Last week I talked about what it might take to emerge from our pandemic in reasonably solid business shape. Today I want to bring this into clearer focus.
Here’s what I’m suggesting to clients (and anyone else who will listen). Focus on these two things:
- Commit to keeping your communications skills sharp. Review videos of your past presentations or media interviews to assess what worked and what didn’t. Are you homebound with a bright college or high school student? Enlist them to engage you in Q&A (the young tend to be more skeptical, so this should keep you on your toes). Sharpen your video conferencing skills so that, when that reporter wants an interview, you’re ready. The point is do something to keep your skills in tune.
- Position your company to emerge from the crisis as whole as possible. Planning may be a fool’s game now. That doesn’t prevent you from sketching out what you want your message to sound like when we hatch from our cocoons. You’ll no doubt need to adjust the timing and other specifics when the time comes. Why not make this a priority now? it is highly unlikely your competitors are doing the same.
Two steps. That’s all you need to plan for now.
Fighting in Futility
In the most recent issue of the Communications Community Express newsletter, I wrote about the futility of planning now. The plain fact is we have no idea what tomorrow holds, let alone what our business world will look like months or years down the road.
My planned next book has been shelved. It has proven too tough to get interviews with the experts I need to reach. Make no mistake, this is a major business decision. I’ve shifted focus to a shorter book that can be published much more quickly because it does not require as much external input (still an effort to publish any book, but here goes). Details coming soon.
Playing Real Good for Free
Speaking of things pandemic, I encourage you to check out the resources on the coronavirus crisis communications page. You’ll find lots of resources now available for free. Yup, yours for the taking. No strings. All I ask is that, when you find something of value, you share the wealth with colleagues both internal and external by directing them to this page: www.barkscomm.com/coronaviruscrisis.
You’ll find specifics about these offerings and much more:
- Remote consultations at three levels. Choose the one that’s right for you.
- Free 30-minute video meetings to help you deal with current communications and advocacy emergencies while still keeping an eye on the future.
- Three tip sheets to help you slog through your Zoom meetings.
- Emergency Call Box service to help walk you through your current communications challenges.
- Upgraded options when Ed speaks to your business book club.
- Emergency solutions to keep your communications skills sharp.
- Updated pro bono scholarship guidelines.
I’m updating this list regularly, so visit often, grab what you need, and use it well.
Communications executives need to understand reporter lingo and be capable of translating it for their C-suite and other spokespeople. My new position paper facilitates that mission.
“A Reporter’s Glossary: Journalistic Terms of Art” reveals definitions for a cornucopia of insider journalistic expressions. It illuminates:
- The distinctions of clarifications, corrections, and retractions
- What to do with an IFB when participating in an SMT
- How to accommodate TV reporters who say they need B-roll
- Why media training needs to be a comprehensive series of events, not a one-off, check the box situation
- The peculiarities of off the record, on background, and not for attribution