Monthly Archives: July 2010

Making Your Financial Services Spokesperson a Better Interviewee

Let’s be honest – the intricacies of the 2,300 page Restoring Financial Stability Act are challenging to digest. Even as a financial public relations professional, the task of tracking the ongoing developments of the financial reform while also developing strategic thought leadership for our spokespeople has been daunting – to say the least. However, the need to work closely with spokespeople to help translate their insights on complex financial issues into comprehensible, interesting and differentiating thought leadership is exactly what makes financial services public relations rewarding.

A Crisis of Context

I’ve been paying close attention to the Shirley Sherrod coverage. Not so much from a political angle; I’m not knowledgeable enough about Sherrod or her circumstances to weigh in credibly on debates re: race and politics. What interests me more is the coverage itself and the warning bell it sounds for anyone (individuals, companies, communities) in the media’s line of sight. It underscores society’s obsession with sound-bites vs. storylines – and the media’s growing tendency to favor content over context.

How can professional services PR firms build client loyalty?

As a professional services public relations firm, client satisfaction is something we think about on a daily basis. We want to be sure we’re providing quality client service and that, as a result, our clients are “happy.” However, in his book “If Disney Ran Your Hospital,” Fred Lee raises an important point: it is customer loyalty, not mere satisfaction that binds clients to an organization and protects it against serious competition.

The Boss, PR, & Second Acts

I was born in 1975 and raised a Yankees fan, so George Steinbrenner made it an interesting time to grow up. I was a little young to remember the late-70s championship teams, but I have some vague memories of the 1981 World Series loss to the Dodgers. For some reason, though, they center around Goose Gossage beaming Ron Cey and a beyond awkward post-victory performance on “Solid Gold” (Of course I’ve also blocked out most of the 2001 and 2003 World Series’ too, so maybe age wasn’t the issue).

How to be a PR Star: Don’t Make Yourself the Hero

Last week, I gave a training session to entry-level employees of our firm about delivering excellent client service. I spent a bit of time trying to recall my first impressions of what made clients happy. Is it saying “yes” to everything they ask? Is it getting great results for everything we do? Is it giving smart answers to every question that they ask or having the most creative ideas? What makes some PR professionals stand out?