Bridge the Gap – Google boss snubs US Senate – offers to send lawyer instead – declined!

The BBC are reporting that Google’s Chief Executive, Sundar Pichai, will NOT be appearing in front of the US Senate Intelligence Committee, offering to send one of his top lawyers instead. The offer was promptly shut down by the committee who will be leaving an “Empty Chair” to represent Google’s non-appearance. The non-appearance of Google’s kingpins will smack of arrogance to the vast majority of the general public – Google’s customers. Media coaches know the types of questions the Senate...

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Academies can be caught off guard by sensationalist media coverage

It is not always the more obvious “scandals” which cause Academies and other types of school a media headache. Expect the unexpected, would seem to be the lesson to be learned from the recent media coverage of a girl who shaved her head for charity being placed in isolation. Another Academy was pilloried by the Daily Mail for sending home a girl during her Mock GCSE Exams because “her skirt was too short for classes”. There is a roaring trade in local and regional newspapers selling these...

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Crisis Communications – lessons to be learned from Grenfell Tower

Some basic lessons in Crisis Communications were not followed here. We have three simple rules for Crisis Communications: Act promptly. Interestingly, Kensington and Chelsea Council did act promptly, of sorts, in that a helpline number was there on Breakfast TV a few hours after the building caught fire. The problem was that no one from the Council was visible in the sense of being seen to be there, giving media interviews. So, in real terms they were not seen to be acting promptly which...

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A Hung Parliament – the price for avoiding the TV cameras ?

In 2010 Nick Clegg came from nowhere to become Deputy Prime Minister mainly due to his impressive performances in three TV debates against David Cameron and Gordon Brown. Compare that to Theresa May avoiding the cameras in any TV debate where she would be pitted against leaders from other political parties. The strategy backfired spectacularly. Even Jeremy Corbyn was initially reluctant to take part in televised debates, but decided to bite the bullet and front up, though he could have taken...

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How the five Ws and the H could have saved Diane Abbott

One of the keys to successful Media Interviews is basic training in preparing for difficult questions. Journalists who have received even basic training know that the key to writing good copy is to include the 5 Ws and H – the Who, What, Where, When, Why and How? It is the same for Press Releases – which are intended to be written in the style of editorial copy, so they are more likely to get picked up and used. The “How” question usually takes two forms – either “How many” in terms of numbers...

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Select Committee Appearance – Ordeal or Opportunity?

Facing a Select Committee is no picnic as several high profile performances have recently demonstrated. Even the most experienced executives can be left floundering or appear evasive when asked about company tax arrangements or their own salary. Any big news story can trigger a select committee session. It’s unpredictable Starbucks, Google, Amazon and G4S are the high profile, often embarrassing, appearances that spring to mind. There’s far too much at stake to risk...

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Building positive stories in changing times

We’re exhibiting again this year at the National Housing Federation Communications and Marketing Conference. I love the strap line for this conference. It says exactly what we've been doing over the last seventeen years, through some of the most challenging times. Although the issues facing social housing are often complex and demanding, our aim is simple. We're here to help you raise your profile and get your messages across. We offer a range of tailored Media...

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Education in the spotlight

Education is increasingly coming under the media spotlight. Earlier this year it was due to changes in how schools are funded, run and managed. Later we had the usual media feast of praise, or blame and shame, as the summer exam results were announced. But how prepared are Headteachers and senior leaders to handle media interviews or deal with door stepping journalists should a serious incident occur? Over the last few months we have been approached by several schools, academies and colleges...

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Crisis averted

“It all happened so fast and the crew were amazing.” The near catastrophe that was averted yesterday by British Airways is something that all airlines prepare for constantly. Passenger safety is paramount. Knowing your top priority is essential to the success of any business. Knowing how to spot and handle a potential crisis, regardless of your industry or sector, is critical to your reputation. The speed and efficiency of the response by all concerned is as impressive as it is reassuring. Any...

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Protecting Your Reputation

In the final days before the General Election many voters are still undecided, not just about who will run the country, but also who to vote for in their local elections. Only one thing is certain, that’s uncertainty, even at local level. It could be that there will be an influx of new Members for many councils this May. Protecting your reputation may not be high on their agenda, but being aware of the influence of tradition media and the immediacy of social media is essential for all elected...

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