December 17, 2018

Helping PR pros make smarter decisions

The Real Deal on the FEMA Press Release Gaffe (and Other PR Blog Jots)

The Real Deal on the FEMA Press Release Gaffe (and Other PR Blog Jots)

**[Former FEMA Press Chief Discusses the Fake Press Conference](**
**Communications Overtones**
In arguably one of the bigger public relations gaffes of 2007, FEMA caused a stir last year when it organized a press briefing to discuss the California wildfires situation and lined the press room with staffers when reporters were not present. Kami Huyse sits down with John Pat Philbin, the head of FEMA’s media team at the time of the incident, and the media’s number one fall guy. He gives her some detailed information on the real story behind how the fake presser came to pass, and offers some takeaways that serve as good advice for anyone hoping to avoid similar circumstances. “Pat Philbin felt this incident taught him to be more skeptical about media coverage and to do a better job of building direct relationships directly with important stakeholders.‘Unfortunately, media today is more concerned with speed than anything else. The old model of using the mass media get information to those people that are most important isn’t really effective anymore, because you can’t be confident that they will verify the information [in their reporting] – they are going to run with it.’”
**[Mystery Science Theater 2008](**
**PR Squared**
We’re all aware, particularly after the latest Deloitte survey indicated this very thing, that content will only continue to spread to other mediums, no matter where it originates—people are watching television on their cell phones, etc. But will there come a time when every bit of content we consume will also include a social function? Todd Defren, preparing to catch the last of the Consumer Electronics Show, thinks so. He envisions a “Mystery Science Theater 3000”-style commentary available as an option for everything we consume. “There may come a day when we can give our personal Thumb’s Up or Thumb’s Down to all content, regardless of how it’s displayed to us. Today we can rate a YouTube video. Tomorrow we’ll use our remote control to rate the latest episode of Law & Order, and that rating will become part of that episode’s aggregate score throughout its umpteen re-runs.”
**[Social Media at the Office](**
**Chris Brogan**
In a post relating strongly to his post featured on Media Bullseye today, Chris Brogan discusses the challenges of being a social media advocate in a “normal” working environment—that is, we are not all lucky enough to have a boss who (to use a phrase I’ve grown to despise lately, but it works here) “gets it.” He points out some of the valid reasons behind blocking access to certain social networking sites (such as Facebook, MySpace, YouTube and others), and offers guidance for anyone hoping to convince the C-suite that social media can work for business. “Instant Messenger is a fear point to most organizations. For whatever reason, they see that little rectangle not as a time-waster, but a portal through which you will accidentally copy/paste the outside world your best code, or copy for your CEO’s big merger announcement. Maybe they’re right. When you ask for access to IM, explain how it might work nicely as a team initiative, and talk through how much faster asking a question in IM is versus making phone calls for the same data. Point out how an IM carries the payload of your request faster.”

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