Checklist for a Successful Satellite Media Tour Production

May 17, 2017

Satellite Media Tours (SMTs) have been around for several decades and even with all the new bells and whistles in the P.R. tool box, they are still one of the most effective ways to make a big media splash with TV (and radio with the SMT/RMT hybrid) in a five-hour span of time.

CMP Media Cafe SMT on location in Oahu.

An SMT is a series of pre-booked interviews conducted via satellite with a spokesperson in one city and television station reporters in selected cities across the country. The spokesperson speaks from one location in our Los Angeles or New York studio (or any studio or location in the country or around the world) and we electronically switch the spokesperson in sequence from one station to another, conducting live or taped one-on-one interviews with local reporters. In essence, a spokesperson can visit 15-to-25 cities in a matter of hours and this gives your company immediate access to the news media.

Once you’ve determined the basics for your SMT including your story angle, spokesperson, and have a booked tour, here are a few tips to guarantee a successful satellite media tour.

The Day Before the SMT – Checklist

The devil is in the details and the day before the tour is all about the spokesperson and a studio set check.

For the Spokesperson. There are five essential items that you need to do prior to the SMT. If you haven’t addressed these key ingredients prior to this date, this is the final opportunity.

  • Invest in Media Training.  I highly recommend a media training session. You are investing a significant amount of budget into the SMT and going that little extra on the budget is like insurance. Even if you have an experienced spokesperson or celebrity, they need to prep for THIS message. Not convinced? We have five questions to ask about media training that are a must read. We offer media training services. In fact, I’ve even written a book on it: The Insider’s Guide to Media Training.
  • Discuss Wardrobe Options.  There are specific rules for dressing for television so do not rely on your spokesperson to “show up” in a wardrobe you find pleasing or that represents your brand. There is a lot to this topic so please download this free wardrobe and make-up tip sheet that I offer as a bonus to readers of The Insider’s Guide to Media Training.
  • Confirm a Professional Make-Up Artist. We provide a professional make-up artist for all of our SMTs as part of our package. You need someone who understands the art of applying make-up for TV since it is different from other specialties. We work pros who have provided services for A-list celebrities, but if you have a celebrity spokesperson, they may want to hire a specific make-up artist so definitely ask them well before the date of the SMT if this is a preference. Also, make sure you confirm the rate for a specific make-up artist since the rate may exceed the “going rate” for SMTs and that budget needs to be approved so you’re not dealing with any surprise overages.
  • Prepare Cue Cards for Main Message Points. Even the most experienced spokespersons occasionally need to reference cue cards. In the situation of an SMT, there is a lot of deja vu happening when a spokesperson repeats the same interview up to 25 times so cue cards should be prepared to help guide them. I like to recommend that the spokesperson prepares their own since they are working with the messaging in their own words, but it is essential that these are CUE cards and NOT the script on cue cards. You can also work with them to provide them if they do not want this responsibility. You don’t need special materials for this. It’s easy to just print them out on a regular paper (use Landscape/Horizontal printing).
  • Ask About Catering Requests. Our SMTs always include a catered hot breakfast and in the era of “special needs eaters,” don’t forget to ask your spokesperson if they any special requests (or dietary restrictions) for catering. You don’t want a cranky spokesperson because they’re missing their favorite breakfast food or latte. Communicate any special requests to your SMT producer.

Visit the Studio and Set.  If the set has special requirements including props, always visit the studio and approve the set the day before the tour. This is generally done in the late afternoon (between 3pm to 5pm) since the studio will have other projects using the space prior to that time. Your SMT producer can make special arrangements, if needed, for earlier access. Make sure that any imperative props that are shipped arrive two days before the SMT and always have a contingency plan. If it is not an option to visit the set, request that the producer email photos of the set to you in advance so they can make any adjustments in advance (if necessary).

Plan On an Early Night.  Most SMTs require a 5:00am or 6:00am arrival or call time (that’s on the East Coast) and three hours earlier for the West Coast, so plan for an early night so you’re well rested. Also, confirm a car service or know your route the studio in advance.

 

The SMT Production Day – Checklist

If you have done your work the day before, then the day of production is an easy one so you can arrive at the studio, greet the spokesperson and while they’re in make-up, you can grab your breakfast in the green room.

Brief the Spokesperson. While the talent is make-up, take the opportunity to review the messaging for the day and ask them if they have any final questions. If you have new information that may help them (like a breaking news story reporters may ask about), prepare them with an appropriate response and way to pivot back to messaging.

Set the Cue Cards. Work with the producer to get the cue cards set for the Spokesperson for messaging. If a teleprompter is available, we put the info regarding the name of the anchor, station, and market so that the Spokesperson has an opportunity to personalize each interview. If a teleprompter is not an option, the small cue cards will do the trick and the cameraman will usually change them out between interviews.

Technical Rehearsal. I always schedule a technical rehearsal with the spokesperson at least 25 minutes before our first SMT interview (or hit). This gives the talent an opportunity to get warmed up and the control room can fine tune any tape roll-ins so that the b-roll will match the messaging or camera operators are clear on what their framing will be (if it’s a two camera SMT). Finally, this is your chance to help the spokesperson polish any final messaging. Watch their body language and make sure they are not slouching, fidgeting, or touching their hair (or other nervous gestures) and make them aware of it so they can self-correct.

Pay Attention to Each Interview.   It’s very easy to get distracted during a long SMT with emails and other business, but don’t do it. Follow along with each interview since no one knows the messaging better than you do and if the Spokesperson gets off message or gets thrown a curve ball with an interview, be ready to assist with any redirection. Keep in mind that your attitude and energy will directly impact your spokesperson, so supportive and excited when relaying feedback on messaging. It’s also best to have only one person in charge of communicating feedback so that the Spokesperson does not get rattled by too many voices. Determine with the SMT Producer how you want to handle this in advance. High energy is a must so keep an eye out to ensure the talent doesn’t start to fade or lose any steam in the middle of a tour. Finally, take notes about particularly good interviews that you may want to get as airchecks.

Document and Share on Social.   Take the opportunity to take lots of photos and short videos for social media channels. Get posed shots as well as some candid looks from behind-the-scenes. Keep it fun and light. You may want to have some tweets and posts preplanned and in your back pocket as well as short video tweet ideas (think in 9 seconds or less), snapchats, and Facebook live with a sneak peek behind-the-scenes in real-time. Promote the live events the day before and, if you’re working with a celebrity, ask for questions in advance and they’ll answer them live on social. Help prepare some witty responses, where appropriate, that weaves in a short plug for your product. Integrating social media into the mix adds even more value to the SMT. You may want to wait until you get your final SMT rundown until you schedule the social media and then plug it into the schedule, but be sure you let your SMT producer know you need this scheduled in.

Stay Calm and Carry On. There are a lot of moving parts during the SMT and even the best-planned events can have a wrinkle or two. If you’re working with a professional team, they’ll handle any unexpected events in a calm fashion.

If you’re considering an SMT for your client or brand, please feel free to contact me at CMP Media Cafe for a free consultation regarding your project.

Peace and coconuts,

Marianne Schwab, Executive Producer, CMP Media Cafe

Follow us on Twitter:  @CMP_MediaCafe

 

 

 

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Multimedia News Releases (MNRs) Are Press Releases on Steroids That Increase Earned Media Results

May 4, 2017

Want to increase your earned media results and make your press release get journalists to sit up and take notice? Well, then you need to turn it into a Multimedia News Release (or MNR). They are press releases on steroids and can increase earned media results dramatically. In fact, 71% of journalists need PR pros to provide more multimedia content according to a recent survey by Cision which also uncovered that some journalists always (or often) use multimedia elements in their story. The bottom line is they need your visual elements to support your story.

Source: Cision

In case MNRs are new to you, they are a media package distributed through a wire service that includes press releases with multimedia content along with documents, images, video, and infographics or other multimedia elements.

There is no doubt that media consumption preferences of Americans have changed and there is a trend toward mobile readership with a significant uptick in video requirements.  We eagerly consume with our eyes and feast on the latest food and beverage products, tech gadgets, fashion trends, beauty tips, sports gear, and so much more, and multimedia offers a spicy “zing” journalists and bloggers are looking for to make content come alive.

In response to these trends, journalists are now catering to this increased multimedia use and PR pros can get a leg up if they implement images, graphics, and video, into their press release strategy. MNRs are the best tools to deliver journalists what they need. By providing multimedia content, you can increase your earned media opportunities and provide more engaging stories to the consumers you want to reach with your brand.

When you use an effective earned media strategy, MNRs can provide an opportunity for you to tell newsworthy stories in a variety of formats. You can also build brand credibility, educate, entertain, and, ultimately, drive business forward with your targeted consumer audience.

Source: Cision

With thousands of news releases being distributed every day, your story needs to grab the attention of journalists and newsroom decision-makers. By incorporating multimedia elements like photos and videos you can get traffic bumps of up to 77% according to some sources. If you’re looking for opportunities to reach a broader audience and drive more views, then an MNR is a powerful way to do this since the content can be shared on blogs or across social channels in addition to broadcast, thereby spreading a release’s main messages even further.

Creating multimedia news releases are a smart PR tactic and here are some guidelines to consider when producing content for your MNR:

#1 – Start with an attention-grabbing headline. Journalists cited press releases and story leads as their #1 most valuable PR resource in a recent Cision study. They scan through hundreds of stories on the newswires and field over 500 emails or more each day, so unless you have written a headline for your story that grabs their attention right away, you are not going to cut through all the clutter. We have five ways to write headlines that will increase your earned media results so you will want to check it out on our blog.

#2 – Write a user-friendly press release. Think like a journalist or blogger when you write your MNR press release and write it (or adapt it) to that style of writing. You must break free of the standard rules for writing press releases to have the most success with a more newsy or friendly writing style.

#3 – Think of your story visually. It’s very easy to get caught up in the written word and not consider images to support your story angle, but it essential that you think about visual storytelling.

#4 – Photos. Visual storytelling is a critical pillar in any effective communication strategy so think about how to support your story with strong images that nail it. Photographs and graphics (including infographics) are the easiest way to bring your story to life. Provide the highest resolution image possible to allow journalists and your audience to resize the media for different channels. Also, your multimedia elements must be yours or be free and properly licensed since you need to provide the images for free and unrestricted use.

#5 – Videos. If a picture paints a thousand words, then video paints a million. With today’s access to easy video production and editing tools, you don’t need a video production expert to create a good video, but you may want to hire a consultant to guide you through the process who has newsroom sensibilities and experience. We’ve produced high-quality news-style videos on a minimal budget using high-resolution photos and edit moves (i.e. push, pull, pan, zoom) combined with sound bites and/or just a simple voice over. Here are a few video tips to be successful with production and earned media results:

  • Less is More: 60 seconds or less is a general ideal length for videos and 30 seconds is even better so your script needs to be concise since most viewers have a very short attention span. According to Ad Age, you will lose 33% of viewers by 30 sec, 45% by 1 minute, 60% by 2 minutes, so you can see how important an experienced content producer is for helping you develop your video.

Viewer Engagement Research by Visible Measures

  • Think ahead: Before you edit or shoot, you need to develop a script and/or a storyboard to ensure your message comes across as you intended. In the case of a real-time, live-streaming event, your featured “player” should have some newsworthy sound bites prepared that compliment or reinforce your message.
  • Turn quotes into soundbites. While reporters typically like to conduct their own interviews, they will often grab a quote from a release or a soundbite from an MNR if they’re under a time crunch. Make your sound bite of choice even more appealing to reporters/bloggers by giving them a video file to embed with their article. Also, make it memorable and newsworthy (or don’t bother).
  • Be creative but don’t overdo it: If you notice the directing, it is bad directing. It’s okay to be creative if that’s part of your industry, then go for it, but don’t do fancy camera moves that make the audience notice the camera move more than what is being said. You can use extreme angles to create a dramatic effect but only if it makes sense for your story.

#6 – Make it social media friendly. Think about how your MNR and elements can be shared across social media channels including YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and more. If you have a great story, you get even more traction.

#7 – Don’t go it alone. There’s a lot that goes into the content creation of an MNR to make it successful. At CMP Media Cafe, we work closely with our clients to develop the most effective content creation story angle and visual assets including the best MNR distribution package for your brand to guarantee success.

How effective are MNRs? Depending on how the MNR is constructed, the category or industry, and newsworthiness of the story, it’s not uncommon to see reach results hit 75 million UVPMs. If you’d like to learn more, please contact CMP Media Cafe.

Perhaps we can officially declare text-only press releases a thing of the past because MNRs help make your story more attractive and easier for reporters to access the content they need.

 

NOTE: Cision’s annual survey of more than 1,550 North American journalists and influencers reveals key findings on how journalists use news releases and multimedia to tell better stories. According to the Cision 2017 State of the Media Report, when communicators pair compelling messages with rich formats like photos, videos, social media posts, infographics and data, they can drive better and more accurate coverage and increase earned media opportunities.

Peace and coconuts,

Marianne Schwab, Executive Producer, CMP Media Cafe

Follow us on Twitter:  @CMP_MediaCafe

 

Want More Earned Broadcast Media? You Need to Know What a Producer Really Does Each Day.

April 27, 2017

Before I started working as a producer to help Fortune 500 companies and the public relations agencies who represent them create newsworthy story angles to get media exposure, I worked on the inside of daytime talk TV as a producer for infotainment and entertainment format shows. My career started in New York at ABC-TV and then I moved to Los Angeles where I also worked for ABC in addition to other networks including E! Entertainment Television.

Regis Philbin and Marianne Schwab: I was recently reunited with Regis Philbin on the set of Hallmark’s Home & Family when he was in Los Angeles guest hosting the show. I was a Segment Producer for Regis in New York and also produced his travel feature on the Orient Express for “Runaway with the Rich & Famous.”

Since I started producing broadcast public relations twenty years ago, I gotta tell you that not much has changed regarding the basics of how shows are produced. Oh, sure, there’s been a digital revolution and the technology is very different, but except for “email,” producers STILL get faxes, receive snail mail, and the anatomy of a television segment has remained the same. Content is still king.

The Segment Producer Drives the Content of Most Shows. There is a lot involved in making TV segments entertaining and informative and it revolves around the Segment Producer.  Under-standing their world will help you to develop better pitches for your client or product and increase your ability to get you or your client booked with earned media interviews.

 

There are many types of producers in television but the primary producer you will work with is usually the Segment Producer. Most shows have two to ten Segment Producers depending on the type of show (and unless you have a direct contact at a newsroom, you’ll want to contact the Assignment Desk, which will vet your pitch for producers).

“Glamorous” Behind-The-Scenes Photo: At my desk — working for Regis. Michael Gelman’s desk was to my left.

When I was a Segment Producer on talk shows and lifestyle programs, I would field tons of media pitches each week from publicists, book authors, business people, and professional experts wanting a shot at getting featured on my show.

The Segment Producer puts the television segment together from beginning to end, starting with weeding through hundreds of media pitches each week to determine what will make the most entertaining segments for their show. They will then take the very best story ideas and pitch them to the Executive Producer (and/or possibly the Supervising Producer), who will ultimately decide if a segment pitch makes it on the air.

What Happens When the Pitch is Approved. Once a segment is green-lighted by the Executive Producer, the Segment Producer will contact the person who pitched the segment to get more information and schedule the date. They will schedule a pre-interview with the guest to determine the best way to approach the segment, write the segment intro or suggested anchor lead, and prepare the questions the host will ask so that the story flows logically and organically.

Additionally, Segment Producers must ensure that all of the props are collected and delivered to the set, arrange for a field crew to shoot appropriate video to support or enhance the segment, and work with an editor to cut appropriate video clips from the field video (or promotional clips of the movie or TV show for celebrity guests) that will drive the segment for in-studio interviews.

Now, after I booked a guest for the shows I produced, I would work directly with the publicist and the guest to structure a three-to-five minute segment with the goal of making it informative, entertaining, and fun – the pleasing cocktail known as info-tainment. Then, prior to the guest’s appearance, we would go over how the segment would work (or flow) and I would media train them so that when they got in front of the camera with the show’s host, they aced the interview, product demo, or cooking demo (note that demos would always involve a rehearsal before the show).

Marianne Schwab and Jack Canfield. Discussing my book, The Insider’s Guide to Media Training, with one of the best-selling authors of all time, Jack Canfield.

One of my primary goals as a producer (then and now) is to make sure every guest looks and does their best on TV, since failure is not an option on LIVE television and my reputation as a producer (and often, my job) is on the line. Many Executive Producers (my bosses) were known to say, “You’re only as good as your last segment.” That comment has motivated me to keep producing the highest quality throughout my career and also help on-air talent and spokespersons fine tune their on-camera appearances with my media training services. In fact, my book, The Insider’s Guide to Media Training, was just published and has detailed strategies for acing interviews.

It takes a lot of preparation to make things look spontaneous on camera and, yes, nothing happens on a program without planning it, but we did manage to pull off a few surprises for celebrity guests that were genuine and good TV.

Producer’s Insider Tip: Write a suggested Q&A “script” with the suggested intro and suggested tag (along with suggested message points – “suggested” is “key”). This gives the Segment Producer a great starting point and then they’ll tweak the script (or not). Only do this when you’ve studied the show’s style and format since you will only “score points” with this IF you are not writing a “one size fits all” boiler-plate script template. Customize it. The daily life of a Segment Producer is very hectic so if you can lessen their workload by “pre-producing” the segment (and the segment fits their format along with being info-taining), then you’re on your way to building a great working relationship with that producer.

Know Taping Schedules for Shows. When you can, find out the taping schedule for the shows you’re pitching. Some shows tape daily and are LIVE while some tape five shows in two days. On a daily show, there is usually a meeting after the show to discuss the next day’s show (some shows, like Fox & Friends, do a pre-show meeting) and pitch new ideas for upcoming programs. Do not leave messages for producers when they are taping the show or in the daily meeting and do not send them emails during these times (unless you have a breaking news story that is relevant to their show). However, if you can get to them before the daily meeting and your pitch is good, that’s a sweet spot for the producer and then they can pitch it that day.  Time sensitive pitches can happen outside of meetings, but this is a general rule.

The preceding is actually just the short list of how things come together for daily shows, but hopefully, it will give you a quick overview of what is involved in producing a three-to-five minute segment for a television program.  I’m certain that this insider information will help you be more effective when pitching shows.  Best wishes for success!

Peace and coconuts,

Marianne Schwab, Executive Producer, CMP Media Cafe

Follow us on Twitter:  @CMP_MediaCafe

Headline Hacks Are the Secret to Massive Media Exposure

April 24, 2017

When I was a network television producer, I was inundated with PR pitches every day. In fact, it is not uncommon for producers and assignment desk decision makers to field over 500 emails or more a day so unless you have written a headline for your pitch that grabs their attention immediately, chances are they’ll hit the delete key and your email story pitch will go right to the trash folder.

This has nothing to do with the value of your story, product or client but if you can’t get reporters or producers to open your email pitch (press release or media alert) based on your headline, even a good story will never get noticed by assignment desks, beat reporters, or producers.

Here are five ways to write headlines that will increase your earned media results:

#1. Stop Writing Headlines to Please Your Client – Write to Please Producers. Too many times, publicists think more like a client than they do the media. They’re client pleasers, not media pleasers. They use “Public Relations 101” Rules to Writing Press Releases taught by college professors (who often have no real world experience). Clients LOVE it. Media just finds the pitch boring.

#2. Start Thinking Like a TV News Promo Writer. In a world where the media needs to instantly grab viewers, listeners, and page views, with exciting headlines, you need to study how they promote their newscast and then follow their lead when it comes to your pitch.

#3. Use Deliberate Vagueness to Create Curiosity. There was a commercial airing in California several years ago that was produced like a pseudo 11-o’clock news station promo. It started with the reporter voiceover announcing, “There’s something lurking in your kitchen that’s very dangerous.”  There were images of a kitchen counter loaded with food and a refrigerator door being opened as shots of various foods were panned inside the fridge.  Then the voiceover continued, “It’s in your refrigerator and it could kill you.  Details at 11.”  The ad was an obvious satire on how news stations over sensationalize promos to grab viewers, but the satire is not too far from reality. This also uses another effective technique using a threat that instills fear so you’re compelled to find the answer. It’s effective, but don’t over do it.

#4. Headline Hack Magazines and Websites to Use Their Formulas. Whenever I’m stuck in a line at the grocery store, I love reading the headlines of magazines and tabloids at the checkout for headline structure inspiration. Hey, don’t judge me. They have amazing examples for writing headlines that make you want to know more so you buy the publication. Same thing happens when you’re surfing any online news outlet. Study the best headlines and hack their formulas. You’ll be amazed at the results.

#5. Grab Interest to Read More Using Lists or Mistakes. Lists and mistakes are always a hit with producers. From the “Five Best Beach Destinations” to the “Three Biggest Mistakes Parents Make with Teenagers,” these are headlines that pique interest and compel newsrooms to open the email.

Finally, think of ways to jazz up your headline and, depending your client’s type of business (and whether or not they are publicly traded), you may need to get the legal team on board, but imagine finding a way to craft headlines that dramatically increase your story getting before the eyes of news room gatekeepers and decision makers to explode your earned P.R. results.

The key to success is grabbing the attention with media decision makers using an intriguing headline (subject line) that screams “open me” and then following through with a story that supports the tease since you don’t want to “click bait” a reporter or producer.

Peace and coconuts,

Marianne Schwab, Executive Producer, CMP Media Cafe

Follow us on Twitter:  @CMP_MediaCafe

Five Questions To Ask About Media Training Your Spokesperson Before Your Next SMT or RMT

April 14, 2017

Media training your spokesperson for broadcast appearances on TV and radio (including satellite media tours) is often a service that is neglected or performed in-house at publicity agencies.  Before you make an investment in a spokesperson, spend time booking interviews, or engage a company to produce a SMT or RMT, there are five questions you should ask to determine if you need to add specialized media training services to your campaign budget.

#1.  We are paying a high fee for the spokesperson. Why should we spend additional budget to media train them? Even the most experienced spokesperson needs to rehearse and prepare for each on-camera appearance and specific client message. No one “wings it” and nails it. Clients invest a significant amount of budget in spokesperson fees and a public relations campaign (especially ones involving a satellite media tour), but all that can fall apart if the spokesperson’s delivery is not fine tuned for a flawless delivery for their multiple interviews. The investment in media training protects the investment in the SMT and Spokesperson to maximize on-air success.

#2.  Our spokesperson has a lot of media experience and is on television regularly. Why would they need media training? Depending on your spokesperson’s background or expertise, not all media experience is the same. Actors, celebrities, and experts also don’t have experience with the client’s specific messaging so they need to be professionally media trained so that they ace the on-camera interview(s) for the client.

ACTORS (CELEBRITIES): Actors always work from a script and need to be given exact message points, but also need training and rehearsal on how to deliver a client message in a sincere way that doesn’t feel canned or memorized and that viewers will find authentic.  They also need to be trained on how to handle curve balls when interviews don’t go as planned so that they stay on message and avoid creating a P.R. disaster (for them or the client).

CELEBRITIES (NON-ACTORS): Celebrities who are non-actors include reality show stars, chefs, book authors, bloggers, social media sensations, etc. They do not have experience being interviewed on-camera in the SMT format and need media training to master the client message plus handle unexpected questions so that every interview is a home run.

EXPERTS / BOOK AUTHORS (NON-ACTORS): An expert makes a great spokesperson because their professional experience and credibility makes them a book-able guest, but most are not comfortable in front of a camera and are very new to delivering a client message. Media training prepares them to handle every interview with confidence that is important for gaining viewers trust.

Nothing will kill your spokesperson’s on-camera credibility more than verbal fossils (i.e. “ah,” “um,” “uh,” “well,” “so,” “you know,” “er,” and “like” ).   They are distracting, weaken the message, and frankly, make you sound bad. As with other nervous habits, they’re probably not aware that they do them.

They need to learn do’s and don’ts or they could derail their credibility and how to:

  • minimize ahs, ums, and other verbal fossils.
  • avoid wasting precious airtime rambling.
  • deliver a structured message for the three minute interview.
  • segue from questions back to client messaging.
  • how to pivot.
  • handle curve balls.
  • deliver the client message in a way that does not seem too commercial.
  • deliver the message authentically.
  • understand exactly what the client expects.
  • balance the questions and weave in the client message.
  • look at the camera to engage with a reporter that they cannot see.
  • handle technical issues if the IFB drops out or they’re getting audio feedback.
  • manage nervous habits and mannerisms.
  • answer questions and how not to answer questions so that they look good and the client looks good.

#3.  Our celebrity spokesperson doesn’t think they need media training. How do we persuade them to do it? First, it should be in their contract as part of your spokesperson arrangement. Second, it is important for the celebrity’s image to always look their best on-camera so media training is insurance that their personal brand and image is protected. Protecting your brand is equally important.

#4.  Our P.R. agency already provides media training services. Why should we contract services outside of our own agency?   Many P.R. agencies do a great job of preparing spokespersons for certain appearances, but the problem is that the agency media trainer has tunnel vision regarding their client’s messaging and the spokesperson is prepared to deliver the message in a such a way that is over commercial and this can really turn producers off. They’ll cut the client message out of the interview (especially if it’s taped). Also, they don’t media train the talent from a producer’s perspective.

#5.  What is the benefit of having a TV producer media train a spokesperson? Nothing can compare to having an experienced TV producer media train your spokesperson. They’ve spent hundreds if not thousands of hours in control rooms coaching on-air talent through IFBs, diligently watching TV monitors to help the talent make adjustments so that their on-camera delivery comes across flawlessly. You want a producer’s keen eye, innate sensibilities, and experience to fine tune every nuance of your spokesperson’s delivery so that they nail your message and every interview.

If you’re investing a significant budget for a public relations campaign into a satellite media tour, but fail to train your on-camera spokesperson, your brand could be damaged and your investment wasted.

Marianne Schwab is the author of The Insider’s Guide to Media Training and the go-to broadcast media expert to show you how to get booked on TV and ace your on-camera interview. Her producer credits include Live with Regis & Kathie Lee, Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous, Runaway with the Rich & Famous, E! Entertainment Television ON E! Specials, and many more. She has worked in broadcast for over 25 years and is currently the Executive Producer for CMP Media Cafe — a company specializing in broadcast public relations where she provides customized media training services for clients.

Follow us on Twitter:  @CMP_MediaCafe

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Future of Journalism? John Oliver Nails It with Humor and Surprising Accuracy

August 10, 2016

I’m probably not the only one who has been dismayed by the lack of true journalism in the media outlets on television, radio, online and in print.  John Oliver has put together a brilliant segment on how the steady collapse of print journalism has affected newsroom decision makers. It also doesn’t miss the overwhelming focus media has today on pushing viral social media content into its broadcasts and online outlets in this recent edition of his program Last Week Tonight.

For years, broadcast television and radio have relied heavily on the hard work of print journalists who sniff out news and break scandals.  TV and radio reporters are not usually the gritty journalists who roll up their sleeves and get the kinds of stories that put Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein on the map.   That’s always been the skill of print journalists at local and national newspapers.

Sure, there have been many credible TV reports that have broken important stories in politics, corporate corruption, and crimes against consumers, but as I sat in many pitch meetings as a producer, our primary sources for story ideas for television programs came from newspapers. magazines, and PR pitches.   Now, digital outlets rely heavily on the newspapers they are quickly replacing and social media as their primary sources.  Is it the death of journalism? Let’s hope not, but you owe it to yourself to invest 20 minutes of your time today to watch John Oliver’s brilliant segment that hits the nail on the head of a profession that is on life support — true journalism.

 

The satirical movie trailer for Stoplight (spoofing the movie Spotlight) is worth the wait at the end. It’s a very clever and humorous look at the reality of today’s newsrooms.

Peace and coconuts,

Marianne Schwab, Executive Producer, CMP Media Cafe

Follow us on Twitter:  @CMP_MediaCafe

FTC Plans to Crack Down on Celebrity Social Media Posts That Are Not Clear Advertisements

August 8, 2016

The increase of celebrities peddling brand messages on their personal social media accounts that are light on disclosure has not gone unnoticed by the Federal Trade Commission.  In fact, it’s on their radar and they are planning to crack down on this practice that can be very confusing to followers who are not aware that celebrity is being compensated for the product endorsement.

Social media users need to be clear when they’re getting paid to promote something, and hashtags like #ad, #sp, #sponsored –common forms of identification– are not always enough.

The FTC will be putting the responsibility on the advertisers to make sure they comply according to  a deputy in the FTC’s Ad Practices Division, Michael Ostheimer. It’s a move that could make the social media posts seem less authentic, thus reducing their impact.  Read more

Peace and coconuts,

Marianne Schwab, Executive Producer, CMP Media Cafe

Follow us on Twitter:  @CMP_MediaCafe

 

Tools To Help You Find an Expert Spokesperson for Your P.R. Campaign

June 28, 2016

Identifying the right spokesperson for your brand is one of the most important decisions for any company when launching a new product or service and it’s also one of the most challenging, not to mention frustrating.

Depending on your media message, you may need to know about some tools to help you find an expert spokesperson for your P.R. campaign.  Whether your looking for an credible professional in food, health, medicine, pet training, lifestyle, or any myriad of professions, the “expert” part may be two-fold: 1) An expert in an industry and; 2) An expert on-camera.

Chef Kirk Leins

It all boils down to knowing what tools or resources are available to locate the ideal spokesperson to represent your brand.

While there is no perfect tool for finding experts on subjects — no perfect “experts.org” tool with a simple user interface (though new tools like expertisefinder.com are emerging) — two sites, Google Scholar and Microsoft Academic Search, can function as tremendously powerful engines for finding experts. To learn more about how Journalists use these tools to find quotable experts, read here.

Now, if you have a particular spokesperson already in mind, Google is still initially one of the most effective ways of tracking down a way to contact them or their manager or agent.

You can also Google book authors on a topic that works well with your product, service, or brand since the book gives them credibility that leads to bookability with the media.

You can also look at websites for Speakers Bureaus that may give you a good starting point, especially if you’re looking to connect with well known expert or celebrity as a spokesperson.  Professional services, like Celebrity Service, are always going to be the best way to locate your initial contact person to start initial conversations regarding a possible spokesperson.

If you represent an expert, you’ll want to get them in the “virtual rolodex” of news room decision makers.  This way they’ll be the “go to” person when they need a quote or need to book an expert for their program.  So, in addition to your media pitching, you need to make sure that they are listed in these tools as well and increase their name with SEO.

If your campaign includes a satellite media tour (SMT), please contact us.  We’ll give you straight talk on the current media environment and how to bring together all the right elements for a successful broadcast campaign.

Peace and coconuts,

Marianne Schwab, Executive Producer, CMP Media Cafe

Follow us on Twitter:  @CMP_MediaCafe

Copyright (c) 2016. CMP Media Cafe. All Rights Reserved.

 

Paid Social Media Content: To Disclose or Not to Disclose Sponsorship? The FTC Weighs In.

May 13, 2016

The FTC says social media influencers should clearly disclose if they’re being paid to endorse a product with language like #sponsored, but the social media world appears to wrestling and even conflicted on how to handle paid endorsements.

KNBC FTC FOLLOWERS

It’s a new form of advertising but it doesn’t look like an ad to the average consumer.  In fact, many shoppers now find the latest fashion trends, beauty products and vacation destinations from social media outlets like Instagram and blogs and while many bloggers are paid to show off things “they love” they are not always disclosing that they were paid for “their love of a product.”

Broadcasters and public relations professionals are well aware of the rules of paid spokesperson disclosures, but social media influencers are navigating new waters when it comes to adding “hashtag sponsored” to their Facebook post, Tweet or Instragram photo.  Reporter Jenna Susko of KNBC in Los Angels filed a report on their own investigation into the increased and borderline epidemic of product bombs hitting the social media newsfeeds and raised concerns that consumers are being manipulated by posters who have a hidden agenda.

KNBC Jenna Susko

Check out their newscast on nbclosangeles.com on how the undisclosed brand sponsorships of popular bloggers on social media accounts are raising concerns for the FTC.

Bottom line, if a post is sponsored, it should disclose it in some way.  A natural way to blend it in to the post is to say you’ve “teamed with XYZ company” and only agree to endorse products that you genuinely like so as not to mislead followers and fans.  Others can dislike the product, but if you authentically like it, it’s an honest statement and honesty is always the best policy.

Peace and coconuts,

Marianne Schwab, Executive Producer, CMP Media Cafe

Follow us on Twitter:  @CMP_MediaCafe

 

Broadcast from Rio: Get a Great SMT Camera Position at the Rio Summer Olympics

May 10, 2016

The countdown to the Rio Summer Olympics has begun and there is less than 100 days before the games begin.  If you’ve been dreaming about a way to get your client connected to this event, we’ve teamed with the Associated Press and have a great satellite media tour (SMT) camera position at the Summer Olympics to go live from Rio de Janeiro.

The overlook position provides beautiful, dramatic and panoramic views of Olympic Park in Rio.

NBC will own the airspace from August 5th through August 21st with wall-to-wall coverage of the Olympic Summer Games so this is one way to cut through the clutter with a great story for other network affiliates that want to be a part of the Rio Summer Olympics and be relevant to the news cycle.

P1C Rio Olympic Park

What makes a great SMT story angle for the Rio Summer Olympic Games?

The key is to make your client tie in organic.  Perhaps you represent a sporting goods or sportswear company that is sponsoring an Olympic athlete.  That athlete might make a great spokesperson for an angle like “Top Three Winning Strategies of Olympic Athletes.”  The segment would involve those three tips with one tip about having the right sports gear (with a mention of your client) along with other personal and inspiring tips from one of the world’s finest athletes. An athlete with a great back story that has had media training is also key.

That is just one idea, but hopefully this will get your creative public relations juices flowing.

So if you’re thinking about how a satellite media tour from the Rio Summer Olympics would be a public relations success for your client, feel free to give me a call at 213-986-8070 and we can discuss the nitty gritty about how to make it happen.

Peace and coconuts,

Marianne Schwab, Executive Producer, CMP Media Cafe

Follow us on Twitter:  @CMP_MediaCafe