Past Issue

The Flack for Friday, August 28, 2020…

By August 28, 2020October 23rd, 2020No Comments

The Flack highlights changes and trends in the news, examples of communications practices, and content we at BYRNE PR thought you might find useful.

We hope you enjoy, and we always welcome your feedback.

Internal Meetings Don’t Always Remain Internal — Companies hold internal meetings every day, and, understandably, it can feel like a confidential setting. However, every employee has a camera and a recording device in their pocket. So those slides, video and audio from the meeting can quickly find their way to social media. Last week Goodyear found this out the hard way. During a meeting in which they discussed what is “acceptable” and “unacceptable” in the workplace, images of the slides and audio from the meeting were leaked. This leak resulted in a firestorm of controversy and a call by President Trump to boycott the company’s products. Check it out.

Cincinnati Reds Suspend Broadcaster for Uttering Anti-Gay Slur on Air — “Is this thing on?” — Yes, it is! One of the oldest rules in broadcasting (and corporate communications) is this: Any time you are near a microphone, assume it is on. But this age-old rule seems to have been forgotten. Last week at the Democratic National Convention, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer had a major misstep with a hot mic. Days later Cincinnati Reds broadcaster Thom Brennaman was suspended during the broadcast after uttering an anti-gay slur when, apparently, he assumed his mic was off. Remember…the mic is always on.

7 Things Great Listeners Do Differently — Corporate spokespersons worry a lot about what they say and how they say it. And while that is a noble and worthwhile cause, learning how to effectively listen is just as important. Great leaders know listening is a skill that needs to be developed and honed. This quick guide from Inc. will help you become a more effective listener.

Can I Address a Reporter by Name During a TV Interview? — This is a question we are asked a lot. And the answer is a bit complicated. You can address the reporter by name during an interview (particularly if you know the reporter), but we advise against using the reporter’s name throughout the interview. Minimally, it can be distracting. Worse, it can make the spokesperson sound chummy and too casual for a serious interview. Addressing the reporter by name once at the beginning or end of the interview is fine, but try not to do it more than once. If you choose to address the reporter by name, please make sure you know their name. Here Business Roundtable CEO Josh Bolten is interviewed by Sara Eisen on CNBC. Unfortunately he thinks Sara’s name is Becky. Check out the gaffe and awkward pause at :35.

‘Get a Bigger Succulent’: Room Rater Twitter Feed is Giving us Snarky Life During Quarantine — COVID-19 has caused almost all interviews to be conducted via Zoom or other video services. One upside is it’s given viewers a glimpse into the homes of politicians, celebrities, athletes and corporate spokespersons. In the spring, many home interviews were challenging due to lighting/audio issues, dogs/children walking by in the background, etc. In the past few months, most have upped their game. But it is still fun to critique the room and the Room Rater Twitter feed has made it easier and much more fun. But be careful, as it can become addictive.

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Obit worth reading:

Life Lessons to Copy and Paste — WSJ

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flack

noun

: one who provides publicity

flack

verb

: to act as a press agent or promoter for something

The word flack was first used as a noun meaning “publicity agent” during the late 1930s. According to one rumor, the word was coined in tribute to a well-known movie publicist of the time, Gene Flack.