News

Isaac Ireport Gerard Braud

By, Gerard Braud (Editor’s note: In 2013, CNN selected me as one of their top iReporters, out of more than 11,000 iReporters. This is part of a series of articles about how you can be a good iReporter and how to make CNN iReports a vital part of your crisis communication and media relations strategy.) […]

What Are the Secrets to a Crisis Communications Plan?

(Writer’s note: Every day in March we’ll have a fresh, free, new article on this topic. If you’d like to dig deeper, you may wish to purchase a recording of the teleseminar called Social Media & Crisis Communications. Here is your purchase link.) By Gerard Braud It is critical to pick the right tools for crisis […]

Be a Control Freak with Your Crisis Communication

(Writer’s note: Every day in March we’ll have a fresh, free, new article on this topic. If you’d like to dig deeper, you may wish to purchase a recording of the teleseminar called Social Media & Crisis Communications. Here is your purchase link.) By Gerard Braud Your first choice when “it” hits the fan should be […]

“I Cannot Tell A Lie” — If George Washington’s Quote Applied to Social Media and Public Relations

By Gerard Braud Yet one more group of public relations and marketing professionals has asked me to speak at their PR & Marketing conference about the wonderful ways social media will allow them to connect and sell to their customers. I love to speak at conferences, but I cannot tell a lie, especially about social […]

Lone Star College Shooting – Crisis Communication Case Study

Web Notice - Bad copy

I’m frustrated by the continued failure by schools and colleges to communicate well during a crisis. Rather than adding thoughts here, please visit http://blog.schoolcrisisplan.com/?p=95

What Leaders & PR People Can Learn from Lance Armstrong: Denial & Crisis Communication

Gerard Braud Lance Armstrong Crisis

By Gerard Braud Lance Armstrong’s denial of doping over the years provides a valuable crisis communications and public relations case study for analyzing denial by powerful people and how they communicate in a crisis. This is important for two reasons: 1) Public relations people may give excellent advice and professional council, but be rebuffed by […]

One Month After Sandy Hook: Effective Crisis Communications In Critical Times

One Month After Sandy Hook Elementary: Effective Crisis Communications In Critical Times  By Gerard Braud (Free conference call – Listen on Demand REGISTRATION IS FREE TO ALL) [Editor’s Note: I recall the morning I received a frantic call from my daughter when there was a shooting on her campus. The school failed on a grand scale […]

3 Dead in Murder-Suicide: The Time is Never Right to a Write a Crisis Communications Plan

Friday 2 people were murdered, then the killer killed himself. One of the murders, as well as the suicide, was done “in the workplace.” I won’t say where, out of respect for the privacy of the person who called me the day before. All of this happened where he works. Just 24-hours before, on Thursday, […]

New Buzzword: Pogo Stick December 1, 2013

Be it known to the world that on this day, I, along with my colleagues in the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC), begin a test. Because we are all fed up with silly buzzwords, we have decided to introduce our own meaningless phrase into the corporate buzzword conversation. The new buzzword is “Pogo Stick.” […]

Write and Complete a World-Class Crisis Communications Plan in the Two Most Intense and Productive Two Days of Your Career

Join Global Crisis Communications Expert Gerard Braud in Denver, CO October 29 & 30, 2012 Save Time – Save Money – Save Lives Watch this video on YouTube via this link Watch the video in your browser below by clicking on the image You need a Crisis Communications Plan, but you don’t have time to […]

Beware the Ides of March: Wisdom for Crisis Communications & Public Relations

Beware the Ides of March

The phrase, “Beware the Ides of March,” has always been a favorite chant of mine. Billy or B-Shakes, to his friends, also known formally as William Shakespeare, penned the line for his play Julius Caesar. A soothsayer warns Caesar, “Beware the Ides of March,” forewarning that Julius would be killed on… you guessed it, March […]

Media Training Tip: What to do Before the End of the World

communications planning photo

The Mayan calendar ends in December 2012 and many have wondered if this signals the end of the world. One colleague jokingly asked me if her company could forgo Media Training and writing a Crisis Communications Plan in 2012, because the world may end. She has been putting off these tasks for two years. Each […]

So… The new International Media Training No-No

Media Training - Gerard Braud - Braud Communications

Soooooo…. I’ve noticed a new trend. Soooooo…. it appears people think every sentence needs to start with “Soooooo….” Soooooo…. stop it already! I first noticed this alarming trend while teaching media training to a global defense contractor in Los Angeles in 2010. One engineer — a lead engineer –started every sentence with “Soooooo….” It was driving […]

Media Coach Training Tip: Fight for your Reputation! How to Respond to Negative Media Attention

Braud Communications Training web photo

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 sometimes the […]

Media Coach Training Tip: Control the Interview Questions with Leading Answers

Braud Communications Interview with Media Photo

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 will confess that the entire […]

Media Training Coach Tip: The #1 Technique to Shut Down Reporter Speculation

Braud Communications media training tip

As a media training speaker and media training coach, my clients can sometimes find themselves asking, “What’s the worst that could happen? How much worse could it get? But what if…?” Oh, those great “what if” questions – reporters love those.  Why?  Well, reporters love a great story and sometimes the story doesn’t materialize the […]

Media Training of the Future for Your Emergency Operations Center, Emergency Manager, and Public Information Officer

Braud Communications Technology Crisis

How to Improve Your Crisis Communication During a Disaster It was a surprise to many Emergency Managers and Public Information Officers. After being in demand for telephone interviews during Tropical Storm Lee on September 3-5, 2011 near New Orleans, The Weather Channel opted to start taking live reports from a resident on the front porch […]

Social Media Revolutions & How to Write a Social Media Policy

How to Write Your Social Media Policy March 1st Webinar Plus the Social Media Revolution – What You Can Learn from Global Events The time is NOW. Social Media is changing nations. But are you watching from the sidelines or digging in and learning how this affects your communications where you work and with your […]

Top 3 Goals for Communicators in 2011

When we look back at the last year and look ahead to this year, I see 3 things that every communicator should do in order to be successful. The 3 things are: 1) Be strategic 2) Be opportunistic, and 3) Be Persistent When communicators ask for advice, I often tell them to know the difference […]

Don’t Repeat the Negative – Media Training Expert Tips

Christine O'Donnell

You would think that in 2010, spokespeople would be smart enough not to repeat a negative phrase as part of an interview or as a phrase in an advertising campaign. Surprisingly, it still goes on. This month, the country of Colombia has launched a new tourism campaign. So what do you think of when you […]

Free Teleseminar May 10-14 with Gerard Braud

If you have to talk to the media or train people who have to talk to the media, here is a free teleseminar opportunity for you. May 10-14, a group of All-Star A-Lists hosts will be interviewing author Gerard Braud (Jared Bro) about his new book, Don’t Talk to the Media: 29 Secrets You Need […]

Don’t Talk to the Media – Gerard Braud’s New Media Training Book

Gerard Braud Author Book

Gerard Braud outlines the 29 Secrets you need to know before you open your mouth to a reporter. Get more details at: http://www.donttalktothemedia.com/

Executive Media Training – Gerard Braud – New Orleans Saints – Super Bowl Parade

Gerard_Saints_Quote

In the Executive Media Training classes I teach, I always emphasize the power of a verbatim quote as a key message, rather than relying on talking points and the ad lib problems associated with talking points. So to prove the power of a pre-planned, verbatim quote, I recently set out to literally be the one-in-a-million […]

Gerard Braud is a Sound Bit Stud – Coming Monday

Media Training in New Orleans Lesson coming this Monday. Don’t miss the one-in-a-million quote.

Crisis Communications 2010 and the Tiger Woods Scandal

By Gerard Braud It’s hard to believe that in 2010, people can still screw up public relations, crisis communications, crisis management and media relations, as much as Tiger Woods and his handlers. Friday’s statement by Woods was old school. It was bad. It was too little. It was too late. The Gerard Braud school of […]

Leadership and Crisis Communications – Sins of 2009 & How to Redeem Yourself in 2010

This is our 5th and final day of looking back at the sins of 2009 and ways to redeem ourselves for 2010. Today we’ll look at what leaders don’t know. In 2009 I launched a new keynote called, Leadership When “It” Hits the Fan. It has placed me on the stage in front of a […]

Tweet Heard ‘Round the World – Crisis Communications & Social Media

January 15, 2009 generated the Tweet Heard ‘Round the World, as a TwitPic became the first official news coverage of an airplane landing in the Hudson River. We’ll discuss this game changer and the changing face of crisis communications in a special teleseminar called, “Social Media When It Hits the Fan.” Please register now. Tuesday, […]

Social Media Crisis Communications & Shiny New Objects – Sins of 2009

Today we’re going to look at one of the biggest sins of 2009… shiny new objects syndrome. When I look back at 2009, I’ll remember it as the year that people became obsessed with Twitter and Facebook. Seems everywhere I turned, people were clamoring over these shinny new objects… like aborigines who have seen themselves […]

Gerard Braud – Being Opportunistic – PR Sins of 2009 & How to Redeem Yourself in 2010

As we look back at the sins of 2009 and ways to redeem yourself in 2010, today’s lesson is about how to be opportunistic. Opportunistic means you take advantage of a situation to get what you want. Maybe it is because I grew up in a large family and had to fight my 3 older […]

Gerard Braud – The Sins of 2009 & How to Redeem Yourself in 2010 – Tuesday

This week we’re looking at the Sins of 2009 and how to redeem yourself in 2010. Today’s topic is “No” Doesn’t Mean “No!” 2009 was a year when we heard “no” a lot at work. Request for new projects, new training, new budgets, were often greeted with a big fat, flat out “no.” A colleague […]

Top Sins of 2009 & How to Redeem Yourself for 2010 – Monday

For the next 5 days we’ll be looking at the sins of 2009… and what you can do to redeem yourself in 2010. Each year when I look back and look ahead for this program, I generally focus on crisis communications, media training and public relations. But this year, we need to take some time […]

Executive Media Training 101 for Kanye West

by Gerard Braud gerard@braudcommunications.com www.braudcommunications.com www.crisiscommunications.com Kanye West — You were on Jay Leno last night. Your had a chance. You blew it. So here’s a free Media Training 101 course — Your key message should have been, “I’m sorry.” In 3 minutes on the air you never got around to saying those simple words. […]

Misinformation Alert: Media Training & Crisis Communications Plans, NIMS, Emergency Communications & More from Gerard Braud

Big warning on the BraudCast today. Big warning as we commemorate September 11th. Big warning as we remember August 29th, the recent anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. Big warning as your kids go back to school. Big warning for all executives. Big warning for everyone in public relations. Why all the warnings? After September 11th and […]

H1N1 Swine Flu Crisis Communications Plan & Resources

Here are three incredible resources, ranging from Free to very affordable, to help you with your Fall 2009 communications challenges as: • Swine flu is escalating • Budgets are tight • Staffs are reduced • Resources are limited Here they are: 1) Write a full crisis communications plan in just 2-day at 4 locations across […]

Media Training, Whole Foods, Health Care Reform & Cow Poop

The most fundamental rule of media training that I discuss with every executive is this: “If you could attach a dollar to every word that comes out of your mouth, would you make money or lose money?” That brings us to Whole Foods and the much publicized letter to the editor in the Wall Street […]

Crisis Communications, Michael Jackson & Your Executives

I’ve been wanting to share these thoughts with you since the story first broke about the death of Michael Jackson, but I thought some may consider it insensitive or overtly opportunistic too close to his death. But now that some time has passed, let’s examine what we, as communicators, can learn from the death of […]

H1N1 Swine Flu Crisis Communications Plans in Vacation Land – Mexico and the Swine Flu

I’m just back from a summer vacation to Mexico, where I’ve been thinking about you. My wife, 2 daughters and I went on our annual scuba diving trip to Cozumel, Mexico, to find the island is virtually deserted because tourists are afraid they’ll get the Swine Flu. One tourism official tells me it is worse […]

Obama’s 7 Deadly PR Sins & Brew-ha-ha

It is rather timely that the biggest news story of this past week is among one of the most basic lessons of media training … which is, never speculate. Media darling and President of the United States, Barack Obama, proved that even the best spokespeople are not perfect… and up until now, he has been […]

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 […]

Have You Stopped Communicating Yet?

Here’s a new warning about the Swine Flu. Beware if you work in an organization where everything is quickly going back to normal and you’re being told to cease all communications related to the Swine Flu. The reality is the Swine Flu doesn’t appear to be spreading at catastrophic pandemic rates, but in the world […]

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 […]

Swine Flu Rumors & Haig – Biden Syndrome

Swine Flu and Crisis Communications are our topic this morning. Two of the worst classic behaviors of crisis communications are beginning to take shape as we get several days into the Swine Flu hysteria. So I come to you today with warnings so that you can look for these behaviors, then I want to give […]

Swine Flu

Swine Flu – those should be the first words out of your mouth when you get to the office today. The fact that there is a new global pandemic threat could be the best thing to happen to your communications and public relations department all year. Why? Because corporate leaders will be willing to spend […]

Adjusting for Shut Down Newspapers & Laid Off Reporters

By Gerard Braud www.braudcommunications.com As more newspapers shut down and lay off reporters, those of us in PR need to take heed and make a few adjustments. 1) Reporters still on the job have to do more work to make up for those who have been laid off. That means your writing needs to be […]

I’m Trying to Give Away $100 and No One Will Take It

By Gerard Braud www.braudcommunications.com I feel like such the Social Media middle man. Check this out… I was giving a keynote speech to 100 executives who belong to an association. The topic was similar to my upcoming topic at the IABC 2009 Conference, which is New Frontiers in Media Training, which will include Social Media Training […]

An April Fool Who Lost His Crisis Communications Plan

Imagine you invest lots of time and money to develop and write your crisis communications plan, then you lose it. It’s happening more often than you might think. To find out how and why this is happening, take a listen to today’s BraudCast.

Spring, Fox News and Panyhose

There are blizzards, floods and tornadoes in the news — all signs of a changing season. But you can never tell what season it is based on how Megan Kelly of Fox News dresses. How you dress when being interviewed on TV is important. News anchors are becoming bad role modes as we hear in […]

BraudCast – A Social Media Breakthrough

A hazard of trying to force Social Media into the workplace is that 1) in some companies, many employees don’t use computers at work and 2) where computers are used, their is a huge demographic divide between the online habits of Baby Boomers and the Gen X-Gen Ys. But in today’s BraudCast, I see a […]

Confessions of a Former Journalist: I’ve Canceled My Daily Newspaper

Yes, it’s true. I’ve canceled my daily newspaper. This was a touch decision to make… especially since I have a degree in Journalism. For details on why, please listen to today’s BraudCast To sign up for a free subscription to BraudCasting please visit http://www.braudcasting.com/Home.html

Gerard’s Top 5 Tips for 2009 – Day 5 – Social Media Training

In 2009 I think you need to introduce Social Media Training where you work. I started teaching Social Media Training for 2 reasons and the classes generally take 2 forms. One form is to teach executives and blog leaders the proper way to communicate in online forums. The second form is to help executives realize […]

Gerard’s Top 5 Tips for 2009 – Day 4 – Social Media Yea or Nay?

Social Media is such a big topic for 2009 that I think I need to cover it in two aspects. Today we’ll look at defining it, determining if and when it should be used, and explore why 2009 may be a great year to add, use or increase your social media. Tomorrow we’ll look at […]

Gerard’s Top 5 Tips for 2009 – Day 3 – Wordsmith Wednesday

For 2009 I encourage you to join the legion of followers who partake in a little something I invented called Wordsmith Wednesday. The reason I invented Wordsmith Wednesday is twofold. First, I hate jargon and there is way too much jargon in organizational communications these days, whether you are with a corporation, government agency or […]

Gerard’s Top 5 Tips for 2009 – Day Two – Can We Talk?

Your executives will be talking more in 2009 and so will your employees. With the economic issues we all face, the media and employees will be asking tough questions… perhaps the toughest your executives have ever been asked. And when times are tough, employee morale can go down and employee talk can turn negative, further […]

Gerard’s Day 1 Tip for 2009 – Dealing with the crisis

Welcome to the New Year. Generally, the New Year is a time of great optimism, but heading into 2009 there is a lot of uncertainty. It’s going to be especially challenging for a lot of people in public relations, so I’ve put together this short 5 part series to provide some guidance to communications professionals […]

Hard to Get News Coverage

by Gerard Braud www.braudcommunications.com Would you believe me if I told you that as you read this more than 2-million U.S. citizens in the nation’s 4th largest city have no water, food, shelter, electricity and other basic human needs – and it is not a big enough story to get news coverage? When I teach […]