Is it necessary to always videotape interviewees during media training?
"The mock interview is an essential part of media training, and sessions should always require that the spokesperson be interviewed in front of a camera - even if a TV story is unlikely," says Jeffrey Davis of Sawmill Marketing Public Relations, who cites three main reasons for this:
First, he points out, the presence of a video camera helps to simulate the interview scenario. It also allows the media trainer to credibly play the role of reporter.
Second, adds Davis, "By immediately playing back the interview on tape, the media trainer can use it as a valuable teaching tool to point out mannerisms that need to be corrected and/or encouraged, as well as to pause the tape to focus on the interviewee's responses."
Finally, he notes, print interviews are no longer what they used to be as more papers enhance news stories with video interviews for the multimedia section of their Web sites.
"Interviewees must know the ins and outs of speaking before a camera," Davis concludes.
How can you convince your company to start podcasting?
Lisa Wehr, CEO of integrated online marketing leader Oneupweb, points out that the world's top brands share your assessment that corporate podcasting works.
"To sell your organization on podcasting," she suggests, "take a few non-threatening steps such as sharing white papers/articles on podcasting; connecting with those within the company who regularly download podcasts; downloading and forwarding good corporate podcasts; and monitoring and discussing podcasting growth within your industry."
Wehr adds that it's a good idea to incorporate podcasting into your daily routine and in presentations by setting up podcast subscriptions for management and demonstrating how to access them.
"Report when a client, vendor, or industry group has launched a new podcast," she continues. "Record annual meetings and distribute them to employees via podcasts. Deliver investor calls to a limited audience via podcasts. And circulate some network communications as podcasts. And when you've done all that, merchandise your success."
How can comms pros ensure deliverability of their e-mails?
"In today's digital age, e-mail has become the communications tool of choice," says Ajay Goel, president of JangoMail.
"Not all e-mail messages are created equal, however," he adds. With the influx of unsolicited e-mail and spam, as well as phishing, spoofing, and other potential threats, PR pros should be knowledgeable about technologies that have been put in place to block these unwanted messages, such as SenderID, DomainKeys, and DomainKeys Identified Mail.
These three are e-mail authentication systems designed to verify both the domain of each e-mail sender and the integrity of messages sent, Goel explains. The latest authentication standard even offers a method for validating an identity that is associated with a message during the time it is transferred over the Internet, at which point that identity then can be held accountable for the message. It can validate the origin of e-mail by verifying the IP address of the sender against the purported owner of the sending domain.
"This way, communications pros can improve deliverability by sending e-mail campaigns with an e-mail distribution solution that supports them," he notes.
Send your questions to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Please contact Irene Chang if you are interested in contributing to PR Toolbox or to suggest ideas for future columns.