Answering ‘the’ call

When news media call, who answers? Every company should think about responding to calls from media and other people off the beaten path. How often might an average company get such calls – once in a blue moon. How often are media calls crucial to the company – every single time. Much more important than who fields that call is how the recipient handles the … Continue reading Answering ‘the’ call

Media strategy

Two major communications gaffes were highlighted in the news media in Canada and the U.S. during the week of February 8, 2017. One was the reaction of Tim Horton’s executives to interview requests from the Globe and Mail; the other was the decision of the Trump Administration to bar leading media outlet reporters from a White House press briefing. Both decisions, according to reports in … Continue reading Media strategy


Online and telephone scams are a serious threat to everyone and to communications in general these days. And they are getting more effective all the time. Usually, online and telephone scammers are phishing – seeking information they can use to pilfer money from bank accounts, extort payments from people or to order products in ‘your’ name that they can then sell to make their illicit … Continue reading Scams

Do the herky-jerky

Whenever I’m interviewing somebody or watching someone being interviewed on television, I often marvel at the gyrations being performed, along with the words being spoken. I should say this is also an affliction suffered by some TV hosts who find it either attractive or compulsory to engage in gesticulation.  But unless you are explaining, step-by-step, how to climb a tree or demonstrating how you caught that … Continue reading Do the herky-jerky

Not out to get you

Here’s some basic information and perhaps some solace for the many executives out there who fear and even hate the news media. They believe journalists are ‘out to get’ whatever industry the executive represents whether it is oil and gas, financial, real estate , sports or even pharmaceuticals and food. In many cases, this fear and loathing is based on ignorance of the job of … Continue reading Not out to get you

Means and ends

The government wouldn’t listen. The company was being savaged in the media. Its local plant was shut  and several hundred workers were at the mercy of bureaucrats including inspectors of their food products. The PR people were frustrated. Suddenly, the PR team became excited and was able to see some light at the end of the really dark and scary tunnel. A ‘source’ told us … Continue reading Means and ends

Before you hit ‘send’

Many executives may be tempted to give personal opinions today following the surprising victory of Donald Trump. Some CEOs already publicly have deplored the fact Trump will shortly become President of the U.S.A. while others have praised The Donald. Both sides are making what could become large mistakes. Executives and others should be extremely cautious when making any political comment on social media or through … Continue reading Before you hit ‘send’

The physical side of interviews

There are some television news field producers, always in a rush, who take an easy route to supervising the editing of an interview to use on air. They ask the video editor to ‘fast forward’ until the interviewee makes a move – crossing of legs, waving of hands, grimacing or other ‘tell.’ At this point, the producer says “stop and play that bit” and the … Continue reading The physical side of interviews

Media training: it has to be good

Media training is a must today for senior executives in large corporations. The question is, what is it and what does it train one to do? Good question. Media training can be an extremely valuable experience or an exercise in misdirection. Unbelievably, a great deal of media training is being done by people who have never worked a day of their lives in the news … Continue reading Media training: it has to be good