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Communications Services

News Interview Training

Working with news media is demanding. It requires forethought, planning, preparation, rehearsal and the ability to think on your feet.

A news interview begins, not when you sit down with the journalist and the camera starts rolling, but when the first contact is made to coordinate the interview. This is when you ask questions and establish conditions for the interview; and this is when you begin your preparations for that opportunity.

Your interview is not free publicity for your organization,  but, like bad publicity, a poor performance in an interview can affect your organization’s credibility.

I have provided top-quality media interview training to thousands of public servants, military, NGOs,  private corporations, representatives of NATO and Ministries of Defence of 15 nations. (Read more)

 

Communications Planning

A communications strategy is the long-term, overarching document that looks several years into the future.

A communications plan is normally an event-related forecast of communications activities to support an anticipated or planned announcement, incident or action.

A communications summary is a brief description of the planned communications activities to support a plan or an event.

Each addresses a different need, and each needs a unique approach. They include a panoply of projects and programs from major equipment purchases and capital construction programs to program and policy announcements.

My communications strategies include the Gulf War - 1989; Oka - 1990; and the Kosovo uprising - 2004.  

 

Writing Services

“Applied journalism:” news releases, articles, background information monographs and op-ed essays, require a thorough understanding and implementation of the journalist style to keep it out of the editor’s trash bin.

But “applied journalism” is not the only writing you have to do. Your business writing requires a clear and comprehensive writing style that adapts to the culture and  requirements of your organization.

Correspondence, reports, memoranda and research papers each calls for a particular approach to preparation and production for you to be recognized as a leading professional and for the product to communicate its information to its intended audience.

But the downside is that it all takes valuable time, and time is your most limited commodity.

 

News Conferences

How prepared are you to conduct a news conference?

Do you have a qualified organizer and moderator?

Where and when should it be conducted?

Simply stated, a bad news conference results in bad news coverage. Yours should be managed by an experienced practitioner with experience and the presence-of-mind to prepare your speaker, coordinate the event and moderate it professionally and effectively.

My news conference experiences include Oka (daily for several months) -1990; SWISSAIR 111 (daily for two weeks)- 1998; arrival of 2400 Albanian Kosovars (a series over three weeks) - 1999; seven major NATO simulations; and the transition to the new milennium - 1999/2000.

 

PowerPoint Presentations

PowerPoint, when used properly, can be  an effective tool for learning, instructing and presenting, and can be one of the most powerful tools for disseminating information ever known. Employed inappropriately, PowerPoint could potentially confuse students, attendees and participants, and make learning a difficult process.

It accommodates different learning and presenting styles and can add new dimensions to your presentations by allowing you to explain abstract and controversial concepts by incorporating mixed media - but only if it is employed effectively and appropriately.

Frequently, a PowerPoint presentation is merely a substitute for a chalkboard or a whiteboard, using only words in bullet formats.

Learn how to unlock PowerPoint’s potential and make your presentations more effective and memorable, or allow us to do it for you.

 

Business Writing

The Art of Writing is the Art of Applying the Seat of the Pants to the Seat of the Chair (Mary Heaton Vorse ,1874-1966)
Business writing requires so many skills: research, reader identification and definition, refining, editing and a certain pragmatic approach that meets the sometimes-conflicting needs of your organization and the reader.
Whether you are writing correspondence, reports, memoranda and research papers, it is more than words on paper. Your business writing requires a clear and comprehensive writing style that adapts to the culture and  requirements of your organization.
Your writing is frequently the only medium many of your  colleagues and correspondents can use to judge you. Learn the techniques of effective writing and the forms and formats that meet your needs, increase your effectiveness, and allow you to communicate at your highest level.

 

Crisis & Emergency Communications

Crisis communication mitigates a crisis situation. By definition, a crisis is unexpected and detrimental. In some circumstances, this process can play a significant role by transforming the situation into an opportunity through the application of effective communications programs. It addresses the effects of a negative event, to recover from its impact, normalize business practices and restore regular communications flow. It requires a rapid response capacity, an interactive outreach program to convey to media and the public the measures being implemented to remediate the circumstances that caused the crisis.

My crisis communications experiences include Swissair 111 (1998), the arrival of 2,400 ethnic Albanian Kosovars (1999), Bosnia Herzegovina war, Macedonia’s insurrection of 2002, the Kosovo crisis of 2004.

 

Speech Writing and Coaching

The impact of a speech depends on a myriad of factors: the abilities of the speaker, the subject about which s/he is speaking and the content of the remarks. The starting point is the prepared remarks that will carry your messages to your audience, using verbal imagery, examples and wording that achieve your objectives in clear and unambiguous language. And, there are times when you might benefit from someone who provides constructive commentary and helps with your delivery.

Whether to inform, persuade or inspire, an address must interest your audience by its relevance, its content and its delivery.

Well-prepared remarks, tailored to your particular audience, with coaching and rehearsal, will achieve your objectives.

 

Issues Management

Every organization has factors that may affect your strategic or operational capabilities, public image or viability. Sometimes these matters simply go away by themselves, but other times, ignoring them only exacerbates their severity and impact, and like fish out of water, the longer they’re left unattended, the smellier they become. Issues management identifies and manages these matters before they “begin to smell,” or worse. 

Issues can begin as benignly as a customer observation that becomes a complaint, a letter to the editor or a commentary on social media. They can then skyrocket, sometimes out of proportion to their actual significance, if they are neglected or mismanaged.

Early identification and treatment prevents subsequent crisis.

 

News Content Analysis

News content analysis is not the copying of newspaper  clippings or transcription of radio and television reports. It studies what the media is reporting about you or your organization.

It has two possible profiles. It can examine news coverage about an organization, agency, government department or company to track media commentary. Secondly, it tracks news coverage about an issue, topic or subject.

In both instances, it looks at its content, presentation, impact and degree of objectivity, bias or neutrality.

To be an effective gauge of the media’s commentary and coverage, news content analysis must be conducted continuously, to build an appreciation of its quality, quantity, depth and nature.