A blog by Campbell Consulting Group, based in Bend, Oregon.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Engaging Our Summer Intern

This summer, we've decided once again to engage an intern to assist us with some of our many client projects. It's a win-win, with an extra brain and another energetic presence added to the Campbell mix, while we offer meaty projects for a college student to gain experience in his or her field.

This summer, it's her field, with Jessica joining us from Oregon State University where she has been studying communications and Spanish. Jessica is eager to learn the PR and social media ropes, so we've designed a calendar of projects that will expose her to all that we do. She'll post calendar announcements online for our neighborhood, tourism and brewery clients and develop tweets and Facebook posts to support their events. She'll brainstorm creative ways to engage the media in causes near and dear to our clients' (and our!) hearts. She'll draft press releases which we'll edit as part of her learning process. And she'll sit in as we media train clients we're preparing for on-camera interviews with TV media. A lot to tackle in one short summer, but Jessica is clearly up for the task!

And, with Jessica in the thick of her communications studies at OSU, we're sure to be learning from her as well. After all, it's her generation who uses social media most prolifically, and she's taking classes that teach the very latest nuts, bolts and nuances of this rapidly changing part of the communications field.

It's going to be a great summer. Welcome, Jessica!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Delivering Short, Powerful Answers

One of the best parts of our job at Campbell Consulting is when we get the news that a reporter wants to tell our client’s story. But sometimes, landing that feature spread is just half of the work: what clients say and how they say it can really make or break an interview. Here are a couple of tips we tell our clients to follow when talking to the press:

Tip #1: What You Say (HINT: Keep it Short and Sweet)
One of the biggest problems I encountered back in my reporting days was interviewees that knew too much about what they were talking about…and wanted to share it ALL with me! As a general rule of thumb, at least in broadcasting, most sound-bites will only run between 5 and 15 seconds long. Reading a newspaper, you’ll rarely see quotes longer than a couple of sentences.
If you don’t keep it short, you may get cut off, or worse, not get your entire message across.
Here’s a link to an article written by former journalist and now PR Pro Brad Phillips, with a very useful exercise to help deliver short, yet powerful answers to any media question:

Tip #2: How You Say It
When being interviewed, you want yourself and the services or products you’re selling to be relatable to the reporter’s audience. This can be achieved with colorizing your statements.  Use specific, colorful details and examples to bring your story alive and make it relevant to each particular audience.  Don’t be too general or sound too “official."  One trick I learned back in my TV days was to write the story like you’re telling it to your mother.

For example, I interviewed countless cops as a TV reporter, but most of my interviews sounded the same: “The suspect fled on foot but was apprehended at 0-900 hours.” This would make a much better sound bite: “The suspect ran away but our officers caught up and arrested him at 9am.”

If you come across as enthusiastic during your interview, you’ll grab people’s attention, and they’ll listen.