Tag Archives: PRSA

Broadcast PR in a Digital World       

Organized by PRSA

Did you know local TV stations air up to 12 hours of news programming each weekday? TV and radio continue to be popular and high-demand media channels for coverage. To stay up-to-date on new developments in this industry, I attended the “Broadcast PR in a Digital World” event organized by the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) San Francisco chapter earlier this month. The session focused on the best uses of TV for media campaigns and the roles broadcast media play in digital strategies.

Presenters included:

  Dan Lyons, President of Lyons Public Relations, LLC

  Marcus Gamo, Senior Vice President at Allison+Partners

  Julia Miller, CEO of MediaOne Studios, a DigiPowers, Inc. company

Below are my key takeaways from the training:

Dan Lyons, President of Lyons PR, gave an overview of Satellite Media Tours (SMTs). Dan noted that SMTs consist of 20-30 TV/radio/online interviews done from a single location within a 5-hour time window. The location can be both in-studio or on-location, and the targets are national, regional and local audiences. A good SMT can result in millions of gross impressions!

Dan explained that he uses the “Triangle of SMT success” to see if an SMT is a right fit for a campaign. To create a successful SMT, you need a combination of a newsworthy hook, a talented/high-profile spokesperson, and a fitting location. It’s time to put on your producer hat and think “Does this make for good TV?” If you can check off two of the three sides, the SMT is a go!

How to Secure/Prepare for the Interview?

Send previous clips of your spokesperson when you pitch broadcast media, said Marcus Gamo, senior VP at Allison+Partners. Producers want to see if the spokesperson does indeed make good TV. He said hard news isn’t a requirement for securing interviews for an SMT; rather, you need a good hook and multiple angles to your story. Think, “What makes the audience lean in?”

To create a successful story, he highlighted the following:

  • Who is your audience?
  • What do they currently think/know? (A)
  • What do you want them to think/do? (B)
  • What story can you tell to move them from A to B?

In addition, the speakers stressed the importance of reviewing logistics prior to the interviews. Will the interview take place in a studio with a green screen, or will it be remote?  If relevant to the story, being on-location often has a bigger impact. Some interviews might be pre-recorded, either to deal with the time difference or in cases when you gave major/priority networks an exclusive. All options come with different checklists, and it is important to prepare accordingly.

Leading up to the Interview…

The speakers agreed a brief mention of local issues makes for better TV. Prior to the big day, look for local statistics to use in the interview. Also, make sure to review wardrobe with your client: bright or warm colors work well (blues look great, but avoid greens at all cost), avoid busy patterns, and heavy or distracting jewelry (as you want the viewer to focus on your spokesperson – not what they are wearing).

It is important to express and incorporate messaging, storytelling, and brand in your story. To do this successfully, discuss key messaging points before hand. Make sure there are no more than three main points and brainstorm likely questions. Rehearsing and day-of warm-ups are always successful when preparing the client for what’s ahead. However, remember to prep them that anything can go wrong. Make sure you (and the spokesperson) are aware and prepared to deal with situations as they arise.


Julia Miller, CEO of MediaOne Studios, mentioned the top three game-day priorities:

  • The client needs to look great

During interview preparation, you and the client reviewed what to wear. In-studio, there will be a hair and makeup professional present to make sure the spokesperson looks sharp (yes, the guys also get made up!).

  • The client needs to sound the best

Be prepared to keep your client hydrated and caffeinated. Delivery counts! Energy makes or breaks a broadcast interview. On average, Julia advises elevating energy by about 25 percent above your norm to be engaging.  Suggest that your client stretch and do breathing exercises between interviews. This will result in a more relaxed body posture/gestures and sound.

Allow time to review key points with your spokesperson between interviews so the key messaging elements stay top-of-mind. Recommend your client to repeat portions of the questions in their answers, as it leads to quality sound bites which the producer will love. Also, coach the spokesperson to incorporate interview tools like bridging, flagging and pause-and-reset tactics.

  • The client needs to have the best quality team present at location

Again, anything can go wrong. If your dream team is on location, they will make anything happen to get the job done.


Additionally, Dan noted digital sharing and social media is rising in popularity and can lead to great new leads and website traffic. Over 40 stations in the top 10 markets in the country now have social audiences of 1 million and up – sharing video content should be a post-air priority.

PR Pros Go Live on Camera!

Following the presentations, we took part in mock TV interviews. PRSA and the event organizers prepared a professional set-up, including microphones, cameras, lights and a makeup/hair artist.  One PR pro was in the chair answering questions, while another was on the phone whispering questions in their ear. Dan, Marcus, and Julia gave feedback after every interview. Viewing, listening and participating in these mock interviews was fun and informative. By putting yourself in the client’s position, you can anticipate what they feel/think, understand what might go wrong, and what points to stress when preparing your client spokesperson.

Broadcast media is, and will continue to, stay in high-demand. Attending training sessions like PRSA’s “Broadcast PR in a Digital World” are great tools to stay on top of all new developments in the industry.

By Kyra Tillmans

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Inside the Newsroom: Media Talk Tech with VentureBeat, Wired and Fast Company

Organized by PRSA

On July 26, a handful of 10Fold crew members joined the Silicon Valley and San Francisco Chapters of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) for the “Inside the Newsroom: Media Talk Tech” panel event with Fast Company, Wired, and VentureBeat.

Panelists included:

 Jason Wilson, Managing Editor, VentureBeat

 David Pierce, Senior Staff Writer, WIRED

 Sean Captain, Tech Editor, Fast Company

Below is a collection of insights, trends, and other interesting thoughts by 10Fold’s own Drew Smith, Jordan Tewell, Webbo Chen, Katrina Cameron and Kyra Tillmans following the event.

Artificial Intelligence, Digital Transformation, Virtual Reality…What’s Next?

These buzzwords are top-of-mind in today’s technology landscape, and it was no surprise that the first panel question regarded these hot topics. When Jason Wilson of VentureBeat called for a show of hands on how many audience members regularly used voice assistance, the number of hands was noticeably few. Despite all the buzz surrounding AI (i.e. in voice assistants, like Siri or Amazon Alexa) there is still a long way to go. The panelists noted that, for example, voice assistance users tend to use those features for only the things they know work well, showcasing the disparity between where the day-to-day benefits of AI voice assistance currently stand and where they could/should be.

Another salient point that David made was the different growth trajectories of augmented reality versus virtual reality. AR will improve quickly, he noted, while VR is more likely to just chug along. This might come as a surprise, as VR is typically viewed as the more “futuristic” innovation.

Trends of the Media-scape

The panelists agreed the intersection of technology and politics is a big trend on everyone’s mind. It was much easier to separate the two in the past, but now reporters who cover cyber security are often times writing about national security too. The intersection of technology and politics matter now more than ever, and we should address this when talking strategy internally and with our clients.

David made an interesting comment about video journalism. At Conde Nast (parent company of Wired), they want to ensure that video isn’t treated as a bolt-on, and they’ve started to consider video as one of the primary channels when they’re determining what goes where during their editorial meetings. Instead of slapping on video at the end of everything, reporters are putting significant thought into which platform is best – i.e. a 2,000-word feature, a photo essay, or maybe even a Snapchat video. It raises the question for PR pros to determine which avenue is best to take for which story and set expectations accordingly. Not everything will be a full-length feature story these days.

Via the Twitter hashtag #MediaTechTalk, attendees posed a question about non-Silicon Valley tech hotbeds. The panel agreed on Pittsburgh as a favorite, which wasn’t wholly surprising, because the Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and Tri-State region is becoming widely known as an area of innovation. However, Fargo came as a surprise. And David made a good point of thinking about the world outside of the U.S., because all too often we have proximity bias – especially when you’re based in Silicon Valley like we are!

Tips by the Media for the Media

Sean from Fast Company continually reiterated the importance of clicks/views in judging how successful an article was. He and his editors clearly pay a lot of attention to this in a rapidly changing media landscape. Ultimately, what readers think is most important for both reporters and PR folks alike. Reporters approach stories they’re pitched by gauging whether their readers will care in order to gain as many eyeballs as possible. In tech PR, companies like to focus on news developments and its impact on the broader landscape rather than the personalities behind the tech. Instead of product launch stories, technology reporters are interested to learn about the human side of the story. As an example, David brought up a feature story on employees who were affected by Dropbox dropping AWS. The topic was very dry, and David didn’t expect it to do as well as it did. Yet, by adding in the human element, the story became one of his most popular reads to date.

As PR professionals, we can help orchestrate these stories by doing background interviews with our clients to develop a narrative that will resonate well with readers. Who is the main character in the story? It’s important to remember that if you have interesting execs, you should flesh out their bios/background and occasionally lead with that when approaching media.

As a final takeaway, all the panelists mentioned that they’d love to have more conversations with both PR folks’ clients – and the PR people themselves – that have no agenda whatsoever. Not many PR people would propose a “no agenda briefing” to a journalist – if only because that’s not likely to hook the journalist – but I’d be interested to see the results from the brave PR pro who does this.

Journalists and PR professionals agree that the media landscape is changing actively and dramatically. Events like the Media Tech Talks are a great way to engage with the media, understand their thinking and likewise share your own. A big “thank you” to PRSA for putting it together! 10Fold is looking forward to the next one.

By Kyra Tillmans

(Contributions from Drew Smith, Jordan Tewell, Webbo Chen, and Katrina Cameron)

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