Media Advice for your Spokesperson

By Mark Macias

The Daily Caller recently asked me to write an editorial, giving advice to the next White House spokesperson. What can she do to get off to a better start than press secretary Sean Spicer? What should she do differently to improve the White House relationship with the media?

You can read that article here if you like politics. But let’s bring it back to your business. How do you empower your spokesperson, PR team or communications director so he or she can succeed on the job?

How to ensure your PR firm or Communications team Succeeds

In that editorial for the Daily Caller, I outline three major points that can help your PR firm succeed.

  1. Don’t approach a crisis with talking points.
  2. Insist on communicating directly with the CEO.
  3. Develop relationships with the media.

You don’t have to be in the White House to face a company crisis. If a disgruntled employee gets your business in the news and the headlines are negative, you can’t approach a crisis with talking points. Focus on what went wrong and tailor your message to providing a solution.

Many PR firms are left to wander aimlessly in the dark. The best PR firms will continue to find stories that resonate with reporters, but average PR firms will wade through the water without direction. As CEO or CMO, it’s your job to make sure your message is conveyed to your PR firm or communications team. Give them guidance and tell them what you want. Then, let them execute.

Relationships matter in business. If your publicist is pitching stories to beat reporters, they should have good ideas and advance every communication. I always tell my team if a reporter isn’t responding to our pitch *after* they said they like the story, it’s our job to continue selling it. We do that by advancing the narrative. The great PR firms continue to provide new elements that intrigue the reporters into getting it published.

Want to learn more? You can read my editorial for The Daily Caller here. If you look deep enough, you’ll discover this information applies to all CEOs, and not just the President.

Macias PR was named the 2015 and 2016 top PR Firm of the Year – USA by Finance Monthly. The founder – Mark Macias – is a former Executive Producer with NBC and Senior Producer with CBS in New York. He is also a PR contributor with CNBC, providing media analysis, insight and crisis advice on timely business topics.