A PR campaign produces a wave of wonderful results, from increased awareness to building credibility, increased website traffic, new content for social channels, and perhaps a corresponding bump to your giving.
But who will surf the swell of TV, radio, print, and online exposure created by your campaign? Is your primary spokesperson ready to glide on the PR pipeline or will the increased pressure involved in adding media interviews to an already busy schedule cause a wipeout?
Presidents, CEOs, directors, pastors, and leaders of all kinds are busy people. Have you prepped them for what, hopefully, is the tsunami of media inquiries about to crash on their desk as reporters discover your amazing organization and your incredible event?
While everyone is usually excited about the possibility of heightened visibility, those in charge rarely understand the potential stresses it will create. With that in mind, I offer the following “surfing” lessons:
#1 – Who is going to ride the wave, i.e., you need to identify your spokesperson. I know, I said this earlier, but sometimes PR campaigns are imagined and planned without knowing who is going to take the media calls. And it might not be your CEO, but a director or event coordinator.
#2 – Identify spokesperson number two, and possibly number three. Having a primary person is important, but because of other demands, they may not be able to field every media request. Identify spokesperson number two. And perhaps a number three.
#3 – Make sure your PR person has direct access to your spokesperson and his schedule. Because they are bound to a deadline and the news cycle, reporters are always on the move. One moment, all excited and pumped up about your story, but within minutes, swimming over to the next exciting sound bite.
Being able to hop on media inquiries as fast as possible is crucial. Having access to your spokesperson’s calendar means you have a free hand to set up interviews without checking first. Make sure he is informed, of course. If this level of control is not possible, make sure your PR person has a direct line to the spokesperson for making media arrangements.
#4 – Talk with your spokesperson about what to expect. You might do mock interviews with your nonprofit’s president or share with him the kinds of questions you would ask. Once an actual interview is scheduled, you might even ask the reporter for sample questions. You can do this respectfully: “My CEO was curious if you could send over a couple of questions that you are planning to ask today. Thanks for considering.”
#5 – Debrief. Check in with your spokesperson to see how he felt the interview went. Talk over specifics that could have been communicated better. Highlight the high points. Encourage them if they are feeling distressed or downhearted. Get ready for the next opportunity.
With these steps in mind, you should be fully ready to crush your next PR endeavor. But always remember, you are only prepared for your public relations push to the extent that your spokesperson is ready. Make sure he or she is ready to go, and you can ride that media tide to incredible positive exposure.
Infinity Concepts can help you get ready for an ocean of amazing media attention.
CLICK HERE or call us today at 724-733-1200.