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Allyse Christensen

Allyse Christensen

Whether you were cheering for the Falcons or the Patriots in the Super Bowl, no doubt you also paid attention to the ads. They often end up being more entertaining than the game. And if you watched in Utah and were paying attention to the ads, right before the start of the 4th quarter, you may have seen the winner of the Zero Fatalities video contest proudly introducing his safety message to Utah audiences.

When it comes to creating a Super Bowl ad, handing over the reigns isn’t usually a good tactic – well unless you’re Doritos and can offer over $1M as a cash prize and the National Super Bowl airtime.

But unlike Doritos, Zero Fatalities wasn’t focused on receiving a professional quality ad with their “Zero Bowl Teen Video Contest.” Instead, the focus was on the process the contest provided. By providing the Super Bowl ad as the trophy, Zero Fatalities motivated teens to talk to teens, in advocacy for safe driving behaviors. And if you’re in the business of behavior change, what better advocacy could you have for safe teen driving than peer to peer?

The “Zero Bowl Teen Video Contest” began in November, and the submission deadline was January 6. Zero Fatalities received over 70 video submissions. A panel of judges selected our 5 finalists, including the winning video. All finalists were aired on the day of the Super Bowl, with the winning video being aired during the Super Bowl in the Utah market.

As you’ll see in the finalist ads, like many of the video submissions, a lot of thought and planning went into these safe driving messages. So enjoy watching from #5 to the winning spot:

5th Place – Fayth Melton, Herriman High School

Fayth’s entry probably had the highest production value. Working with Unified Police, SWAT and her local school enforcement officer, her video shows the traumatic consequences of distracted driving. She includes a dramatic arc that starts with an innocent text from her mother to a visit no law enforcement officer wants to make.

4th Place – Isaac Bowen, Corner Canyon High School

Isaac’s spot was the most cinematic, including beautiful views of the western shore of Utah Lake. His creativity is on full display as he transitions from a teen driver out on a drive to his younger brother knocking a toy car off the table as he answers the vibrating phone.

3rd Place – Kyle Ransom, Logan High School

Kyle’s spot is easily the funniest of the finalists. Wouldn’t everyone drive differently if Grandma was riding shotgun? Interestingly, Kyle’s real grandmother is not in the spot. He asked his neighbor to play the role. She nailed it.

2nd Place – Amy Miller, Lone Peak High School

Amy’s video is an outstanding achievement. Well-crafted, well-written and hauntingly shot, Amy educates her viewers on the dangers that not buckling up can pose to not only the unbuckled passenger, but also to others in the car who may be hit by a human projectile. Be sure to stay for the darkly humorous and sober ending as the body bag delivers one last plea to the viewer.

1st Place – Sterling Jones, St. George

Sterling’s message shows the power of peers to influence driving habits, especially when it comes to teens. Despite Mom and Dad’s best efforts, they might get tuned out. But if your best friend is telling you to buckle up, how can you say no? Sterling made great use of music, a GoPro camera, rooftop locations and had the best closing tagline. You’re ready for the advertising business, Sterling!

Utah teens are very talented and creative. It was extremely difficult to narrow down the entries, so visit the Zero Fatalities YouTube channel to see some noteworthy honorable mentions. And leave your comments below, we’d love your thoughts on this campaign.

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As far as I’m concerned, this is the authoritative, undisputed (though incomplete) list of best places to eat in Utah.

$ Curry Fried Chicken Best Pakistani fried chicken.

– 660 State St., Salt Lake City

Everything on the menu is delicious. I love going with a few friends, ordering different plates and sharing.  

HELPFUL TIP: There is limited free parking behind the restaurant. If you can snag a spot, enter off State, north of the building. If you can’t, there is metered parking on State.

$ Pho 33 Best pho.

– 7640 S. State St., Midvale

Nothing more to be said.

$ Chungas Best tacos al pastor.

– 180 South 900 West, Salt Lake City

I openly admit to having no idea how the rest of the menu is because I ALWAYS get the tacos al pastor. Every time.

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$$ Tsunami Best sushi. Best dessert.

– 7628 S. Union Park Ave., Midvale – 2223 S. Highland Dr., Salt Lake – 10722 River Front Pkwy, South Jordan

Order the coconut glory (tempura fried banana on house-made coconut ice cream with chocolate and caramel sauces drizzled on top). You will thank me later.  

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$$ Mahider Best Ethiopian.

– 1465 S. State St. #7

Order the Taste of Mahider so you can try a little bit of everything.

HELPFUL TIP: You are expected to eat with your hands so don’t bother asking for utensils. There is a sink in the corner so you can wash before and after the meal. The staff is amazing, however this isn’t a quick eat and run. Sit back, relax and enjoy the experience.

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$$ Lucky 13 Best burgers.

– 135 West 1300 South, Salt Lake City

No matter what burger you order, you can’t go wrong.

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$$ Tin Angel Cafe Best lunch.

– 365 West 400 South, Salt Lake City

I often order the Lamb Ciabatta, which comes with a side salad (get the apricot champagne dressing), or in the winter/fall I add a cup of soup (all are homemade and heavenly). If you happen to be there for dinner I HIGHLY recommend the Lamb Strip Loin with an appetizer of Grilled Brussel Sprouts.

$$ R&R BBQ Best BBQ. Best Brisket. Best Mac & Cheese.

– 307 W 600 S, Salt Lake City – 10646 S 300 W, South Jordan

I like the brisket so much that I simply order a half pound, sliced and a side of Mac & Cheese.

$$ Del Mar al Lago Best ceviche.

– 310 Bugatti Ave, Salt Lake City

If you’ve never had ceviche but you like seafood, go try it.

$$ Old Bridge Cafe Best Bosnian.

– 249 3300 S, Salt Lake City

For first time visitors, I suggest ordering the Old Bridge Platter. Make sure to say hi to the owners because they are extremely kind and enjoyable.

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$$ Laid Back Poke Shack Best poke.

– 6213 S Highland Dr, Holladay

Pronounced poh-KAY. Though I know of no other poke restaurant in Utah, this place is great. If you’ve never tried poke before, don’t worry, you can sample until you decide.

HELPFUL TIP: Closed Sundays and Mondays.

$$ Saffron Valley Best Chicken Coconut Korma. Best Cheesy Garlic Naan.

– 1098 S. Jordan Pkwy, South Jordan – 26 E St E, Salt Lake City  

Guilty, I order those two things every time.

$$ Even Stevens Best sandwiches.

– 200 S. 414 E. OR 2030 S 900 E., Salt Lake City – 541 E 12300 S Draper

Service is quick. Food is good. PLUS, their one-for-one mission allows you to eat for a cause.

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$$ Cous Cous Mediterranean Grill Best Shwarma Salad/Plate.

– 5470 S 900 E, Murray – 2121 S McClellan St., Salt Lake City – 112 N West Promontory, Farmington

Delicious Mediterranean with something for everyone.

$$ Sea Salt Best Italian.

1709 East 1300 South

They make everything in-house. The Gnocchi is melt-in-your-mouth good. And my all time favorite meal is only served at lunch: the Caprese Sandwich. Also, you can’t leave without trying their unique flavors of Gelato.

HELPFUL TIP: Yelp lists it as a “$$,” however I would list it as a “$$$.” But don’t let that scare you off! I always end up ordering too much food because it all looks so good.  

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$$ Bake 360 Best Brunch. Best Chocolate Croissants.

725 East 12300 South, Draper

Order the Steak and Eggs.

HELPFUL TIP: Never leave without two chocolate croissants. Why two? Because if you order one, you will long for a second. Microwave croissant 10-15 seconds before eating to melt the chocolate.

Hungry yet? What is your favorite restaurant in Utah? Tell us in the comments!

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Is the student ‘very interested’ or ‘fascinated’?iStock_000068846113_Medium

Do you prefer being described as ‘very smart’ or ‘brilliant’?

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Is the celebrity ‘very attractive’ or ‘pulchritudinous?


Don’t worry, I had to look it up too. But I wanted to prove a point. This point: The English language holds a flood of wildy descriptive words, ripe for the choosing. Nothing should be ‘very scary’ when there’s ‘alarming’, ‘chilling’, ‘horrifying’, ‘spine-curling’, ‘hair raising’, ‘bloodcurdling’ … the list goes on.

‘Very’ does nothing to support your writing, rather, ‘very’ subverts it. None of us are perfect. I’m the first to admit ‘very’ sometimes feels right. When that happens, let’s apply the following:

“Substitute ‘damn’ every time you’re inclined to write ‘very’; your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be.” — Mark Twain

Got it? ‘Damn’ good.

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Facebook recently announced three innovations to provide users with “more opportunities to express who [they] are and control the content showcased on [their] profile.” Here’s the long and short of it:

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Unique Options for Profile Photos

  • Soon users will be able to record and post a looping 7-second video to publish in the prominent profile photo position. This upgrade allows users to express personality, interests and mission in a dimension not before offered by Facebook.
  • Soon users will be able to set temporary photos. A temporary profile picture will have a start and end date infused with personality. This option allows users to support a cause, campaign or favorite sports team on game day. It provides a platform to brag about current travel explorations or new life events such as weddings, births and birthdays.

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Improved Visibility Controls  

  • Soon users will better control what profile content can be viewed by others using a customizable space at the top of user profiles.  
  • This update includes the option to create a “Bio Field” to highlight education, work and/or selected interests in one sentence. This personal statement will be listed front and center, below the user profile image/video.
  • Users will be able to visually highlight personality and interests via 5 photos selected by the user and showcased in the Featured Photos section.

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A Mobile-Centric Design

  • This is just a fancy way to say Facebook is moving things around on the user profile in a mobile-friendly way. And as part of this shake up, profile photos will be centered and enlarged, because who doesn’t want to be front and center.  

Currently Facebook is testing these new updates in California and the UK, with promises to roll out to users “soon.” So start thinking about how you will better express your best self, and consider this your warning: Facebook is about to become more addictive. If you need ANY social media support, direction or increased engagement, give us a call

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TeenAccident800Three statistics every Utahn parent should know:

  1. In Utah, a teen driver crash occurs every 48 minutes.
  2. Over 90 percent of teen crashes happen in the first few months of receiving a driver license.
  3. Per mile driven, drivers ages 16-19 are nearly three times more likely to be in a fatal crash than drivers ages 20 and older.

The good news: Involved parents who set rules and monitor their teen’s driving behavior in a supportive way can cut their teen’s crash risk in half. In fact, according to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Research Institute, teens whose parents are involved in their driving and training are:

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To encourage increased parent involvement, Zero Fatalities partners with high school driver education programs to host Parent Nights. A Parent Night is a one hour evening presentation for driver ed students and their parents, where attendance is mandatory for both student and guardian.  As you can imagine, some parents come grumbling, upset at having to sit in the school auditorium for an hour. However, they sing a different tune when they leave. Recently we received the following feedback from a grateful mother:

“I was at your Zero Fatalities presentation last night at Syracuse High with my daughter and I wanted to say thanks… and tell you what an impact your presentation had on me personally. I can admit I wasn’t looking forward to coming but I’m so grateful I did. I tend to not wear my seat belt and am often distracted in the car. This presentation, particularly the videos and stories you shared, were such an eye-opener for me. Aside from what I personally took away from the evening, as a mom who’s daughter is about to get her license (which scares me)… I’m grateful that you guys take the time to show this to our young kids, to drive home how serious driving is, or ought to be.”

Safe driving requires the effort of everyone on the road. During a Parent Night, presenters review valuable information on Graduated Driver’s License Laws and essential safe driving behavior. Zero Fatalities professional presenters layer in stories, video and statistics to empower parent and teen alike to become better drivers. The goal is to reach zero fatalities on our roadways.

The Parent Night presentation is free and Zero Fatalities is eager to be in every high school in Utah. If you have never attended a parent night, contact your school and request they call Zero Fatalities. For more teen safety information, visit dontdrivestupid.com or zerofatalities.com.

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Need an easy way to collect and share data?… Google Drive can help with that, and it’s FREE. Whether you poll coworkers on their tech needs, or provide a client with a tool to promote an important message, Google surveys can be used on various levels and I promise you don’t have to be a computer whiz to succeed.

Still not catching the vision? Let me give a few more scenarios where a quick and easy Google form could make a world of difference:

  • Before a partnering meeting with local community leaders you sent attendees a Google survey asking what they expect to learn or accomplish.
  • After a training session, you send out a Google survey asking attendees what they learned, what they liked and how it could have been better.
  • In preparation to speak at an upcoming conference, you send a Google survey to trusted colleagues asking for advice on the requested topic.
  • Just for fun, you send a Google survey to employees, quizzing them on random pop culture and provide the winners with goofy prizes.
  • Each Christmas you can never remember or guess what your spouse or kids want, so you send out a Google survey.
  • Send a Google form to determine prior knowledge before a staff meeting.

There are hundreds of uses, and if you google “how to use a google form,” you’ll be shocked at all you find. Below is a Google survey the Utah Department of Transportation and the Utah Department of Public Safety’s program, Zero Fatalities, provided to partners in order to help promote seat belt use in Utah. Give it a read, as it goes step by step through the creation of a Google Form.

*Note: ANYONE can use the following information to create a seat belt pledge, so feel free to copy and paste.

Seat Belt Pledge Google Form

Get your employees/community to pledge to always buckle up, and help those they travel with do the same. Listed below are the steps and information needed to create a Google form seat belt pledge. To view an example of this pledge visit: http://goo.gl/forms/rEmKjOKZ5Q.

*You must have a Gmail account to create a Google Form.

1. Go to your Google Docs home page

2. In the top left corner click on the red “NEW” button

3. Click on “more” and then “Google Forms”

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4. Title your Google Form “Seat Belt Pledge” or “[Organization Name]’s Seat Belt Pledge”.

5. In the description, beneath the title, feel free to copy and paste the following information:

Until we have perfect people, even the safest drivers are vulnerable to the poor decisions of others. We may not be able to engineer around stupid, but you can protect yourself from those who are. The single most important thing you can do to prevent death or injury on the road: Buckle up.

If you don’t buckle up, please reconsider. If you do buckle up, have a conversation with the people you care about; help them understand that buckling up doesn’t mean, “giving in to The Man” – it means choosing to live, choosing to be around for weddings, birthdays, vacations, promotions and grandchildren. If you truly care about the people around you, you will advocate for seat belt use everywhere you drive, every time. Seventeen percent of our population drives unbuckled and contributes to nearly HALF of our roadway fatalities. These non-seatbelt users comprise of fathers/mothers, brothers/sisters, friends and grandparents. A primary seat belt law is a BIG step in the right direction, but no one will get an unbuckled someone to buckle up better than those they love.

If you know someone who drives unbuckled please help them understand the facts.

  • Three out of four people ejected from their vehicle die from their injuries.
  • Wearing a seat belt keeps the driver in the driver seat, significantly helping the driver maintain control of the vehicle.
  • Unbuckled passengers increase the risk of killing or injuring other belted passengers by 40 percent.

But most importantly, help them understand they should buckle up because you love and care for them.

For more information, visit zerofatalities.com and the Zero Fatalities Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts.

6. Then add question number one:

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a. Copy question: Do you pledge to always buckle up?

b. Make sure you check the box at the end that says “required question”

7. Click on “Add Item” to add the second question:

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a. Copy question:

i. When you travel, do you pledge to make sure everyone in the vehicle buckles up?

ii. Remember unbuckled passengers increase the risk of killing or injuring other belted passengers by 40 percent.

b. Again, make sure you check the box at the end that says “required question”.

8. To view the form click on “view” and “view form”

9. To send the form to employees click on “send form” in the top right corner and copy the URL provided

10. To monitor submitted pledges click on “responses” and “view responses”

Like most Google Docs, the Google Form is made to be comprehensive and easy for any one. However, just Google “How to create a Google Form” and you’ll soon realize there’s much more you can learn than the basics. So start here and enjoy.

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4th of July Kids 800

The Fourth of July is right around the corner, which means fun in the sun, boating, picnics and watching fireworks with friends and family. But did you know it’s also the most dangerous holiday to be on or near a road?

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*2014 roadway related fatalities

What makes the Fourth of July so dangerous? There really isn’t a definitive answer other than people continue to drive unbuckled, distracted, aggressive, impaired and drowsy. But what I do know is (1) until we have perfect people, even the safest drivers are vulnerable to the poor decisions of others (2) the single most important thing you can do to prevent death or injury on the road is to buckle up. Watch and see why:

If you don’t buckle up, please reconsider. If you do buckle up, have a conversation with the people you care about; help them understand that buckling up doesn’t mean, “giving in to ‘The Man’” – it means choosing to live, choosing to be around for weddings, birthdays, vacations, promotions and grandchildren. If you truly care about the people around you, you will advocate for seat belt use everywhere you drive, every time.

If you know someone who drives unbuckled please help them understand the facts:

  1. Three out of four people ejected from their vehicle die from their injuries.
  2. Wearing a seat belt keeps the driver in the driver’s seat, significantly helping the driver maintain control of the vehicle.
  3. Unbuckled passengers increase the risk of killing or injuring other belted passengers by 40 percent.

But most importantly, help them understand they should buckle up because you love and care for them.
We at Penna Powers are honored to work with UDOT and Zero Fatalities. For more information, visit ZeroFatalities.com

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Let’s face it, like any company we see people come and go. But unlike most agencies, we see people come… go… and come back again. And we lovingly title such individuals as members of the “boomerang club.”

Penna Powers has been awarded the Utah Business “Best Company to Work For” three years in a row. But more than awards, “the proof is in the puddin’,” as Penna Powers attracts talented individuals dedicated to the company culture. However, with many talented professionals, outside opportunities come a knockin’ and some P2ers may leave the fold…but it rarely lasts. For example, Bobby Brinton left for 8 days before realizing his mistake and Christine Menges lasted 16 days. Stacy Johnson took what she now refers to as her “summer vacation.”

It was such an epidemic that the office has commemorated the group with a plaque.

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I remember sitting in my interview for Zero Fatalities PR Manager eight months ago. At the start, the questions were to be expected: “Tell us about your work experience,” “why are you interested in the position,” “why would you be a good fit”…etc. etc. etc. And then the questions changed: “What three word slogan would you put on a billboard promoting yourself?” and “what’s your spirit animal?” I laughed initially thinking it was a joke, but based on the expressions in the room I realized they were truly waiting for my answers.

As bizarre as the interview may have seemed, I walked out knowing Penna Powers was where I wanted to be, where I could work hard and succeed. Not because they asked ridiculous questions, but because they cared to find a good fit, and as a result, I love my job every day.

The long and the short of it: You’d be crazy to work with any other firm, in my VERY unbiased opinion. If you don’t believe me, come spend some time at 1706 Major Street, walk the halls and see for yourself. #dareya

[SIDE NOTE: I believe I said my spirit animal was a jaguar, and there’s no way I remember what my three word slogan was but I remember it wasn’t half bad. Before the interview was over I did ask my interviewers to divulge THEIR spirit animals. I won’t say exactly who was who. Just know I was being interviewed by Justin Smart, Dave Smith and Brent Wilhite – and the animals listed: a duck, a horse and a meerkat. I’ll let you determine the rest.]

 

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mobile800
Did you know: 94 percent of people with smartphones search for local information on their phones. That statistic becomes more interesting when coupled with this one: 77 percent of mobile searches occur at home or at work–where a desktop computer is likely present (Google). Mobile phone use has become more convenient than computer use. Making the cell phone or tablet a powerful medium for reaching your current and future consumers.

In response to our evolving mobile culture, Google announced the following:

“Starting April 21, we will be expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in our search results. Consequently, users will find it easier to get relevant, high quality search results that are optimized for their devices.”

In layman’s terms, if your website is unresponsive, go to the back of the line…”No Soup For YOU!” (Ten bonus points if you know the reference.)

Websites MUST be responsive for easy viewing on desktops, tablets and smartphones in seamless beauty. Not only will Google penalize an unresponsive site, consumers have very little tolerance for them.

So What To Do?
STEP 1: You need to know if your site is responsive or not. Google has provided a Mobile-Friendly Test where you can check your pages. Google has also provided suggested options for creating a responsive site.

STEP 2: If your sites need to become mobile-friendly, you can do it yourself, or you can work with a great communications firm (Penna Powers) who can easily help. The key is to do it sooner than later.

COST: The cost varies depending on how your site is currently built. Sometimes it’s better to start from scratch and other times it only takes switching to a responsive template/theme.

Great Responsive Site Examples:
Penna Powers enjoys working with UDOT, and together we created responsive sites shown below:

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The Statistics
Mobile marketing is a MUST for success. This month the New York Times published: “Big Advertisers are Sending Their Dollars to Digital.” And honestly, the title says it all. Digital communication is essential to reach your consumers and if 77 percent of mobile searches occur on phones at home or work-mobile marketing should be top of the list.

If you need further convincing, review the latest stats gathered by Digital Insights.

  • 50.3 percent of ecommerce website traffic comes through a mobile device
  • 60 percent of global mobile consumers use their mobile device as their primary or exclusive internet source
  • The average media consumption for one person is 7 hours, and nearly 2 hours is spent on a mobile
  • 76 percent report they are more likely to respond to a text message than an email
  • 70 percent feel using an text message is a good way for an organization to get their attention
  • 64 percent of consumers who have subscribed to mobile messages said these messages induced purchases. And 64 percent of consumers think businesses should converse with customers more often using SMS

The global cloud computing company Salesforce tracked 470 voluntary consumers for a month on their smartphones and tablets and found the following:

  • 85 percent of survey respondents said mobile devices are a central part of everyday life
  • 91 percent of consumers felt access to content, however they wanted, is somewhat or very important
  • 46 percent of consumers who signed up for emails from a brand made a purchase through a mobile device
  • 41 percent of tablet owners say they use their smartphone and tablet simultaneously at least once a day
  • Males are 56 percent more likely than females to scan a coupon or QR code to get quick access to information
  • Females are significantly more likely to follow a brand on social media to receive coupons or deals

I’ll save other mobile marketing tips for a later blog, but please give us a call if you’d like some Penna Powers support.

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Responding to media inquiries is a delicate process, and without preparation and practice it can be a game of life and death. Okay that may be a little dramatic, but rather than make mistakes, let’s take a lesson from some recent highly publicized PR disasters and save ourselves the crisis.

1. Always Think Before You Speak
In a media interview, no matter the format, expect to get a question from left field. Remember, if you don’t know how to respond, stick to your key messages. (Don’t call women fat!)

          2013 Fail/Example: Lululemon founder Chip Wilson and co-founder Shannon Wilson go on Bloomberg Television’s “Street Smart” with Trish Regan. During the interview Regan raises the question, “what’s up with the pants,” as some customers had recently been complaining of sheer pants and peeling logos. After rambling through a lengthy answer, Wilson lands with “some women’s bodies don’t work for [the pants].” To which Regan was quick to follow up with, “so not every woman can wear a Lululemon pant.” (view interview)

          The Cost: Sales drop, Wilson makes a public apology before surrendering chairmanship.

2. Your Tweet Can and Will Be Held Against You
Even when you aren’t in a formal interview setting, things you say in public (such as social media outlets) can and are used by the media.

          2013 Fail/Example: Before Justine Sacco, director of corporate communications for InterActive Corp (IAC), boarded her flight to Africa she tweeted: “Going to Africa. Hope I don’t get AIDS. Just kidding. I’m white!”

          The Cost: Huge controversy erupted while Sacco was mid-flight with no internet access. The hashtag #HasJustineLandedYet quickly began trending and a parody account @LOLJustineSacco appeared. IAC quickly made a statement distancing themselves from Sacco’s tweet. Sacco made a public apology. Sacco was fired.

3. Always Check and Double Check Your Sources
If you are providing a source to the media, make sure the individual/company is exactly what you expect them to be.

          2012 Fail/Example: 60 Minutes aired an interview with Dylan Davies who vividly recounted being at the U.S. consulate during the fatal attack in Benghazi, Libya in September 2012. However, after the story aired, Davies’ tale was put to question. CBS Correspondent Lara Logan initially defends Davies and then blamed him when the story was found to be false.

          The Cost: CBS publicly apologizes, goes into damage control and answers MANY follow up questions from the public and other media outlets. Logan and her producer were asked to take a leave of absence.

4. Never Pass Blame
When you are in the wrong, and the public knows you are in the wrong, you better own up to it with honest confidence. If you make a mistake, you can recover. Sometimes mistakes are opportunities to shine. However, sometimes it’s the last hole in a sinking ship. Be very careful in how you respond, ALWAYS.

           2010 Fail/Example: We all remember the BP oil spill of April 2010. Eleven people were killed and oil leaked from the ocean floor. Initially the company downplayed the spill only to later call it an “environmental catastrophe.” In the difficult process, CEO Tony Hayward told a reporter “we’re sorry for the massive disruption it’s caused to their lives. There’s no one who wants this thing over more than I do, I’d like my life back.”

           The Cost: BP and its CEO were criticized left and right. Even President Obama, in an NBC interview, said Hayward “wouldn’t be working for me after any of those statements.” Six months after the explosion, Hayward “got his life back” when he stepped down as CEO.

5. Limit Off-the-Cuff Jokes
Remember, a joke can be interpreted a million different ways. Be VERY cautious when using humor on record.

          2009 Fail/Example: In November 2009 our nation was in the greatest financial crisis since the Great Depression. During an interview with the London Times, CEO of Goldman Sachs Lloyd Blankfein answered questions concerning employee compensation. He defended their company’s large staff bonuses, despite the national economic struggle, saying banks serve a social purpose and bankers were just doing “God’s work.” Days later Blankfein clarified that his comment was intended as a joke.

          The Cost: The media and public had a heyday–article after blog, after report after skit–people definitely laughed. Blankfein publicly apologized on behalf of Goldman Sachs, while the company worked to dig out of this self-made hole. (read the WSJ blog or Colbert Report)

So let this be a warning and reminder: Always be ready when media come calling. Have key message documents, media prep sessions and a great deal of common sense.

For media advice or strategic planning, give us a call. OR for another informative read: “The worst advice we’ve ever heard for handling a media interview.”

 

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