Twas the Night Before Christmas With Edits

By Gerard Braud The poem, Twas the Night Before Christmas, is only 56 lines long. As writing goes, it’s pretty perfect. But we all know there are people where you work, who feel compelled to make edits, no matter how perfect your writing is. Maybe it’s the CEO or CFO, or an engineer, IT guy, […]

PR and Communications People: It’s Time to Re-evaluate Your Life

By Gerard Braud Public relations and corporate communications professionals: It’s time to look at your life. The kids are back in school. The Labor Day weekend is behind you. Co-workers have all wrapped up their summer vacations. For the first time since Memorial Day the entire staff is all in one place at one time. What […]

The Most Cringe-worthy Jargon You Must Avoid

By Gerard Braud, CSP, Fellow IEC People in public relations, media relations, and corporate communications love to make fun of jargon and most have a hit list of phrases, clichés, and abbreviations that they hate. People hate jargon. Employees hate jargon. Customers hate jargon. I once introduced, “The Worst Speech in the World” to show how […]

The Worst Professional Jargon Examples: 3 Tips for Effective Communications

By Gerard Braud, CSP, Fellow IEC People hate jargon. Employees hate jargon. Customers hate jargon. People love to make fun of jargon and most have a hit list of phrases, clichés, and abbreviations that they hate. I invite you to add a list of the ones you hate in the comment section below. I introduced, […]

Asking for your PR opinion: What is your best tip for writing great quotes for news releases?

By Gerard Braud –     As a corporate writer or public relations professional, capturing the attention of your audience and writing effective news releases, let alone great quotes, is not an easy task.  That is why I am asking you to contribute to our weekly communications and PR discussion questions by sharing your best advice with your […]

Sharing Your Answers: What if Your Leadership Team Listens to Corporate Lawyers More Than the PR Team?

By Gerard Braud –   As a public relations professional, how do you make sure that your voice is heard? How do you ensure that senior level executives and CEOs value your expertise on media training and effective communications? On Tuesday we asked corporate communicators and PR professionals to weigh in on our weekly discussion question, “If […]

Question of the week: Should companies have a social media policy for employees?

By Gerard Braud – This week and every week on the BraudCast YouTube Channel we are posing a question for corporate communicators and public relations experts. The question this week is, “Should companies have a social media policy for employees?” There are plenty of company policies regarding human resources and ethics, but is your company […]

What is the best way to get in touch with a busy reporter?

By Gerard Braud – For public relations professionals and corporate communicators, it can be difficult to grab the attention of the media.  I am asking for your bite-sized bits of best practices for getting in touch with busy reporters. This week and every week we seek your best communications practices on the BraudCast. Please share […]

Your answers: How do you best respond when people get angry on your social media site?

By Gerard Braud – Social media can be a double edged sword for your corporation, school, or organization. It can be very positive and very negative at times. This week I asked corporate communicators and public relations professionals how they best respond when people get angry on their company social media site. They shared their […]

What is the worst way to begin a news release?

By Gerard Braud – This week we are asking public relations professionals and media relations professionals, “What is the worst way to begin a news release?” What types of news releases get thrown in the trash by the media and your audiences?  Each week we seek your best corporate communications and crisis communications practices on the BraudCast. […]

Your answers: What role should your internal communications team play during a crisis?

By Gerard Braud – Earlier this week we asked corporate communicators and PR professionals, “What role should your internal communications team play during a crisis?” Your colleagues have commented on the BraudCast You Tube Channel, here on the blog, and on social media. Listen to their thoughts in the video below. Make sure to subscribe […]

What role should your internal communications team play during a crisis?

By Gerard Braud – This week we are asking, “What role should your internal communications team play during a crisis?” Each week we seek your best corporate communications and crisis communications practices on the BraudCast.  If your organization doesn’t have an internal communications team and that team is you, what role do you play?  Comment here and […]

Are news releases dead?

By Gerard Braud – Our question for discussion this week is “Are news releases dead?” Corporate communications and public relations professionals may have various opinions on this topic regarding the best way to communicate effectively to their audiences and the media. Please comment and subscribe here to the weekly question, as well as view your colleague’s answers […]

How do you talk to your spokesperson after they’ve screwed up in a media interview?

By Gerard Braud – This week I am asking public relations and media relations professionals for their best advice for talking to a spokesperson after they have screwed up in a media interview. That’s right, an awkward and uncomfortable discussion to have. Make sure to comment and subscribe here to the weekly question, as well […]

What is your best tip for writing great quotes for news releases?

By Gerard Braud – Each week we seek your best public relations practices on the BraudCast. Your discussion question this week is, “What is your best tip for writing great quotes for news releases?” As a corporate writer or public relations professional, capturing the attention of your audience and writing effective news releases is not an easy […]

IABC Calgary Conference Podcast: Top Takeaway Crisis Communications Lessons

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 […]

BraudCast Question: When Should Your CEO Be Your Spokesperson?

By Gerard Braud – Some public relations professionals and corporate communicators argue that the CEO should always be the spokesperson for effective communications, while others say it should be a public relations professional. When is it appropriate for the CEO to be the corporate spokesperson? Please share your opinion with us. This question is one […]

BraudCast Question: How quickly do you need to issue a public statement when a crisis happens?

Organizations often spend hours writing press releases and public statements and reviewing them with their public relations professionals and legal teams before they are ever presented to the media. This only allows the media to become impatient and frustrated and eyewitnesses to begin speculating.  For effective crisis communications and employee communications, how fast should a company release a […]

Tutorial #20 “Crap is King” How to Report on the Not-So-Serious, but Fascinating Topics with Your Smartphone

Tutorial #20 By Gerard Braud — Although this series teaches public information officers (PIOs), emergency managers, and corporate spokespeople to upload videos to the web as an effective crisis communications strategy, it’s also important to note that “crap is king.”   In this tutorial, I encourage you to report on not just the serious crisis stories, […]

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

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 […]

4 Tips to Avoid the Worst Sentence in a News Release

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. […]

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

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 – Hurricane Season Readiness & Effective Communications

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 […]

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

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

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 […]

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

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 […]

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

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 […]

Je Suis Brian Williams

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 […]

Media Training 20: The Secret to Internalizing Key Messages

By Gerard Braud 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 17: What Makes the Media Say Wow! – Commit News

By Gerard Braud 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 […]

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

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 […]

Smoke, Mirrors and Diversion Do Not Work as a Crisis Communications or Crisis Management Strategy

By Gerard Braud The NFL has appointed a panel of women to advise them on domestic abuse. Is this a viable crisis management strategy? Is it a viable crisis communication or crisis management strategy? Actually, it has made the crisis worse because it kicks the decision can down the road. It has also drawn criticism […]

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

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 […]

3 Secrets to Undervaluing a Crisis Communication Plan

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 […]

Crisis Communications Checklist: Four Hidden Problems that Lead to Failure

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 […]

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 […]

Disturbing Media Trend #3: Exclusive

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 […]

Social Media When It Hits the Fan: NRECA Connect ’14 Conference Teach Back

By Gerard Braud Last week at the NRECA Connect 14 Conference in San Antonio, Texas, you participated in the  “Social Media When It Hits the Fan” presentation. Now I want to help you encourage your co-op managers to be better prepared for crisis communications, as well as to better understand social media and where social media […]

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

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 […]

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. […]

Crisis Management & Crisis Communication: The Justin Bieber Case

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 […]

The Death of PR Perseverance (F-bombs included)

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 […]

Media Trainer Gives Advice to Chip Wilson, Lululemon Founder

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 […]