Interview-prep

You’ve reviewed the 7 Signs You’re Ready for PR and landed an interview with star business reporter after chatting them up at a networking event. Giggles dispersed, you now come to terms with the part that makes you panic: They want to interview you tomorrow!

You choose to

1. Feign illness (complete with faux coughing) while making the call to cancel.

2. Politely ask if the reporter would mind rescheduling (Until you’ve had enough time to build key messaging, prepare talking points, and buy the perfect interview outfit)

3. Accept with enthusiasm, kick it into overdrive, and nail down some strategic talking points stat. You’ll dedicate some extra time to building messaging after the interview so you’re more prepared the next time you hook one.

If you chose A or B, shame on you! When opportunity knocks, it’s in your best interest to answer the door. It’s fine to agree upon a different date and time than the one a reporter first proposes, but this should be due to scheduling conflicts, not your want for a generous amount of prep time.

If you chose C, great job! You have enough time to pull together talking points, and transform into the star spokesperson we know you can be.

The following 4-part guide is packed with ideas and tips for interview preparation when your time is limited. You’ll just need a trusted colleague who understands your messaging objectives and business goals and a few free hours to hash out a plan. Reserve a conference room and have at it!

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PR whiz

Have you ever had a moment in time where you’re thinking “wow, I’m on top of the world, I really know my $h!t” only to have your ego (rightly) deflated after a serendipitous brush with someone who, in actuality, is much more on top of it than you?

If that had ever happened to me, it would have likely happened when I came Twitter-face to Twitter-face with one Gini Dietrich.

Gini is the Angelina Jolie of the PR world IMHO.

She makes us all look like slackers. Just when you think she can’t possibly do ONE MORE THING a conversation like this happens:

Me: Hey Gini, whatcha doing?

Gini: Hi! So great to hear from you! I’m getting ready to speak on a panel in about 5 minutes on the future of PR.

Me: Oh geeez, should I call you back?

Gini: No, no, it’s totally fine. Right after that I have to jump on a plane and go to my book signing in New York.

Me: Oh wow, ok, well thanks for taking the time to speak with me.

Gini: No problem! It’s absolutely my pleasure. Can you hold for one second please…my husband is on the other line and he’s calling because my son is having this thing, and I need to conduct an emergency tracheotomy via satellite before I jump on stage. BRB.

Me: (Inner dialogue: I’m a loser) Sure, oh my God, no problem.

All (slight joking) aside, I caught up with Gini fresh on the heels of her Spin Sucks book launch…a book I highly recommend to anyone looking to get up to speed on this crazy PR evolution we’re experiencing.

Soak up Gini’s wise words, she’s a class PR act….

Rebekah Iliff: Let’s start with an simple one: What makes you so passionate about PR?

Gini Dietrich: I suppose it’s just from being in the industry as long as I have. I mean, what? I’ve only been out of college for five years. :-) Truly it’s because I don’t think we do a great job of doing our own PR. There are so many misconceptions about what we do (and don’t do) that it makes me a little nuts. I come from the line of thinking that if you don’t like something, you should do something about it.

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Partnership

Editor’s Note:

This blog post is touting a partnership AirPR has recently launched to promote the benefit of our Marketplace. So, yes, we are going to talk about ourselves.

But I think it’s relevant to where the PR industry is going (content marketing, publication partners, branded content, etc.) plus we interviewed the co-founder of our partner organization, and he has some VERY interesting opportunities for entrepreneurs.

Read on, after the jump!

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PR-Sailing

Early this morning I sat on a dock in the Sausalito bay near my house and watched – not the clouds roll in, but rather – three elderly gentlemen go about their morning boat routines.

One was probably 80ish years old, the other two likely in their 70s. As they curiously carried large rocks on board, water washed the bows, and slowly sipped coffee while slinging tired legs over the side (all, respectively of course as they weren’t doing these things in lockstep or tandem) I found myself wondering about their stories.

Was he a widower?

Perhaps he was a retired exec who finally said “Ca-pooey” with the grind?

Or maybe he had suffered some great tragedy and felt it was a safer life-bet to disconnect from the world and peacefully spend his days attending to said boat duties?

When you get into the latter part of your life, if you have spent any time whatsoever pursuing worthy endeavors, building something, attending to a family, the probability that you have at least some interesting stories to tell is high.

I have often said to entrepreneurs or those wishing to understand how PR works: “PR is like sailing across the ocean. It’s a long game with short periods of chaos and activity to reach the ultimate goal.”

Let’s remove the conversation about “measuring your PR success” for a moment and look at the big picture. This idea that PR is a core component throughout the life cycle of a company is an important one. The further you “sail” toward your goal of profitability, acquisition, IPO, fill in the blank with whatever that is – the more interesting your story should become.

If approached thoughtfully and somewhat strategically, that same curiosity you have about the 76 year old man who chooses to spend his days tending to a boat is the same type of curiosity people will have about how and why your company has gotten to where it is.

Thus, in retrospect, PR becomes a byproduct of the story itself that is unfolding and less about a specific action you are doing. Your story reveals itself and the narrative clips along at a natural pace because you have made good decisions, enlisted the right people, been passionate about your endeavor…and ultimately sailed through the storms and sunny spots with resolve.

Lend yourself to being the object of curiosity. Build something with substance. Understand where you fit and how your skills and products and solutions solve problems and take away pain.

This is the soul of PR. This is where we go wrong with PR – because we fail to understand it’s not something we do.

It’s something we are.

 

PR Hack

In case you were too busy last month doing one of the following…

#1 – tending to client antics

#2 – chasing journalists around

#3 – attempting to disconnect only to find that (ironically) a phone call or email you’ve been waiting for only comes through once you’ve decided to walk away from technology for two hours

#4 – getting your nails done

Don’t feel bad, release those feelings of FOMO, because we’ve got you covered.

In a world where very few things actually matter, yet we believe that we are required to read, filter, and digest every RSS feed, annoying Facebook post, and breaking news story, we bring you:

News you can use.” Or you can just read it and disregard it, but in the very least it will give you insights into high level trends and prime exemplars of PR at its best – and worst.

Happy information consumption…

PR-Hack-header

Data Driven Marketing Landscape

  • Great insights from Cision’s SVP of Digital Content, Heidi Sullivan, during The Hub Convene on March 31, 2014:

“We need to shift the thinking from PR as a cost center to PR as a profit center. In the cost center model we are using AVEs, social media followers and a variety of ‘vanity metrics’ with no real data. In the profit center model, we correlate PR efforts with sales, revenue, and metrics that measure awareness and action.”

Well Heidi, we just couldn’t agree more. Soft sell, check out our Analyst product.

3 Winning PR Moves

  • Virgin America literally ups their coolness ante by offering exclusive Humphrey Slocombe ice cream flavors in first class cabins. Additionally, any traveler can score a free scoop by flashing their boarding pass at either HS location in San Francisco through June 30th. NOM.

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