Announcing an FDA approval, celebrity spokespeople, more

How can you maximize coverage of an FDA approval?

FDA-approval coverage
How can you maximize coverage of an FDA approval?

Scenario planning is vital to the success of any FDA-approval announcement, says Megan Svensen, EVP of Marina Maher Communications' healthcare practice. "Be ready to capitalize on approval whenever it comes," she suggests.

You should also issue your release over multiple wires to increase Web pick-up. "Your first call should be to AP or the business wires," Svensen advises, "but it's also essential to have several folks on the phone so they can simultaneously pitch newspapers, broadcast, and online media within the first hours of approval."

It's also essential to have the right tools in place. "Consider b-roll with a 60-second reader script versus a VNR," she notes. "Local news producers want short scripts and image options to customize the story to their format."

Finally, make sure to always have someone available and ready to speak to the media, adds Svensen.

Celebrity spokespeople
I'm interested in hiring a celebrity spokesperson for my PR campaign. What are some key considerations?

Before you reach out to a celebrity, know exactly what you want the spokesperson to do and how much time it will take, explains Rita Tateel, president of The Celebrity Source. One of the biggest mistakes PR firms make is not having exact spokesperson duties and time frames in place when an initial celebrity inquiry is made.

"Spokesperson costs often go way beyond budget because PR campaign elements were added after the celebrity agreed to the initial offer," she says.

Tateel emphasizes the need for PR pros to be prepared for additional fees if extra time is requested of the celebrity.

"Time is a celebrity's most valuable commodity," she points out. "To some, it's more precious than money. So use it well and don't waste it."

Media measurement
How can media measurement help to create a strong communications strategy?

It's hard to develop a communications strategy in a vacuum, notes Albert Barr, CEO and founder of Carma International.

"The Internet and social media have transformed the way news is reported and consumed," he adds. "But media coverage continues to affect - and reflect - how the public thinks, buys, and votes."

This is very relevant to developing strategic communications. "Media measurement can be a great system for benchmarking, guiding, and evaluating the effectiveness of communications between companies and target audiences through various channels," Barr says.

For best results, combine a top-line tool that gives you a daily snapshot based on keywords and topics, followed up by more in-depth, human-based analysis.

"This will allow you to truly understand nuances in coverage, track emerging issues and message pickup, and assess your favorability ranking versus your competitors," he explains.

Send your questions to: Please contact Beth Krietsch if you are interested in contributing to PR Toolbox or to suggest ideas for future columns.

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