2011 Local Image Awards – Call for Entries

The Florida Public Relations Association is currently holding a call for entries into its 2011 Local Image Awards.  The Image Awards competition is conducted annually to recognize outstanding public relations programs in Florida and to encourage and promote the development of public relations professionalism in our state.

The Image Awards have become a standard of public relations excellence in the state of Florida. Winners demonstrate the very best examples of innovation, planning and design. The awards competition includes four divisions of categories: Public Relations Programs, Printed Tools of Public Relations, Audio/ Visual Tools of Public Relations and Student Projects in Public Relations. To qualify for judging, an entry must incorporate sound public relations research and planning. Entries also must meet the highest standard of production, execution and evaluation of results and budget.

For detailed information on how to submit an entry, please download the CFE Image 2011_FinalFinal

PRSA Lunch ‘n Learn Teaches How to Get Camera Ready

NBC2 News Anchor Jamie Yuccas and Former FOX 4 Rising Anchor Amy Sedlacek (now with Norman Love Confections) were on hand at January’s PRSA Lunch ‘n Learn giving helpful tips and tricks on how to nail great on-camera interviews.

Tips on how to stay calm when being interviewed, how to work well with the media and best practices on handling crisis situations were all a part of the lively discussion that occurred at the event held at the Naples Hilton. Jamie and Amy both indicated they have several tactics they use to help ease an interviewee’s nervousness like engaging in benign conversation about the weather.

“We want to make them feel as comfortable as possible so that we can get a good story; we’re not there to intimidate,” said Jamie Yuccas of NBC2 News.

They suggested working with your client ahead of time on how to put their best foot forward and offered these tips:

  • As a PR professional, don’t interrupt the reporter – especially if you don’t like the way the interview is going. It can seem manipulative and contrived, which only causes them to wonder and pry further.
  • Be careful of becoming more of a hindrance than a help. Don’t stand in the way of the reporter’s ability to get the information they need. Being a control freak can pose real problems for you and your client.
  • If your client gets nervous, try to give the media a tour before the interview. It can help relax everyone and is a positive way to start off the meeting. This is the time the reporter often gets the best background information while the interviewee is showcasing what he/she knows best.
  • Don’t call requesting to be interviewed about a story and then give the media “no comment.” At the very least, email a factual statement to the reporter if your client is uncomfortable discussing an issue. “No comment” only makes them want to investigate further what you might be trying to hide.
  • In times of crisis, sending a press release with a factual response to a situation can be extremely effective in getting your side of the story out.
  • Be pro-active instead of reactive; try to buy time to respond when being called upon to comment, instead of being caught off guard without a comment prepared.

Both guests reiterated that their goal as news reporters is to find stories that affect the community, business and families. If you’re pitching a news story, make sure you include information about how it would relate to the general population. The story isn’t that an event is happening or a product is new to the market, it’s how the event or product will affect people or how it has already benefited people in your community.

Finally, build relationships with the media. Don’t think of the media as your adversary – work with them on a consistent basis to forge professional relationships for you and your clients to ensure the best possible coverage of your news story.

View a photo gallery of the January 2011 Lunch ‘n Learn here.