Crisis Mode Public Relations

Jeff Stanislow Radio Show 6-15-20

Working through a pandemic using Public Relations


Special Guest - Maureen Famiano of MEF Media

Sit back and listen in carefully on why having a public relations plan for emergencies is so important.  Now even more than ever with a pandemic.  Were you ready?  How about the team?

Maureen, CEO of MEF Media  who has 20 plus years of media experience talk with Jeff Stanislow about getting ready and prioritizing. 

The podcasts touches on many public relations goals including:

✔ Creating that plan
✔ Executing the plan in crisis mode
✔ Post crisis mode
✔ Understanding how media works in a Crisis

Enjoy the show...

The transcripts are also below!  If you would like to be a guest, learn more and schedule your podcast with Jeff Stanislow here.

Also, if you like this and want to up skill your digital marketing personal branding game using social media.  Check out this course!

The Host:  Jeff Stanislow, CEO of Chief Internet Marketer

Transcript of the Show:

00:00:00] Hello, this is Jeff Stanislow the chief at Chief Internet Marketer. We're here today with Maureen Famiano from MEF Media a public relations specialist and she's going to talk to us today a little bit about dealing with public relations in a pandemic. How you doing today Marine? Hello Jeff. I'm great. How are you doing? Wonderful. Thanks for joining us today appreciated. We're doing a podcast instead of maybe doing this in person down at the radio station, but happy to have you back again. It's a pleasure to be here to talk to you and to keep going through this pandemic.

[00:00:41] Yeah, so we had you had my show am a twenty prior. Let's had to been back in February cuz it was before covid-19 and the spread and we talked a little bit about public relations and digital marketing, but I wanted to have you back so we can talk specifically a little bit about public relations and managing how your customer and how once you communicate during a situation that we're going through right now like a pandemic or an emergency or crisis management. I know public relations is important for crisis management office. So tell us a little bit about you know, some things that we should say shouldn't say or what are your thoughts. Sure. Well, I think during this whole thing when literally the world stopped and paused you had to figure out how were you going to keep going and being in the news business for 25 years. That's what you have to do when a story breaks and my background is television off.

[00:01:41] Broadcasting for 25 plus years, you can't curl up and wait for it to go away. You have to you know, get to it and figure out how you're going to tell that story and the same really goes for what we've been dealing with for the past, you know, almost ten weeks is how do you get your message out there? How do you share what you're doing? And how do you make it unique so that people want to listen so when everything was starting to happen and became clear who knew what it was really going to be right, but came clear that things were changing. I try to guide some of my clients to get out in front.

[00:02:20] And how about things when it comes down to get out in front of it like you plan for this. Do you help them through like, you know some strategic planning in the event of a crisis on it most of the time, you know crisis management has been like maybe related to a hurricane or maybe you know exactly of leaving type thing quickly, but not much regarding something like this where it's you know, it's a virus maybe talked a little bit about how you help your client Choice plan and you know what to say sure. Well, I would joke in the news business as a television producer and executive producer for

[00:03:06] Almost twenty years of my time in the business. You have to yeah, I always have to have a plan and I would joke as a producer or sometimes going to have, you know plan A B C D and E. Hopefully never you get to e but you kind of have to know when it happens. No one could really prepare for what we went through and are still going through currently at the end of May right now, but you have to figure it out as you go off and how I was guiding people in early March and late February's we were kind of getting into what is this happening overseas and then coming our way is getting in front of it and what I mean by that is okay. So whatever it's going to impact us, how can you share that your business will go on that you are doing everything you can to either keep your clients safe way to be able to continue to serve the public in a food capacity to work with different businesses to to stay open.

[00:04:06] And that's what I was really guiding people on who were a little shell-shocked because they didn't know what to do because they were kind of, you know, waiting to see and I said, well you really can you really can't wait to see if if you can help it because you've got to get out in front of it. And if you're among the people who are out in front of it, then you're way ahead of the other people example a food company that I was working with, you know, it's just a matter of don't overthink what you should be sharing but share that you're open show that you're open and in doing videos and and Visually, you know even just the person getting on camera saying everybody, you know, we are open we're taking all the precautions and it was minimal precautions of the time right but you need to let them know that you're open back when things were starting to close people didn't know where they could turn to get whatever they need to to buy for food. So that's one way that I did it another was a company working with them.

[00:05:06] In your population and because it seemed really early on that. The senior population was going to be the most impacted in the most needed to be most secure. I asked them what they were doing to to get ahead of it and they were in the planning stages. So we strategically got in the phone and created ways to get ahead of it and showcase what they were doing and and be very forward-thinking to Showcase that they're doing it and it was quite well received on both fronts and still going strong. I think because of that forward-thinking and just, you know, not waiting for somebody to say what you should do because there's no memo on this. It's just figure it out as you go along.

[00:05:56] Right. Yeah, there's there's there's no written plan in regards to this and when but there are some principles that you probably recommend your clients to kind of put together. What are some of those guiding principles that someone who may you know may not be able to like have a public relations person on staff. I just think like they should think about before they say anything or put something up on their website or think of an idea to help.

[00:06:27] Sure. Well, it really is. You know, you never want to be too too quick because a lot of times that could bite you so you want to be thorough in your thinking and I would always do a lot of things with a headline in mind. If we did this sort of story. Could it lead to a different headline? Would that headline be bad? If if it could be, you know, if it could be misconstrued or something negative could come out of it. Then you have to you have to tweak your initial assessment your initial plan because it may not have been thoroughly vetted may need to do that behind the scenes before anybody sees it because you don't want to have a different crisis on your hand. If you if you rush too quickly, you need to vet that you need to kind of have a place and you need to have a mentor type that you could run something by them to say this is what I'm thinking. What do you think and have somebody that you trust somebody who has a skill set that they can react they can God.

[00:07:26] Can say that's fine. But how about this to you know, it's the collaboration you should have that in place a collaborative Spirit sort of thing. And then how do you get the messaging out there? What tools do they use? Which venues do you do? You do social media. Do you do videos? Do you have media contacts? Do you have webinars? Do you have zoom meetings which were happening? I was on many beforehand. I'm sure you were too young but many discovered zoom in Google sleep et cetera during this time as your kids, but you need to figure out how do you best share that information? You have to figure all that out. You don't have to be as you know have ten steps. But in the event of a crisis, you need to have some steps in place to at least have a beginning and if you work in an office, I think you always have to have I've talked to some of my friends and colleagues who work in big offices who didn't have a whole lot of time to depart wage.

[00:08:26] And aren't really that one yet. So you almost need to have if I need to leave the office quick kind of like if you have an emergency get out of your house safely plan, right? If you had to get out of your business safely not too long after a bit. What do you take with you, you know have those plans in place and know what you have to grab and and know who to call those sorts of things those lists that would save yourself time strength and unnecessary anxiety when something crazy like this hits

[00:08:57] Yeah, yeah.

[00:09:01] Maureen I mean I know a lot of times, you know, people are talking about like, you know preparations for you know, such an event like this or crisis and I think you did a great job that I love your idea about thinking with the the end and the theme or the headline involve and how they want to I guess position your story but maybe take a step back and just say all right, you know if someone wanted to small business owners said hey, you know, I want to I have some expertise and you know in my field and I am I start thinking about public relations what types of things would you recommend them to do, you know, is there a step-by-step guide or you know, should they should take a look at trying to build a list of media people that they can email one-on-one. What are some of the things that you might recommend for a small to medium-sized business person and maybe

[00:10:01] Where where do they fail at it? You know as well. Well when you're in the business of public relations and media, which I am to fold both public relations and media. It's a relationship and relationships that I built for a long time just like you in your lane, you know, a financial planner and their Lane they know who to call they built relationships. They build the confidence to the camaraderie over the time that if they needed to call somebody they likely could get through. So when somebody's looking at getting public relations a lot of times they think oh it's not that hard. I just call up tell them the story and tell them what time to show up well and it's a lot harder than that if that was the case then you know, everybody would be in you know, no one would need public relations experts to help them and the media, you know would be inundated and just you know, turn key on just getting stuff on the air. It doesn't happen like that is a lot of you know Sweat Equity behind the scenes birth.

[00:11:01] Years to develop those relationships and those contacts and the how to's for somebody who's listening and thinking hm. I have a small business. I want to grow it because I've been shut down. It's slow during these last bit of weeks beforehand. I was thinking I needed to do it. Anyway, some simple steps really to figure out how to move forward is think what makes you unique.

[00:11:27] Think of your competition think of you and think of what is your story? So me looking people on my shows over the years take take take tax season, but you know, it's always good to remind people what they need to do how they need to remember certain things, you know different things that you can count different things that you can get credit for when you're filing your taxes and we would get pitched different people could do that. Well, I'm pitched for people. Who am I going to pick? I'm going to pick the person with the most unique story and everybody has a story but it might not be the story that they share. I think they just have to say well I've been in the financial field or the accounting field for you know, ten years. Well great. So is everybody else? So what else Makes You Different do you have a story of why you got in the business while you were particularly fixated by taxes, you know did something in your family history impact Your Love of of that whole industry dead.

[00:12:27] That could be what makes you unique and different or do you just love numbers and it's always about saving people money that you keep a side note book of how long people, you know didn't know about itemization number twenty-five and you saved them this much and that's where you get your kicks out of because it's cool for you when you can help people make a difference and save money. So those are just some real simple little things as I'm you know, didn't plan on what we were talking about specifically, so I'm making this up as I go along but it's really how I deal with all the different clients that I work with figuring out there stored. Once you figure out the story then it goes to the pitching. How do you present yourself to to get the exposure or to get to another person that you meet, you know, Jeff. What are you do? Well lalala. Well, add your story in there not you know for five minutes but a quick little thing to to make them more interested and then have the conversation continued wage.

[00:13:27] It's about the storytelling and then it goes to the pitching as I'm I'm discussing. You know, how do you share what you're talking about there? It's a it's a special craft. But with the story comes first and you go from there.

[00:13:43] Yeah the story, and then you go from there. How about building out a media list? I mean, is that something now normal person bought one of those out like, you know, what do you do or is it uh, do they just like ignore you because they get thousands of opportunities all the time for different things. And that's that's coming in essence the value that you provide right Maureen is, you know, you have relationships and contacts with these people exactly Jeff. I was one of those contacts for many people in the area because I was one that they would contact to get exposure. So it's a matter sure people can build the list but it's more than building the list. It's again that relationship right so long, you know at times I would get inundated every day three hundred emails, you know a good hundred fifty or more were pitches for the next day the next week. Some people wouldn't understand that you have to give the media time.

[00:14:43] The plan right? They can't just say, you know, it's today at 4. Okay, there's the breaking news component to which we're not talking about that but you're talking about a planned outage event an idea. I'm here to tell you a story. I have a good business. I could share what I do to help, you know viewers people listening would have you so it is that but building a list take time. So you have to make the calls to the different stations podcasters, you know be at TV and radio to newspapers magazines small trades you have to you know, take the time to call to find out what's the best way they like to be contacted. What time of day will they see it? How do you follow up? What do they like in their pitches long that takes a lot of time to start building that relationship to get them to listen. That's just to listen to pick up the phone to open an email.

[00:15:43] Not booking you. That's just to get them to read it. Then you have to make your case that you're the best thing since sliced bread for blah blah so long you have to make sure when you when you put it together that it's something that you think they'll like and you have to do it in a way that will get their attention and provide them some things that song that will help them. Tell the story or want to interview you and then it's the nudging and then getting on the air and then making sure once you do get that interview, which is the coveted that's what you're after. You don't want to blow it off, you know, if you have a 4 minute interview on you know, a local television or radio show, you know, you want to make sure it's a give-and-take, you know you go I go you may I go not you go. I'm all over, you know for the next five minutes. You don't hear, you know know know to be a give-and-take.

[00:16:38] An iPad I'd like people who I've media coached, you know many many many many over the years that even when they come to my show I try to help them make their messaging a little bit better wage or they get on it. I'd want them to have a good experience and then afterwards finding different things to tell them just you know to focus on they take. Oh, I didn't know that and I'm like, well good. I'm glad I could, you know help you see it differently and it'd be better and you know, you make your points and hopefully, you know, you get you know people to call you or or or at least engage, I did get one once which is just funny. You'll find funny. We did the whole prep package. I got a link from the radio host with not really anything to it. Other than take a listen. So I did well, holy cow that you know you as the interviewee today Geoff you asked me the first question and then the person didn't be quiet for like eight minutes.

[00:17:32] So that was a good it wasn't the give-and-take as it should be so you don't you don't want that. You don't want to try to Trump the host and you know, birth control the conversation because they they don't like that they like to you know be in control of the of the dialogue and and and drive the ship per se off. And so if you just take all the time and pontificate then there's you know might be a secondary objective that that media person is trying to get accomplished never get to so right exactly. It has to be a give-and-take and it's a better experience for both of you could get a second invite if it was so good and the person a host says, oh my goodness. We didn't touch on very many things. Then you could get an invite back. Well, that's bonus. That's awesome. Right if you do the other as I was describing you will dead.

[00:18:31] And then you can't even use that to perhaps get another interview because that was not a good example.

[00:18:39] What type of thing is absolute No-No if you get a media opportunity with you know, someone that wants to interview you or quote you or you know doing a TV show with you you can't be too aggressive. So if you get through all the steps that you described and you have somebody who's doing the dance with you, they're interested. You can't be so needy and I would have some people who would be needing. So what time should I be there? What should I wear? Who should I bring I'm going to bring you know, six people with me. Is that okay? You know now television reporting radio reporting is changed for a long long time. But in the in the days not too long ago. Those are some questions off. Once you get to the point of the interview, you know, don't ever this is this is the Golden Rule don't miss your interview. Don't be late for your interview em,

[00:19:39] Like if you have a 4:00 interview be ready at quarter of don't call them follow their rules of timing, but don't miss it because now they have a whole and they've got to fill it. That's that's Golden Rule never do.

[00:19:55] Yeah, anything else that you can think of Maureen as we kind of bring this to a close? I mean public relations is is is a broad spectrum of thing since I often get asked us as a from a digital marketer aspect is, you know, I recently just did a two-hour presentation on digital marketing and you could do two hours on one component of digital marketing strategies probably the same thing in public relations as well totally and it's because that's your specialty. That's what you've done for a long long time. You can just speak in guide people as they get through it as can I in in my you know Specialties. So it's just a matter of people understanding the value of what what you do what I do, you know, what would they do in their specialty too? But understanding that they can try to do it and log

[00:20:55] It's it's likely harder than they expected. So ask questions front maybe before they they start down that path do some homework on they you know, what they want to get out of it so that it could be the best. It can be with them doing it on their own, you know, sometimes people will be willing to you know, have a have a 15 minute phone call to say can they run something by you and just you know, put it out there and you can see you know, what and I've done that before to to kind of help guide them that sort of thing it just kind of steers them and then they figure out if they need to, you know engage with your services or not. But sometimes it's just a little bit of a tweak to their messaging or figuring out their story is that that they can be Off to the Races off awesome submarine your opportunity to do your own public relations. Tell us, how can someone find you and connect with you? Sure. Will thank God.

[00:21:54] Again, Jeff for having me on it's always a pleasure talking to you. My website is m e f media. That's m e f media you can think of it as marvelous exciting fantastic media. You can find me on LinkedIn at Maureen. That's f a m i a n o. I'm also on Facebook with both named Maureen femiano and mes media. And those are the best ways to you know, check me out reach me you can private message me and you know, there's so many ways to connect with people these days. That's that's one one great options to do. So, I'd be happy to get in touch.

[00:22:37] Awesome morning. Thank you. Thank you for fighting value to listeners of the jail Stanislaus show here. And I appreciate your time very much. Again. Maureen Fabiano from m e f media.

[00:22:51] Thank you. Jeff. Always a pleasure.