Tutorial #7 How You Can Be the Source of Breaking News During Hurricane Season

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Tutorial #7 by Gerard Braud – This month when you visit this blog, you will learn secrets about how and why you should be crazy about iReports and using smart phones and tablets to broadcast to the world. In this blog in particular, you can learn how you can be the source of breaking news […]

4 Media Training Tips from Marco Rubio’s Interview with Chris Wallace

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By Gerard Braud – I’m irritated by how Chris Wallace conducted his interview with Marco Rubio on Fox News Sunday. The media interview is generating a barrage of news stories about where Rubio stands on the issue of whether the U.S. should have invaded Iraq. For the full context of this article, watch this clip […]

5 Crisis Communications Lessons from Dr. Oz

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By Gerard Braud – Dr. Mehmet Oz is in crisis communications mode. He has been making headlines in the media as medical colleagues criticize him for advice he gives and things he says on his syndicated television program. His hometown newspaper, the New Jersey Register, asked for my opinion on how Oz has begun to […]

4 Media Training & Interview Tips Courtesy of Jeb Bush & Megyn Kelly

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By Gerard Braud – Media training is not just about being an expert when it comes to answering a question. Media interview skills also require you to know how to ask questions of the reporter. The fuss about presidential candidate Jeb Bush is a case in point, based on an answer he gave to Fox […]

When “It” Hits the Fan: A Crisis Communication Lesson on Speediness

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By Gerard Braud – It’s an honor to be invited to deliver the morning keynote presentation today to the SynGas 2015 Conference in Tulsa. 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 public relations, that […]

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 […]

Brian Williams Suspended: Layers of a Media Crisis for NBC & Williams

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By Gerard Braud – Leave it to Jon Stewart to once again be the expert voice of reason in modern media. He clearly points out in this crisis that there is the “Brian Williams Anchorman” persona, and as I pointed out previously, the “Brian Williams Storyteller” persona at public events where he appears as a […]

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 […]

Did New York City Overreact? A Crisis Communications Case Study

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Yesterday’s crisis communications blog regarding the winter storm Juno and the #Blizzardof2015 promoted the idea of managing the expectations of those who will be affected by a crisis. Today, some critics are saying New York City overreacted. Two observations: 1) The people who complain about “overreacting” are idiots. These would be the same people who […]

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 […]

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 24: Death by News Conference

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

Media Training 23: Selecting the Right Spokesperson

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

Media Training 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 15: How to Structure Media Training

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

Media Training 14: Reporters like to Speculate

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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 9: The Myth about 3 Key Messages

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

Media Training 8: The Facts Don’t Matter

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

Media Training 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 […]

Ebola Crisis Communications Lesson: Ask for Help

Of all the Power Point presentations by his leadership team members, the CEO only stood and applauded the vice president who showed he was having difficulties in his division, when the other vice presidents showed rainbows and green lights. The company was millions in debt with falling sales and the CEO knew that everyone who […]

5 Ebola Crisis Communications Considerations

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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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Black Twitter, the Shooting of Michael Brown, and Crisis Communications In the Age of Social Media

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By Gerard Braud The events in Ferguson, MO warrant the need for community leaders to activate their crisis communications plan, if they have one. But the power of Black Twitter, amid the protests, presents an amazing crisis communications and public relations case study. Generally, protesters win the public relations battle against any establishment during a […]

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 […]

Breaking News is Broken and there is Nothing Breaking: Disturbing Media Trend #2

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By Gerard Braud News media copycats make life more difficult in the world of crisis communications and public relations. More than ever before, your small crisis can get undue media coverage because of the latest disturbing media trend. Disturbing news media trend #2 is the breaking news trend. CNN is the king of using the […]

Media Speculation Complicates Crisis Communications & Public Relations: Disturbing Media Trend #1

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By Gerard Braud If your job is to communicate with the media in the form of crisis communications or pro-active public relations for a good-news event, your life and job will become more complicated because of disturbing news media trend #1. Excessive speculation ranks as disturbing media trend #1. CNN has taken the sin of […]

Rural Electric Cooperative Communications: The Times Are Changing

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Consider this: Just a few years ago rural electric cooperatives were not under pressure to communicate rapidly with the media, members or employees. Today, you have less than one hour to control the flow of accurate information. There are three major reasons why this is changing and four things you can do to adjust to […]

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

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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 […]

Who Should Be Your Spokesperson in a Crisis?

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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. […]

Newton to Media: Please Stay Away on Sandy Hook Anniversary

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By Gerard Braud It is a bold move; perhaps unprecedented. Certainly in my career in crisis communications and my prior career as a reporter, I cannot recall a community that has suffered a crisis, asking the media to stay away. However, officials in Newtown, Connecticut are asking the media to stay away on December 14th, […]

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

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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 […]

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

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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

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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 […]

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

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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.) […]

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 […]