Navigating the new normal in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic is an especially trying time for the nonprofit sector. This is the fourth article in our nonprofit leader series developed in collaboration with a diverse cohort of nonprofit consultants based in the Tampa Bay Area.
This is the third article in our nonprofit leader series on managing the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic developed in collaboration with trusted Tampa Bay Area nonprofit consultants.
This is the second article in our series aimed at helping nonprofit leaders navigate new challenges that have surfaced in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. This content was developed in collaboration with trusted colleagues in the Tampa Bay Area that also provide consulting services to the nonprofit sector.
Madeira recently had the pleasure of collaborating with Tampa Bay Area nonprofit experts on a four part series on survival strategies for nonprofit leaders navigating the complexities of the "new normal" in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. This is the first article in this informative series.
We recently sat down with a producer at a major television network to talk about how nonprofits can bolster their media coverage during the COVID-19 pandemic. We also veered off into discussing media pitching basics making this tutorial a helpful resource for any organization wanting to generate positive broadcast news coverage.
Video featured on the Big Cat Rescue website
In the final installment in our three-part blog series, we reveal three reputational mistakes Tiger King’s Carole Baskin makes throughout the docuseries. The first and second posts highlight how Baskin’s on-screen behavior diminishes her credibility and ultimately takes the focus off her organization’s trifold mission of “providing the best home we can for the cats in our care, ending abuse of big cats in captivity and preventing extinction of big cats in the wild.”
Blunder #5 - A failure to set boundaries. If the filmmakers of Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness kept digging into Baskin’s personal life, what options did she have to maintain her credibility? Baskin had a choice to participate in the filming and did so with the intention of furthering her organization’s mission to protect big cats.
Rebuttal video featured on the Big Cat Rescue website
We continue to explore the reputational snafus that the antagonist from Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness made throughout the series’ seven episodes. In our previous post, we discussed how Carole Baskin’s tendency to restate negative occurrences and highlight her missing second husband’s bad behavior have tarnished her reputation from a public relations perspective.
Blunder #3 - Lacking compassion and empathy. The obvious element missing from the docuseries and Baskin’s rebuttal statement is the slightest hint of compassion. Baskin never indicates Lewis’ disappearance was tragic or that although their union wasn’t always perfect, she was devastated to lose him in this manner and never have closure. She doesn’t adequately convey empathy regarding how the loss may have impacted Lewis’ children, friends and other family members.
Official Netflix Trailer for Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness
If you’ve been spending your time in quarantine watching the Netflix docuseries Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness, you’re not alone. With our headquarters in the Tampa Bay Area, the story was only that much more riveting a watch.
Even before the seven-part docuseries was released, Carole Baskin, the founder and owner of Big Cat Rescue has been an infamous figure in Bay Area life since her second husband’s disappearance in 1997.
Now more than two decades later, that sensational side of Baskin’s narrative had long faded from the media spotlight and remained mostly as unsubstantiated whispers around town. Her appearance in Tiger King once again thrust Baskin into the national spotlight for more than her work to protect big cats.
of As we adjust to the new normal video conference conferencing is not just bringing us together on the work front but is now also a lifeline to stay socially connected.
Madeira Public Relations always used Google Hangouts for video meetings until video became our main lifeline to the outside world. While we loved the simplicity of Google Hangouts, we needed a platform with more bells and whistles to host larger meetings.
Based on client feedback, Zoom seemed like the perfect for both our team as well as our clients. Now that we've been using Zoom for a couple of weeks now, we've learned some valuable lessons on not just how to best optimize the platform's functions but also how to facilitate an effective video conference.
Finding the Right Words
Have you noticed that in some news reports that the words novel or new proceed the word coronavirus? In other instances, the virus that has upended our lives for the foreseeable future is referred to as COVID-19 or a pandemic instead of an epidemic.
These subtle differences in phraseology can impact the accuracy of what you may be trying to convey. As nearly every organization is making statements regarding its response to the pandemic or changes in operational procedures in efforts to reduce the spread of COVID-19, knowing how to talk to about the virus using the correct terms is critical.
Fortunately, the Associated Press Stylebook, the definitive guide for journalists and wordsmiths alike, has issued a helpful guide on how to correctly integrate coronavirus, COVID-19 and other related terms in any content that you might publish on the topic whether it be your website, company newsletter or a statement for the news media.
George Carlin's bit on the Seven Dirty Words You Can Never Say on Television is still a hilarious classic. And yes, he actually says the words. (Fair warning on profanity if you watch the video above. It will also make you laugh until your sides hurt!) If you manage a Facebook page, you've likely seen these seven words and probably dozens more. Internet trolls derail productive conversations, spread misinformation and sometimes make you wonder if social media is worth the effort at all.
Did you know Facebook has a built in profanity filter including one that you can upload your own seven dirty words to and more? Currently, our filter list contains more than 100 words that we tailor accordingly for each client.
If you'd like help protecting your page from trolls and other attacks on your brand, schedule a consultation today! We can help you take the steps necessary to safeguard your Facebook page and also position you to have the tools needed to successfully weather an unexpected social media crisis.
We're Excited about this!
Hurray! Facebook is making it easier to mobilize your followers around community issues. Facebook is now in the process of rolling out a new feature called Community Action. If you haven’t received an email yet, Facebook should soon be sending your page notification inviting you to try this new advocacy tool.
According to Facebook, here’s how it works:
Wish your words flowed this easily?
Our Campaign Director Stephanie Dufner will be leading an AMAfeed this week covering copywriting, collaboration and creativity. Go ahead! Ask her anything! Discover how writing for business can and should be a pleasure!
Be like FrEd
The hot the movie to see this weekend is the Mr. Fred Rogers documentary, Won't You Be My Neighbor. For those of us who grew up watching Mr. Rogers, the movie is more than a nostalgic trip down memory lane. Mr. Rogers shaped the ethos of a generation touting kindness above all else.
The June 8, 2018 edition of The Atlantic featured an excerpt from a pamphlet two of the show's writers created as part of a good natured parody deciphering how to speak "Freddish."
Twitter Isn't Real
More accurately, the latest Pew Research study finds an estimated two-thirds of tweets linked to popular websites are generated by automated account. If bots rule Twitter, is it still worth the effort to try and break through the noise?
Yes! Twitter has become our defacto newswire service. Did you know that less than three percent of news stories are picked up from traditional wire services these days? The good news is that Twitter still holds the attention of influencers and opinion makers vital to your brand.
So go ahead and make some noise. Just make sure you repeat yourself or in the case of Twitter, retweet yourself. According to Nonprofit Tech for Good, being heard means placing your message in the pipeline more than once. Post your tweet and retweet it a few days later. Use HootSuite or another scheduling platform to repost your content during nonbusiness hours including late evenings and weekends.
Remember, the average shelf life of a tweet is just 24 minutes. The more opportunities you create for your message to be seen, the more likely your brand will be heard.
Are You Gaffe-Proof?
Byline: Stephanie Dufner, M.A., Campaign Director
Politicians frequently make them. So do celebrities. Even members of the British Royal Family have been known to throw out one when speaking with audiences or members of the press (Prince Philip, I am thinking of you).
What I am speaking about: on-camera verbal blunders. They make a person look uninformed, unprepared or even worse, not qualified for an occupied or aspirational role. Who can forget Gary Johnson’s befuddled response on MSNBC’s Morning Joe about the besieged Syrian city of Aleppo. “What Is Aleppo?” the 2016 Libertarian Presidential Candidate inquired to the interviewer, Mike Barnicle. Barnicle went on to explain the city’s significance to the former New Mexico governor and thus established Johnson most likely lacked the capacity to occupy the nation’s highest political office.
Words matter. They impact our credibility. Others form impressions of us based what we write or say. Shakespeare showed us the value of words in his poems and stage productions.
Seeing is Believing
This video was shot using an iPhone 6s paired with studio lighting, Rode microphones, and a high quality external lens.
Your audience is reading and turning to video more than ever before. At least one-third of all online activity is spent watching videos. Simply having a video on your landing page can increase conversion rates by 80 percent. A recent survey of CEOs found that 59 percent would rather watch a video than read.
Video is a powerful tool and only gaining traction. It's now a skill every marketer and public relations professional must master.
Madeira Public Relations recently had the pleasure to present our Digital Video 101 Workshop at the Florida Public Relations Association's annual conference in Orlando. Workshop attendees learned how to create compelling digital videos using just their cell phones paired with a few our favorite tools and accessories highlighted below:
Public Relations BookShelf
Madeira will be joining our friends at Imagine Consulting to lead a media relations workshop at the Nonprofit Leadership Center of Tampa Bay next Friday, May 6th. As of today, registration is still available by clicking here.
Inevitably, there is never enough time, even in a jammed packed four hour workshop, to fully delve into this vast and sometimes complex topic. That is why we always like to offer a resource guide where students can continue to explore the subject matter at their own pace.
Even if you are not able to join us next week, we thought it would be helpful to share an abbreviated listing of books Madeira keeps handy on our own office bookshelf. Foremost,The Associated Press Stylebook and Briefing on Media Law is a book (now also available digitally) we reference on an almost daily basis. Others that we regularly rely upon include:
Cutlip & Center's Effective Public Relations, Glen M. Broom
The Media Training Bible, Brad Phillips
Public Relations Writing: The Essentials of Style and Format, Thomas H. Bivins
The Elements of Style, William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White
Woe is I, The Grammarphobe's Guide to Better English in Plain English, Patricia T. O'Conner
Confessions of a Public Speaker, Scott Berkun
The Power of Visual Storytelling, Ekaterina Walter and Jessica Gioglio
Primer of Public Relations Research, Don W. Stacks
Navigating Facebook LIve Broadcast
What is Facebook Live?
A new feature introduced in December, Facebook Live allows you to broadcast live video using your cell phone camera. As Facebook is heavily promoting this new feature, your Facebook Live videos will be ranked higher than your other posts. Your followers will receive a pop up notification each time you start a live broadcast making this an effective tool to share breaking news and stay top of mind with your core social media constituents. Even if your followers can't join you live, they have the ability to watch a recording of your broadcast whenever it is convenient for them.
How Does Facebook Live Work?
Presently, Facebook Live is a feature that is available through your personal timeline and also can be accessed by verified organizations. Learn more about Facebook’s verification process here.
To start a live broadcast from your personal timeline:
1. Log into the Facebook using your smartphone.
2. From either you news feed or timeline, tap the icon that looks like a square with a pencil inside.
3. Tap the icon that features the outline of a person with two surrounding rings.
4. Write an enticing description for your broadcast.
5. Tap Go Live to begin your broadcast. When you want to end your broadcast, tap Finish.
Somewhere in Tennessee, state officials convened to come up with a solution to address the recent rise in drunk driving fatalities. They knew the campaign had to be edgy in order to attract interest from their much sought after younger demographic.
Large budget advertising campaigns of this nature typically endure countless rounds of review and scrutiny before ever making their way to the public spotlight. Yet, after each round of presumably careful review, Tennessee taxpayers ended up footing the bill (more than $70,000 in collateral materials alone) for a campaign that crossed the delicate and too often blurred boundary from edgy to down right sexist.
The backlash has produced a sizable media crisis for the state’s public affairs staffers to mitigate that could have been easily prevented. Every major domestic media outlet has covered the gaff, which has already reached news rooms in Australia, officially making this an international embarrassment.
Sow how did they get it so wrong? How could a campaign intended to save lives cause so much backlash?
Although we’re not privy to whom exactly the decision makers on this campaign were, we have a pretty good idea of who may not have been included. In this case, it is abundantly clear that those with the power to decide had no other frame of reference than to recognize the campaign as nothing more than a clever combination of humor and intrigue.
Operating in a Vacuum Produces Damaging Results
Diversity in the workplace does not mean hiring to meet a predetermined quota for either race or gender. True diversity seeks to hire the best candidate for the job while fostering an inclusive work environment that not only welcomes but systematically relies on the broad spectrum of perspectives in culture, creed and values that having a team of individuals who neither look nor think alike can offer.
When equal voice is given to the varying perspectives true diversity fosters, embarrassments such as this are far less likely to occur. In order to truly recover from this crisis and prevent it from ever happening again, we’d recommend the state of Tennessee take a hard look at the culture it has created for its state’s employees. Likely some new faces are desperately needed in key leadership positions.
Crisis 101: Anatomy of an apology
When faced with a crisis, your first instinct may not be to offer up an apology but to find a discrete way to distance yourself or your organization from the problem. Avoiding the difficult truth almost always leads to more pain and damage down the road, thereby extending the life of the crisis.
Once you’ve gathered all the facts and it’s clear that fault can be linked back to your organization, a sincere apology is always smarter than a cover up. Everyone makes mistakes—even doctors. Presently, 25 states have apology laws that protect doctors from having their words used against them in court. In fact, University of Michigan Healthy System has found that when doctors take responsibility for their mistakes and offer their patients an apology before ever being sued results in a “remarkable savings in money, time and feelings.”
Regardless of whether you practice medicine, a timely apology offered with sincerity and the promise of corrective action can greatly reduce the scope and longevity of a crisis.
Well Spoken Apologies
E! News host Giuliana Rancic protected her career and wholesome reputation by promptly apologizing to Disney star Zendaya after making offensive remarks regarding the young actress' hairstyle.
Embattled GM CEO Mary Barra embarked on a necessary apology tour when it was found faulty ignition switches caused numerous deaths.
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