Let’s Talk Video

This is the digital age, which means we should be thinking visually more than ever before, according to Studios 121 Account Manager Dani Dufresne.

During her presentation to PRSA this week, Dufresne offered three basic tips to keep in mind when planning to tell your organization’s story via video:

 

1.Be Professional: Because visual storytelling leaves little room for distraction (vs. reading online text), poor video quality will be reflected without proper attention to audio, lighting and graphics. Therefore, beware of bargain packages, which may or may not offer excellence along those lines. Another sign of good video quality is the addition of other elements, which add interest and pace. No one wants to watch a talking-head-only video, so consider cutting away to B-roll footage and including graphics to add appeal.

2.Be Real: Coaching is highly recommended, and videos should be scripted, not read. Consider using what is “real” about your organization (e.g., featuring an employee, the campus, parts of the community, etc.), to convey authenticity.

3.Be Different: Dufresne likes the phrase, “be bold, not beige.” In other words, transform your dry content, be distinctive, and think outside the box.

When communications planning, consider using video in any way you can, such as for VNRs, brand awareness, community outreach, crisis management, and more. To contact Dufresne, send an email to: dani@studios121.com

Nowhere to Hide — Transparency, Communication, Integrity Protect Reputation

By Joan Hunter

*My Summary, Plus Full Speech, of GFW PRSA Ethics Month Speaker John “Pat” Philbin, Crisis1 CEO and former FEMA official.

Unethical practices or actions “are going to come out,” said John “Pat” Philbin, president and CEO of Crisis1, in Washington D.C.

Speaking to one of the largest-attended GFW PRSA monthly programs during our chapter’s September Ethics month, the former director of external affairs of FEMA, offered his personal experience and professional expertise on how public relations professionals can help protect and defend their organizations against unethical conduct charges – whether unintended, true or publicly misperceived.

As an Accredited Public Relations (APR) professional and long-time member of PRSA, Philbin emphasized the importance of leading our organizations to adhere to PRSA’s national code of ethics.

Philbin graciously agreed to allow the Fort Worth Chapter to share the text of his remarks which can be accessed at the end of some of his major points I’ve summarized here:

*Philbin emphasized that PR professionals must match the speed of traditional news media in getting their organization’s own messages out simultaneously, not just to news media but to all their key audiences.

His observations about the environment in which our organizations operate today included:

*Today, speed is viewed as “more important than accuracy.”

*(As a result of this environment), “we also can observe the role of technology and influence of immediacy in watching reporters who monitor twitter accounts and broadcast reports live without so much as qualifying the veracity of the information.”

*“PRSA’s Code of Ethics requires us to advance the free flow of accurate and truthful information that serves the public interest. It is one of the primary reasons that I entered this profession in the mid-1980s.”

*“…We as communicators must embrace and leverage the capability it (technology) provides by getting critical information to those who matter most to our organizations because we will be held to a much higher standard than the media if the information is inaccurate.”

*“I believe it is imperative to help organizations create trust with those who matter most. One way to accomplish this is to promote and enhance transparency throughout our organizations.”

*“The interesting thing about being transparent is that it can actually reduce risk.”

*“Doing the right thing and performing well is necessary but not sufficient. An organization that does the right thing well can be quickly dismissed, marginalized, bankrupted, you-name-it, if it does not communicate well.”

*“As a communications professional, there is little I can do to help a client if they aren’t doing what they say they are doing. Integrity is the only currency we have in public relations.”

*Philbin’s 25+ year career includes public and international affairs, business development, change management, crisis communication, media relations, reputation management and strategic planning with top-level senior governmental officials and company executives. He may be reached at
jphilbin@crisis1.net or www.crisis1net.

Read the full text of Philbin’s remarks.

Grass Roots Media Relations and Social Media for the Small Non-Profit

The Greater Fort Worth PRSA took an opportunity to give back to the local community with our annual service project. This year’s event was a free presentation and panel: “‘Grass Roots’ Media Relations and Social Media for the Small Non-Profit” and was held at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth.

Small non-profits, operating on limited budgets, need information, assistance and training to use media relations, social media and other public relations tools to help raise awareness of their important missions. The free workshop was the chapter’s way of providing some insight in these areas for local non-profit organizations.

The event included panelists (L-R) Sandra Brodniki, APR, Gigi Westerman APR, moderated by Nancy Farrar and Richie Escovedo.

Attendees had a chance to address and question panelists and speak with them one on one.

The following is the presentation:

 

Special thanks to PRSA members Kendal Lake and Dustin Van Orne from the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth for organizing the community service event.

Know thy objective

Guest post by Linda Jacobson, APR

I recently judged communication campaigns and tactics, and was struck by the lack of planning involved in nearly every entry.  Particularly absent was the lack of specific communications objectives. If you’re in public relations, marketing or corporate communications, you need to know how to craft a solid strategic communication objective because that is the single most important focal point of any communications campaign. If you don’t know what you’re aiming for, you’ll never know if you reached it.

Below are components of a communication objective, but ultimately, you’ll want to ensure this is part of a strategic communication plan that aligns with your organizational or departmental business objectives.
  • Expect your outcome. Are you trying to raise awareness of a new widget or new process? Or do you need to move the needle by changing employee or customer attitudes? Perhaps you need a target audience to adopt a specific behavior. Before you can craft an objective, know what you expect the outcome to look like.
  • Use verbs! Once you know the expected outcome of your objective, select an appropriate verb. Do you want customers to buy, ban or endorse? Are you looking for employees to adopt, support or change?
  • Be specific. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve looked at communications plans that aren’t tied to specific objectives. If you can’t articulate the objective specifically, then you are already missing the goal.
    • Who is the audience?
    • What is the timeframe?
    • What is the attainment level?
  • Measure the objective.  Know how to accurately measure your objective, and know your baseline. This is your starting point. What is the current status quo? You need to know this before you initiate your strategy; otherwise, you won’t know whether you moved the needle or not.

Below is an example of a specific communication objective that anticipates an increase in audience awareness:
 

Within the next 60 days, 70 percent of our organization’s customers will see or hear about our new widget.
Starting with these basics, you’ll add a solid, measurable component to your strategic planning. What other components help you achieve your goals?
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