Client placement tips, crisis coaching for execs, more

What kind of video should I provide to give my client the best chance to get booked on a national talk show?

What kind of video should I provide to give my client the best chance to get booked on a national talk show?

A video, DVD, or a link to a Web site which hosts a video of this person can allow producers to make a more educated judgment regarding whether or not your client would make a good guest, says Amy Goldwert Eskridge of AGE Productions and a 20-year TV producer. "Viewing a video is the first step in deciding if we want to get more information about this person or move on to other prospects," she adds.

Video can come from a variety of sources, but should be brief and to the point. "If someone has already been on a show and there is tape available of that program, we'd like to see a clip," she says. "If the prospective guest hasn't been on television before, this isn't necessarily a detriment. Often, producers are looking for fresh faces or new voices and they welcome having a first-timer."

If your client has no existing videotape, Eskridge suggests hiring a professional producer. "Be sure that the producer is experienced so that the picture, audio, and content will be worth your time and money," she adds. "If media training is needed, be sure to get it done, preferably before the videotaping and definitely before the television taping."

Executive coaching

How do you coach an executive to be calm with the media during a company crisis?

The key to remaining calm in the face of TV cameras, microphones, and intensely inquisitive reporters is to make sure you consistently invest in quality media training, says Dianne Chase at C4CS.

"Whether you secure individual one-on-one coaching or participate in a group session, it is critical to experience real-life-scenario-based media training in order to be prepared when a crisis hits," she adds.

Investing in this type of training will help you learn how to craft key messages in an urgent timeframe and develop your executive's competence to deliver those messages in the most professional way possible.

"The ability to maintain control when the media is shining a full spotlight on you and your company can mean the difference between mitigating the long-term impact of a crisis or becoming victimized due to inexperience in handling the tough questions and media scrutiny," Chase says.
Crisis comms

We're under attack from a blogger. The media and a couple of critics have joined in. How do we get back on track?

Jim Lukaszewski of The Lukaszewski Group cites the following as the number-one rule of crisis survival: neither the media, your worst critic, the competition, nor the government knows enough to destroy you - an uninformed boss, well-meaning friend, or relative often does.

"There are some guiding principles for taking and staying in charge of your destiny," he says. "Speak only for yourself. Say and write less, but make what you say and write more important. Always let everyone else speak for themselves."

Lukaszewski also suggests being relentlessly positive (avoid all negative words) and constructive (avoid criticizing and criticism). "Get accustomed to accommodating the long-term, relentlessly negative nature of these situations," he says. "Focus on the truly important 5%, forget the rest. Remember, silence is toxic to the accused. Refuse to be distracted by negativity, friendly pressure, or the agendas of others. Be strategic: say, act, plan, and write with future impact in mind."

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

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