Crisis Management: How to write a holding statement

Crisis Management: How to write a holding statement

Steve Blears Media Training Podcast

Crisis Management: How to write a holding statement. In this episode about crisis comms communication, how to craft an effective holding statement for the media. The episode includes a practical scenario to test your skills.
What are crisis comms holding statements?
They’re a brief initial response from your organisation. A first statement that needs to be issued quickly when things go sideways for your organisation. This might be some sort of accident, financial issues, or other wrongdoing, basically, a PR crisis.
The importance of crisis comms holding statements
Now before we get into this, Crisis Comms is a big topic; in this episode, we’re just going to focus on putting together that initial holding statement.

A few paragraphs to temporarily satisfy the press, public, and your employees and stakeholders while you get to grips with the situation.
What crisis comms holding statements are not
To kick things off, let’s discuss what a crisis comms holding statement is not. It’s not a press release. It should be short, to the point, and contain your key messages. This isn’t the time for two sides of A4 written in a newsy style.

Crisis communications checklist

Crisis communications checklist

Steve Blears Media Training Guide

This checklist is a simple tool to help you communicate well during a crisis. It lists the important steps to follow. Use it when a crisis starts and keep using it to make sure you cover everything needed. It’s flexible for different situations and will help you stay organised. Feel free to copy it and modify it for your own use.

How to create a successful media soundbite

How to create a successful media soundbite

Steve Blears Media Training Podcast

How to create a successful media soundbite.
We’re talking about soundbites. What are they? Well, you hear them in news headlines on TV, in radio news bulletins, and in news reports. They’re short, punchy snippets of speech that really grab your attention and capture the essence of an idea or story in a memorable way. Soundbites are brief, and they’re often funny.

Now, politicians and public figures try to use them to get a key message understood. The skill really in soundbites is that they often encapsulate complex ideas in a simple yet appealing manner. So, in short, soundbites are very cool. They oil, let’s face it, what can sometimes be the dreary wheels of news. Was that a soundbite?

Press release template download

Press release template download

Steve Blears Media Training Podcast

Media TrainingBook a no-obligation discovery callPress release template download. In this guide, we will work through writing press releases. Listen to the podcast audio guide and download the FREE press release template. Maybe you’re new to the idea of sending a press release, or your business doesn’t have a PR firm or PR department, but you’ve got great news to …

How do you handle a media question you don't want to answer?

How do you handle a media question you don’t want to answer?

Steve Blears Media Training Podcast

How do you handle a media question you don’t want to answer? Today we’re going to discuss how to answer difficult questions from the media. This is probably the number one question that is Googled by people who’ve just put the phone down after speaking to a journalist and agreeing to appear on-air.

“Oh no. I’m gonna be on TV. Quick, how do I avoid saying the wrong thing?”

Why do you want to avoid a media question?
Before we get into how to waste everyone’s time by just avoiding answering questions on air let’s look at your motivation for being here.

Yes, appearing in the media can be daunting.
Nerve-wracking even. But let’s not lose sight of why you’ve been invited to speak on the media. It’s because you have something useful or helpful to say. Yes?

You’re starting point going into a media interview shouldn’t be “How can I dodge questions.”

So if you’re not a politician and if you’re not here to apologise for some terrible cock up then it’s extremely unlikely that you are going to need to deploy question avoidance tactics.

To put this in context the vast majority of media interviews aren’t a point-scoring exercise, they’re an exchange of ideas.

Here at Marvellous Media Training UK, we encourage our clients to be helpful and share their expertise and their thought leadership.

You’re starting point going into a media interview shouldn’t be “How can I dodge questions.”

It should be, “How can I help, clarify and add context to a story.”

In short, you will hardly ever need to avoid a question. But let’s face it. It’s fun to practice!

OK, rant over, let’s get into avoiding questions.

How to use #JournoRequest to get media attention for my business.

How to use #JournoRequest to get media attention for my business 

Steve Blears Media Training Podcast

How to use #JournoRequest to get media attention for my business. Today we’re gonna talk about how to contact journalists specifically when you’re replying to a reporter who’s put a shout-out for help online.

What are #JournoRequest and #PrRequest?

Now, if you aren’t familiar with online journalist requests, jump on X, formally Twitter and search for a couple of hashtags #JournoRequest and #PrRequest. Just to warn you there is all sorts of stuff on here. There are journalists from around the world from all different media, from online to TV to radio to print, asking all sorts of unusual and random questions.

TV interview online

How do I prepare for a TV interview online using Zoom, Teams or Skype?

Steve Blears Media Training Podcast

How do I prepare for a TV interview online using Zoom, Teams or Skype? You’ll have noticed that increasingly on news shows, live interviews are done online from people’s home offices. So, let’s get into how we might do these quite well.

Prepare for a TV interview online – Set up the shot

First things first, set up your laptop and the space around you. The space that’s going to be in the shot basically.

Clear your junk

Too often, people look terrible in these interviews. You’ll have seen them. The camera angle is low. It looks like it’s filming up their nose. Half of the shot is of the ceiling with no lampshade. There’s loads of junk and clutter in the background, please do not let this be you.

Face a light source

So how to get this right. First, position yourself so you’re facing some light. A window is best or a desk lamp. Something that just casts light on your face? You’ll look much clearer. You won’t be so grainy. You won’t be some gloomy, shadowy figure on the screen.

How to appear on a business podcast

How to appear on a business podcast

Steve Blears Media Training Podcast

How to appear on a business podcast. Today we’re talking about appearing on a business podcast. But why should you or your people consider doing this?

Well, where do I start? The last time I checked, there were 2.5 million podcasts globally. And there are lots of established shows covering just about every business niche and interest.

Why appear on a business podcast?
But you might say, why a podcast? Well, for most of us, the idea is less onerous than appearing on live TV or radio.

You can share your expertise, get known, liked and trusted, tick. That’s what we’re all about. And should you have ambitions to attract PR for your organisation by appearing on TV and radio, it’s a great opportunity to just practise, really get fluent on your subject matter in a kind of safer environment. Less risky environment.

Sound good so far? Well, there are even more great reasons to appear on a podcast. You’ll get noticed by the people you want to engage and influence. That could be colleagues, clients, candidates, stakeholders, partners, investors.

Yes, you’re probably thinking this. I really love podcasts and you’d be right. So apologies if I’m overselling this idea, but it’s such a great opportunity, you really should try it.

If you’re thinking, podcasts are a bit a bit niche. At the time I recorded this, one in five adults in the UK Listen to podcasts and they listen for longer. Some podcast episodes are an hour-plus long. This one’s only short thank goodness.

How to handle a difficult media interview

How to handle a difficult media interview

Steve Blears Media Training Podcast

How to handle a difficult media interview. Today we’re talking about handling difficult media interviews and straight off the bat, I’m not going to “drivel on” with generic advice.

I’m not going to tell you to rehearse, rehearse, rehearse.
I’m not going to tell you to practise your key messages.
I’m not going to tell you to practise a mock interview.

People are terrified of difficult media interviews and they needn’t be

Yes, you can do all of those things, but let’s address the elephant in the room, people, that’s you, are terrified of media interviews and they needn’t be.

How to get featured in the media

How to get featured in the media

Steve Blears Media Training Guide

How to get featured in the media. I’m often asked, how to get featured on TV or radio as a guest or interviewee. Even people who run PR agencies or work in marketing departments wonder, “How can I get my client or boss featured on TV or radio?”