IABC Calgary Conference Podcast: Top Takeaway Crisis Communications Lessons

Delivering the closing keynote for IABC Calgary. Taking off my pants to prove a point  about the LuLu Lemon crisis of yoga pants wearing thin on the inner thighs.

As a keynote speaker at the IABC Canada-West Region Conference, I was asked to do a podcast discussing crisis communications lessons for public relations and communications professionals.  Vice President of IABC Calgary, Will Tigley interviews me to talk about crucial communications issues in today’s industry. Here were a few of the major crisis communications planning aspects to […]

7 Frightening Media Realities for Public Relations

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By Gerard Braud –- As the media changes, your media relations strategy must change with it. We covered these changes and strategies in detail at the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) conference in San Francisco during my Monday morning workshop, #IABC15 The Changing Media Landscape. For those of you who attended the workshop, this […]

Social Media Collides With Mainstream Media: The Changing Landscape of Media Interviews in Good Times & Bad

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By Gerard Braud – As social media and smart phones expand their reach, we are seeing a seismic shift that is sending tremors through the mainstream media landscape. This is creating both new challenges, as well as new opportunities for media spokespeople. Capitalizing on the opportunities requires you to adopt new approaches, learn new skills […]

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 […]

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 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 16: Practice, even if you only have 5 minutes

Braud Keynote

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 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 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 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 […]

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 […]

The Doctor of Crisis Communications

Crisis communications doctor gerard braud

If you were a smoker and your doctor told you to stop or you would die of cancer, would you stop? If you had diabetes and your doctor told you to change your diet so you don’t die, would you change? Amazingly, there are people every day who ignore the advice of an expert and […]

How Do I Get a Seat at the Table? Times of Crisis Management and Crisis Communications Present an Opportunity

Seat Braud

Public relations people constantly ask, “How do I get a seat at the table?” The short answer for now is to take advantage of the Ebola hysteria. The seats are not handed out at the table. The seats are taken. During a time of crisis or potential crisis, leadership can be displayed by those who […]

3 Secrets to Undervaluing a Crisis Communication Plan

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By Gerard Braud Your expert crisis communication and public relations feedback is invited on this crisis communications case study. A global company called to inquire about my crisis communication plan program and training. Their corporate revenues are $2 billion dollars annually. The company stock trades at about $66 per share. It has about 8,000 employees […]

Re-Think Your Writing: Three Ways to Make Your Words Resonate With Your Audiences

By Gerard Braud Few people read to the end of an article. I have little confidence that you will read to the end of this article, even though the final thought may change your life and career. Every reader makes several judgments throughout each article as to whether they should move on or read on. […]

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

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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” […]

The Death of PR Perseverance (F-bombs included)

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By Gerard Braud Five public relations veterans, pontificating and dropping F-bombs over cocktails recently at the PRSA conference, concluded the biggest problem in PR today is the lack of perseverance by those in the media relations, public relations and the communication professions. Is this true or not true for you? Read on… I’ll describe the […]

CNN iReport Tutorials Index

Tutorial #3 Still Gerard Braud

(Perspective: In 2013, CNN selected me as one of their top iReporters, out of more than 11,000 reporters. This is an index of a series of 23 lessons that share how to 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.} […]

Lone Star College Shooting – Crisis Communication Case Study

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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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 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 […]