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I ‘like’ it. Now on Facebook

Come and talk about Air Supremacy Ltd on Facebook and see what others are saying.  https://www.facebook.com/airsupremacymedia

 

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Preparing for a Great Media Training Session

Good Advice from Galaxy 6 in the US

I’ve trained about 10 people this month and was inspired to write this post. A great media training session depends on both parties. Once you’ve decided to commit to media training, make sure you come prepared. Here’s a list of 10 tips on how to get the most out of a media training session!

  1. Match with the right trainer: Is the trainer the right person for you? Are you able to take advice from a man, a woman? Do you want to hear the truth? Do you need to have a current news reporter giving you advice? Find a trainer that fits in with your needs. Understand that many trainers have news backgrounds, and while that helps polishing up for an on-air/print interview, often these trainers don’t have the experience of working with companies and understanding their needs from an interview. On the other hand, does the trainer have PR experience? If that’s the case, ask if they have any experience serving as a spokesperson. Most trainers will allow you to pre-interview them to determine if they are the right fit. Watch on-air clips or read print articles of the trainer and ask yourself, “Is this someone that I would want to give me honest and direct feedback?”
  2. Prep yourself and your team: Prior to the session, prepare yourself – or your team — with the right messages: Do you know what you want to say about your company? How about your product or APP launch? So many clients walk into the training and don’t understand this time is about delivering the message. If you need time to develop the message, schedule a separate session and get those messages in place prior to a media training.
  3. Prepare main messages: Write down 3 main message points about your company or product. You will be asked to rehearse them – over and over again. Yes, if you are unable to deliver the messages effectively then you can work on revising them – but this is the end of the process, not the beginning (see point #2).
  4. Jammin’? Java? Jokster? Do what it takes to liven yourself up! Is it a good night’s rest? A cup of coffee? A morning workout? When you bring energy into a media training, you will put your best foot forward and then we can hone in on your skills and develop them even more. You can also figure out what works – and doesn’t – before a press interview.  Should you avoid that double espresso or make sure to stop at Starbucks on the way?
  5. Appearance does matter: Wear an outfit that you believe will appear well on camera. This is practice for the real thing. This includes hair, make-up and attire. Wear solid colors, not too much jewelry, no patterns or prints and avoid t-shirts (even if you are practicing for print interviews – appearance and professionalism is important).
  6. Turn off the noise: Try – just try – to focus on the training. Imagine you are really in a press interview. What is it like to work with a journalist? Turn off cell phones, complete your texts and get to work. This may be your first (and last?) time you ever get to work with the press.
  7. Trust the trainer: Do your best to utilize the feedback and go back and try to do it again. You will see for yourself how much that feedback can help you improve and feel more comfortable with the interview process.
  8. Best bloopers: Ask your trainer to send examples of good and bad news clips, or to show you them during the training. Watch and learn from the experts. Also, watch and read old interviews you’ve participated in. Bring the clips to the trainer of print articles you liked/did not like. What was wrong with it? What was your best/worst experience with the press? Share this with the trainer so they will be able to help avoid the situation again.
  9. D-I-Y Training! If you aren’t ready with all of the above, avoid the media training all together! Simply record yourself using your iPhone video device – ask/answer the 10 hardest questions you think media will ask you. Replay it and watch yourself! You will be your own worst critic and avoid the training all together. Don’t forget to go back and try it again with your self-feedback. [And, you know who to call if you don’t want to do it yourself!]
  10. Prepare your trainer:  Here’s a quick checklist of what we ask clients to provide so that we can do our part in preparation as well:
  • Company goals and objectives for training outlined in a document and/or via email
  • Company overview or corporate presentation
  • Company message points
  • Top media outlets that cover your company
  • Sample of past interviews by trainees
  • Trainee bios
  • FAQ in previous interviews, and or FAQ expected in future interviews

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Do You Need Media Training

(courtesy of mashable.com)

(Article courtesy of Mashable.com) http://mashable.com/2013/01/02/do-you-need-media-training/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Mashable+%28Mashable%29

 

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Told You So!

I knew it! I knew there was something fishy about the Andrew Mitchell Plebgate story. Back on the 23rd September I blogged “keep a pinch of salt handyhttp://bit.ly/SetYZo. and I was right. Mitchell is calling for a full enquiry. I agree. Fairness demands it.

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BBC: Snoozenight lawyers asleep at the wheel?

“Some basic journalistic checks were not completed and no one was sure who was giving the final sign-off on the story on the day, the report found (FT)”

I’ve been asked by countless people (OK, one) what I think of the latest Newsnight catastrophe – speechless, open mouthed, appalled, just about sums it up. Where were the BBC’s duty solicitors? We used to do investigations all the time when I was at the Beeb (and other Radio/TV stations). Job 1- find story. Job 2 (not necessarily in this order) Convince jaundiced bitter dyspeptic editor, it really was a story. Job 3 (by far the hardest) sneak it past the programme lawyers – who would pick it apart. I always joked it took six months to train (tame) an in-house prog lawyer. But in fairness they did expect you to have some facts (aka Truth) to back up the allegations;  corroboration helped, plus a quick zoom round motivation/reliability/background of witnesses was considered wise. And (most important question of all), “will the target sue?”.  Were they all asleep at the wheel on Snoozenight?

BBC Newshound

It seems these basic questions were not asked, either by the reporter, the producer, the editor, and the lawyer whose sole job it is to safeguard the broadcaster and up to a point the target.
Which reminds me – I seem to remember that when we made:“allegations of wrongdoing, iniquity or incompetence or (laid) out a strong and damaging critique of an individual or institution the presumption is that those criticised should be given a “right of reply”, that is, given a fair opportunity to respond to the allegations” (BBC Editorial Guideline 6.4.25.) Well if you ‘presumed’ that, you’d be wrong. And as for that cheap stunt Schofield tried on the PM over on ITV – I hope for multiple sackings and an eyewatering Ofcom fine. Didn’t young Cameron handle it brilliantly though? – text book.

 

 

 

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LIPA lacks PR Power

LIPA Crew at work (Photo credit: Newsday / Audrey C. Tiernan)

Ten days after the worst storm to hit Long Island NY in living memory, thousands of homes there are STILL without power. The local power company LIPA (Long Island Power Authority) has come in for considerable criticism. And while it’s far from here, their crisis PR is a lesson in how not to do it. This ‘dis-missive’ from the LIPA Hurricane Sandy Storm Center yesterday is a good example – (my bolding):

As of noon today, we have restored power to over 750,000 customers on Long Island who have been affected by Hurricane Sandy. Approximately 190,000 remain without power; this figure excludes many of the customers in the hardest hit areas not yet able to receive electric power. By end of day, Wednesday November 7th, we expect to restore power to 90% of all customers whose homes and businesses are safe to accept power. Additionally, those customers in and around the most severely damaged areas of Brookville, St. James and Port Jefferson should expect to be restored in up to another week or more.

“Excludes!” LIPA fails to appreciate that Newspapers and TV are interested in the people’s suffering and who’s to blame. By excluding stats about the hardest hit communities (many thousands of homes, without heat, light, cell phones or Internet since Oct 30th – some now receiving care packages) LIPA put themselves at the mercy of the media, rather than leading the story. And to write should expect to be restored in up to another week or more, is sackable. People know the magnitude of the problem, but they need to know LIPA’s commitment to relieving their misery. If LIPA cannot utilise the media to provide information, reassurance and hope, they must expect NY Governor Andrew Cuomo, to complain about them, as he did on Tuesday, again. “Simply put”, said Cuomo, “I am not satisfied with their performance.” And nor is anybody else.

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I look awful in yellow – who knew?

Looking your best is just as important as saying it right, so we are now actively promoting Style and Colour counselling with Red Leopard (www.redleopard.co.uk) for all our Media Training clients. Red Leopard advises on colour, style, image and make-up enabling you to create your own unique look or improve on the old one. And it’s definitely not just for ladies. Give Manina, Kay or Annie a call on 0207 376 4057 and mention my name. It’s not expensive and its quite fun. Who knew that I look awful in yellow.

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Andrew Mitchell – keep a pinch of salt handy.

I went to a famous public school. I was a policeman. I was an adviser to the House of Commons Commission. I rode my bike in and out of the Palace of Westminster daily. Why are these facts relevant? The answer is Andrew Mitchell MP, still Chief Whip for the moment anyway. I’ll come to what he said in a jiffy, but I’ve little sympathy for the police he allegedly insulted. I know first hand how arrogant and boorish the Palace coppers can be. One accidentally sprung a steel car-barrier from the road-way as I was riding over it; sending me flying. Trying to get an apology and £70 to fix the back wheel took ages. Don’t forget that 99.9% of the time, policing the Palace is a cushy job. Coppers in rough neighbourhoods get abused regularly (I know!) so these two have no business being offended. In my day you could not offend a policeman. It needed a passer by (ideally an old lady) to be outraged before an arrest could take place – but that all changed with Section 5 of the Public Order Act 1986. It made mere insults an arrestable offence. Many people (me included) do not consider it for the courts to prevent hurt feelings when the real casualty is freedom of speech. Especially, the feelings of those empowered to carry guns, truncheons and tazers. I have no doubt Mitchell was rude, but what did the police do to provoke his outburst. We need to know that too. Still, what concerns me here, is if he really called them ‘plebs’ .  This is what the Sun reported him saying ‘Best you learn your f****** place. You don’t run this f****** Government. You’re f****** plebs,Why do I have a sinking feeling that he may have said nothing of the kind. Public school types, of my acquaintance anyway, don’t talk like that. To me it smacks of a pastiche of Cad Speak from a comic strip. Say it out loud in your best Bertie Wooster, Flashman, Alan B’Stard voice  and you will see what I mean. Nobody says “You’re fucking Plebs”, to a policeman, anymore than Londoners say ” its a fair cop guv, you got me bang to rights, me old china” or Irishmen say ‘Begosh and begorra, tis a lovely day, so it is, to be sure”. Unless they can provide CCTV or audio to corroborate the copper’s account – perhaps Mitchell’s used ‘plebs’ elsewhere – I’ll keep a pinch of salt handy.

 

 

 

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“If you want a guarantee, buy a toaster”

Clint at the RNC

Having a famous movie star endorse you is no guarantee.

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Back to work

Yes I’m gathering a handful of experienced media trainers, to run my courses for executives, Meet in London in September. Send a CV.

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No Brainer NBC

Cannot believe NBC showed US/CZ Beach Volleyball quarter finals, when rest of world got to see 100m Finals. Fantastic Twitter storm. Serves them right.

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“London 2012″ Put Out More Flags

One big difference between the Olympics and the Jubilee, is that everybody from smallest stall holder to mega-store was able to cash in on the Jubilee GB brand. I have never seen so many Union flags and so much bunting. It wasn’t just pretty, it was good for businesses. Conversely, anybody even dreaming of putting something resembling the Olympic Rings in any shop window or website, gets a heavy duty warning notice of intended prosecution from the IOC. So London will be without the explosion of spontaneous visual excitement, which is a real shame.

I am not prepared to buy into the IOC line that “The International Olympic Committee and London organizers raised more than $2.4 billion from the sale of marketing rights in the four years through the 2008 games in Beijing, providing more than 44 percent of their funding during the period. The rings are among the world’s most recognized symbols. Companies like McDonald’s, Coca-Cola and Samsung, which pay as much as $100 million each to be official sponsors during each Olympic cycle, expect organizers to protect their rights. British lawmakers (passed) a law that gives organizers the power to bar companies from using Olympic trademarks and even certain combinations of words — such as “London 2012” — that may infringe on the rights of sponsors.”

If my PR instincts are right (and they usually are), and there is sufficient evidence of people (particularly small retailers) objecting to this heavy handed protectionism by the IOC (the Sponsors will be very sensitive to negative PR now) then London could be decked again in Flags and bunting this July and so what if they toss in a few Rings. Better still a bit of Retailer Disobedience would not go amiss. By the time 10, 100, 1000 shops have Rings and things in the window, the IOC can go whistle. I am doing my bit by saying London 2012 at every possible occasion. “London 2012″ “London 2012″ “London 2012″ “London 2012″

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Freelance Media Trainers Wanted

I am looking for freelance media trainers, with 5 years plus, real TV and Radio experience. Also Presentation Coaches with 5 years plus experience. Must be happy to follow my proven training methods. CV’s please to js@airsupremacy.co.uk

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Air Supremacy Interactive Media Training

A new business is born: Air Supremacy Interaction – interactive media training. (I’ve nicknamed it – Remote Refutation Management) – more later.  (www.superinteraction.tv)

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Grüezi mitenand!

@AirSupremo: Hello ZRH! Not just 1 but 2 mega Swiss media training clients nxt week.   #PR  #AirSupremacy rocks.

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Tweet tweet

gr8 Media Training 4 #Spider-PR (London). gd Job Air Supremacy! www.airsupremacy.co.uk

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500+ connections

Spent the last week, soliciting LinkedIn contacts to reach this milestone achievement “500+ connections” – now I can relax, safe in the knowledge that I am umbilically invisibly eternally conjoined with strangers. The world is a safer place as of 7am today.

(thinks) I wonder if this chap Assad is on LinkedIn – I might send him a message. “Hey Assad, we are on LinkedIn – stop killing people.”

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Please Sign Now

My God-daughter Domenica Lawson has a severe permanent learning disability. I would like to help her and thousands like her by asking you to sign this e-petition.

Domenica Lawson Christening 1996

You may know somebody with a child like Domenica so please pass the message on. We have about 6000 signatures as of today. We need 100,000 to trigger a debate in  Parliament. With your help we will get there. The petition says:
Ring fence funds allocated for people with learning
disabilities and review the way in which funds are allocated to ensure cradle to grave care. http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/31475
(HM Government. Department of Health)
To find out more about Domenica and the problems she and thousands face, see today’s Mail on Sunday:
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2123431/Sir-Bob-Geldof-Harry-Enfield-Ruby-Wax-celebrities-supporting-Rosa-Moncktons-campaign-ensure-lifetime-care-disabled-people.html

Thank you.

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Nuts and Bolts: 9 Basic Questions to ask a Reporter.

With everyone obsessed with Virtual Media, it’s easy to forget the basic questions when you get a call from a live flesh-eating journalist.

1. What’s Your Name/Contact details?
2. Can You Tell Me More About The Story You’re Working On?
3. Are You Approaching This Story From Any Particular Perspective?
4. Who Else Are You Interviewing?
5. What’s the Format?
6. With Whom Would You Like to Speak?
7. Is There Anything Else I Can Help You With?
8. Who Will Be Doing the Interviewing?
9. When Are You Airing the Story?
(c) Brad Phillips 14/9/2011

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The Battle of Hatchfield Farm is won.

The Battle of Hatchfield Farm in Newmarket is over. Rachel Hood and her fellow campaigners have won. Lord (Teddy) Derby’s appeal was rejected by the Planning Inspector Ian McPherson and ratified by the Communities Secretary Eric Pickles.

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Syria: media coverage

Just been reading some stuff on line about whether our coverage of Syria is ‘balanced’ or not. Having worked as a reporter in Beirut, albeit years ago, I wonder if I can venture a view. All our western media can do is hold up a template of our values against which to assess the hideously complex situation in Syria. I believe the search for balance as an ideal is a false one. If, by giving equal weight to all parties you must add in the propaganda of tyranny, extreme religious views, or centuries old tribal rivalries in every report, you will still not have balance; and the issues that truly matter, the ones that Marie Colvin and others are dying for, will have been drowned out in the din.

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Lovin’ it

Busy Busy since Jan 1st – working with Halfords, Barclays, B&Q and Superdrug .

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Just Common Sense?

They are debating on one of the PR Forums whether PR isn’t ‘just common sense’. The implication being that it’s not a proper profession, anybody can do it. I beg to differ. A public relations professional has a proper understanding of his/her client’s business, their stakeholder audiences and markets; an appropriate qualification, relevant practical experience, plus the speed, originality and authority to create and drive policy, in possibly difficult circumstances. I don’t call that common sense – any more than any other professional; lawyer or  engineer, would term their skill and expertise ‘common sense’. If PR’s are offering PR advice based on ‘common sense’, ‘gut feel’ or a Ouija board, than I urge them to stop, before they leave themselves and this industry open to ridicule.
I’d be interested to know what you think.

 

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But not YOUR opinion..

I have a TV/internet account with Optimum Cablevision (NYSE: CVC), who emailed me to take part in a customer satisfaction survey. Question 1 – Are you in PR or Advertising?  But when I clicked Yes – this is what I got:

Thank you for your participation, but your criteria does (sic) not match what we’re looking for at this time.

Why does a PR or Ad man’s opinion not meet their criteria? Why p*ss any customer off, especially the sort with lots and lots of access to media! Plain Shtoopid and they never gave me the chance to tell them that their Broadband/phone/HDTv package is twice the price and half the value of the equivalent Virgin Media package in the UK. But they know now and so do you.

This was their invitation.

Dear Optimum Customer,This is just a friendly reminder that we are randomly selecting valued Optimum customers like you to participate in a survey about computers and
devices being used in your home.We are continuously striving to improve our services and would appreciate your time to complete our survey. The survey should take about 5 minutes to complete and your feedback is very much appreciated. To take the survey, click below:
Thank you,
Your Cablevision Customer Advisory Panel TeamIf you have questions about the survey or run into technical issues with  the survey, please contact our 3rd party Survey Management vendor at: support@cablevisionpanel.com.For general questions about Optimum, please contact: questions@cablevision.com

Cablevision
Systems Corp.

1111 Stewart Avenue, Bethpage, NY 11714

*To review our privacy policy please click
here

*To opt out of this and all future Cablevision Customer Advisory Panel surveys, click the unsubscribe link below. Unsubscribe

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Thanksgiving Message

Sat Nav

To my many American Friends. If further proof is needed of the extreme age and provenance of wireless technology; it’s a 17th Century British invention.  I am reliably informed that we sent it over on the first pilgrim ships. Mayflower is an American corruption of Wi-Flyer, a SOTOP 1620 class  (satellite optimised trans oceanic puritan) merchant vessel,  out of Plymouth. The name Speedwell refers to her on-baud rate, which was remarkably good at about 5mk (megaknots).  It’s also where the Elizabethan term “Aye Capt’n” comes from. It is actually ‘iCaptain’, as they were specially trained in the use of the new equipment. Have a lovely Thanksgiving holiday – at least we gave you something to be Thankful for. JS

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The Tatler and Bikestander

With the racing world livid about Lord (Teddy) Derby’s plan to concrete over a chunk of Newmarket, Sir Michael Stoute (the Queen’s Trainer), Sir Henry Cecil and the legendary commentator Sir Peter O’Sullevan are hosting a fund-raising dinner for 250 at the Newmarket Jockey Club next Saturday November 26th. It’s a total sell out. The Organisers (Save Historic Newmarket Action Group) invited Tatler Editor Kate Reardon  to send a photographer. To their genuine surprise she snubbed them.

The Earl of Derby

**********
A Kate Reardon gave £100 towards Teddy Derby’s Trans Jordan Lycra Jolly (see Jordan Charity Bike Ride ) on Just Giving, gushing: “Frankly you’re crazy. kxx”. (12/11/11)

 

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RIM Shot

from CorpComms Magazine Nov 2011 Issue 62

 

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Rick Perry Fluffs It.

Rick Perry fluffs it
Check out this clip of Rick Perry forgetting his key message due to classic MBS (marshmallow brain syndrome). I suspect it spells the end of his shot at the Presidency. (wouldn’t have happened if he were my client.)

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Today’s joke

“In English,” said the linguistics’ professor, “a double negative forms a positive. However, a double positive never forms a negative.”
“Yeah, right.” said a voice.

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MediaCityUK: Investigations and Secret Recording Guidance

The Beeb has revised its Editorial Policy on Investigations and on Secret Recording for programme makers planning: larger-scale investigations to reveal serious
anti-social behaviour or crime, with a significant element of undercover work,
and secret recording, central to the evidence-gathering. The revision was undertaken after the BBC Trust upheld a complaint against a section of undercover footage in Panorama: Primark on the Rack, and is based on the best practice learned by BBC investigative programmes over the years.  It emphasises the need for note taking and record keeping that will authenticate  material and to plan for the scrutiny and challenge that can often follow a successful investigation. There is also new advice on the operation of undercover journalists. In addition, extra care and checks may be necessary when an investigation is carried out by a journalist with a demonstrable commitment to a relevant cause – to ensure the methods will be able to withstand robust scrutiny. You can read and download the Investigations guidance here.  The newly revised Secret Recording guidanceis relevant to anyone looking to gather material secretly, and includes a new section on authentication of material. The Secret Recording guidance is here. (extract from BBC Editorial Policy News Letter Oct 2011)

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beyond Calais

Overheard at the Lutea investment seminar today. Two really old blokes, who didn’t know each other, got chatting during the coffee break. One said to the other: “The trouble with the Greeks,” he said, ” is they don’t know the meaning of the word work.” To which the other replied. “I know, it’s always bloody mañana mañana.”
Makes you proud to be British.

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And me

Spotted this tweet just now “Anti #NPPF lobby now includes Melanie Phillips, Morning Star, George Monbiot, WI, NT, CPRE, Mail, Telegraph. Strange bedfellows. SWP next?” @colinwile

Jonathon Porritt, has written a sarky but funny open letter to benighted Greg Clarke, Minister for the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) that has united all those strange bedfellows listed above. Worth reading http://www.jonathonporritt.com/blog/planning-sustainable-development

and Simon Jenkins is in the Times today (p24), only I can’t give you a link because of the damned Murdoch pay-wall (to help towards the £3m they are paying Milly Dowler’s family)

 

 

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What’s this Contributor business?

Some people have asked why you need to get confirmation in writing that you are a ‘contributor’. (See Tip 2 below) You can read my blog post, http://www.airsupremacy.co.uk/blog/2010/09/01/229/
for the long version but in brief Ofcom ruled last year (to universal dismay) that despite an obligation in their Code to give targets of allegations the chance to respond to them, Kellogg’s and Nestle were not contributors to a C4 Dispatches programme. The key to this is the word ‘contributor’. Dispatches asked the manufacturers some questions (allegations to you and me), but it seems, intentionally, never asked them to contribute (by interview or statement); thus avoiding having to inform them in advance about all the allegations. Hence the very real need to establish that you are contributor before you speak. Hope this is helpful. JS

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My 22 Tips for handling unwelcome TV Crews

  1. Avoid
    a confrontation, with cameras around. It makes great TV.
  2. Get
    confirmation in writing that you are a ‘contributor’ (ask me why this is so important)
  3. They
    will not concede editorial control, but find out as much as you can.
  4. Be
    careful not to make ‘unreasonable’ demands. E.g. demanding an as-live interview, questions in advance, or previews.
  5. Mention
    legitimate no-go question areas, e.g. commercial confidence or sub judice.
  6. Negotiate
    on the phone, follow up by email.
  7. Treat
    all cameras as running, all mikes on, even when they say they are not.
  8. Don’t
    stop an interview midstream
  9. They
    are guests in your premises, so prevent opportunistic filming.
  10. Ask
    about significant changes, they must tell you.
  11. The less
    they tell you, the more suspicious you should be.
  12. The later
    they approach you, the more suspicious you should be.
  13. Always
    ask if there is anything they have not told you before both the interview and
    programme.
  14. Don’t
    video them or they will film you doing it.
  15. Do
    sign the release form. It makes little difference.
  16. Do
    give them a suitable place to set up, don’t crowd them, don’t be bullied either.
  17. Don’t
    leave them alone – or if you do, mike the room so you can hear what they are saying about you.
  18. Do give them reasonable time for the interview. 30 mins would be normal. But set an overall limit.
  19. Allow
    time for re-takes (if they are favourable to you) but resist additional filming unless you are happy.
  20. Do
    record the interview yourself.
  21. Make
    a transcript and send them a marked up script of your known views.
  22. Keep
    it friendly but they are not your friends.

(c) John Stonborough. john@stonborough.com 07771 893 683

 

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I am definitely going

INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALISM; DEAD OR ALIVE?

Date: Wednesday September 21st 6.00pm for 6.30pm

With Murdoch on his knees, MPs’ expenses, Wikileaks, phone hacking and Tomlinson; investigative journalism seems to be going through a purple patch. Is it really alive or is this a false dawn?

Andrew Jennings, bane of FIFA

Chair: Kevin Marsh, former editor ‘Today’ BBC Radio Four
Panel:
Paul Kenyon BBC Panorama
Donal MacIntyre, investigative journalist
John Ware, BBC Panorama
The debate marks the launch of the book Investigative Journalism: Dead or Alive?  Edited by John Mair and Richard
Keeble
published by Abramis on September 20th. Author priced copies will be available on the night.
Venue: Frontline Club, 13 Norfolk Place, London W2
Entrance: £12.50, £10 for early booking, £8 students and senior citizens. Just turn up or click this link to book your places through the Frontline website.

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Is it really a fake?

Such a sad picture of Steve Jobs in the paper today. Is it a fake, the internet is abuzz? Really shocking if it is. As my wife Jane says, “the man is a genius,  just when you think you’ve got everything you want, he comes up with something else you can’t live without.” The irony is that if it is a fake, it was probably done on an Apple computer.

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Catboat: Its not a message, it’s a warning from 1880!

No Pussy Cat, The New England Catboat

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
I happened across this brilliantly ’funny’ account of sailing the classic New England Catboat, in the New York Times May 25th 1880! The message comes down the years loud and clear; this pussy cat will bite you. http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F50C10FF3D541B7A93C7AB178ED85F448884F9

 

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Ben’s Briefs: All the Holidaying News-Junky Needs

Brogan, aid to informed skiving

Dawn is breaking over Bellport Bay, here on Long Island. Every cloud has a silvery lining, quite literally and its very beautiful. Yesterday’s rain seems to have blown through. They certainly do plenty of weather here. Another bucolic day ahead, but it is an informed choice to park myself by the pool. London burning, markets in free fall, the North Atlantic credit crisis, Osborne urging the world to ‘do it our way’. Ben Brogan’s (Daily Telegraph) News Briefing email, keeps me as au courant in current affairs in NY11713 as if I was in Fulham SW6. Thanks Ben.

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“Talk to me Verizon” and they did! Finally.

Verizon Wireless, in the shape of lovely Customer Relations Specialist and part time goddess in human form, Veronica Murietta of Southern California, capitulated (I told them they would) and have settled with me. I wonder what made them change their mind? Was it logging my dispute about their Early Termination Charge on this blog and Twitter and LinkedIn AND Facebook. The risk of lost sales was way in excess of my $350 dispute. Who knows. But whatever it was, I made sure it was in their interest to settle ASAP. The consumer is king. Long Live the Consumer.

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Not a glimmer on my Verizon

Just wondering how many Verizon puns there are, sadly there aren’t that many. I am working on ‘Verizontal’ like horizontal but have not found a use for it yet. Any ideas?

Had a good response to my last post, it seems I am not alone with Verizon Wireless issues.

Update

Customer Service supervisor ‘Nicholas’ (really?) promised to ‘reach out to me’ within 72 hours, that was on 29th July, needless to say not a peep. (Bit like their mobile phone service round here) – but he did (very unintentionally) make me laugh. I told him, I was recording him, to which he replied he’d have to terminate the call.I reminded him he was recording my call, to which he said, “that is for training and quality purposes”

Background

For new readers, my complaint with Verizon Wireless is very simple. I am disputing their “early termination charge” of $350.

I am resident in England but have a holiday home on Long Island. In May I purchased a Verizon  iPhone 4 with an annual contract for my wife, . I made it clear she intended to use the phone on Long Island (631). To our dismay – there is no viable Verizon Wireless service at the house. This was catastrophic and caused us no end of problems. The only way we got a signal was to get in the car! After fruitless phonecalls and emails with Verizon Wireless, we had to ditch their phone and transfer to AT&T, which does work. Now Verizon Wireless are demanding an early termination charge (fine) even though they can’t provide me with a signal.

I don’t see why they should enforce their contract when they cannot provide me with service – which is after all the ONLY reason for going to them.

Lies

I am noting their ‘lies’ and will update you.

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A speck on the Verizon

Be very careful before entering into a Verizon Wireless mobile phone contract. Make sure they can provide a viable signal first. There is none here at my house on Long Island. Now they are trying to charge me a $350 Early Termination Charge, as if it was my fault. I will fight them. Its going to cost Verizon Wireless a lot more than $350 if they don’t back down. Watch this space. WFM78851694

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French Farce. Broadcast Regulator’s hilarious ‘Canute’ ban of the T and FB words!

Communiqués de presse

Renvoi sur les pages des réseaux sociaux : le CSA publie la lettre envoyée aux chaînes http://www.csa.fr/multi/index.php?l=uk

Date de publication sur le site : 6 juin 2011 tvradiocable

Afin de dissiper les malentendus, le Conseil supérieur de l’audiovisuel publie la lettre envoyée aux chaînes concernant son analyse sur la pratique fréquente pour une télévision ou une radio, consistant à renvoyer le téléspectateur ou l’auditeur vers les pages consacrées à ses émissions sur des réseaux sociaux tels que Facebook ou à réagir sur le réseau social Twitter.

Monsieur le Président,

Les réseaux sociaux font aujourd’hui partie intégrante de la vie quotidienne d’une part considérable de la population, qui les utilise régulièrement en tant qu’outils de communication. Il est tout à fait normal que les services de télévision souhaitent les intégrer
dans la conception de leurs programmes, ce dont le Conseil ne peut que se féliciter. Cela participe de l’enrichissement des émissions et permet une interactivité entre les téléspectateurs et les animateurs.

La pratique consistant à renvoyer les téléspectateurs sur un réseau social sans citer celui-ci est informative.

En revanche, les renvoyer sur ce réseau en le désignant nominativement revêt un caractère publicitaire, ce réseau émanant d’une société commerciale et sa dénomination étant déposée à titre de marque. Cette pratique contreviendrait aux dispositions de l’article 9 du décret n° 92-280 du 27 mars 1992 fixant les principes généraux définissant les obligations des  éditeurs de services en matière de publicité, de parrainage et de téléachat, selon lesquelles « la publicité clandestine est interdite. (…) constitue une publicité clandestine la présentation verbale ou visuelle de marchandises, de services, du nom, de la marque ou des activités d’un producteur de marchandises ou d’un prestataire de services dans des programmes, lorsque cette présentation est faite dans un but publicitaire ».

Je vous prie d’agréer, Monsieur le Président, l’expression de mes sentiments les meilleurs.

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Primark Stitched Up By Panorama says BBC Trust

For immediate release 16/06/11
Trust finds it ‘more likely than not’ that certain footage in Panorama programme on Primark was not authentic
The BBC Trust’s Editorial Standards Committee (ESC) has found that a Panorama programme ‘Primark: On the Rack’, broadcast in June 2008, breached the BBC Editorial Guidelines on accuracy and fairness.  The ESC considered an appeal from Primark about certain footage in the programme and has concluded it was ‘more likely than not’ that this footage was not genuine.  The ESC has directed the BBC to make an on-air apology.
The programme, which investigated Primark’s claims that it can deliver ‘cheap, fast fashion’ without breaking ethical guidelines, included footage obtained in a Bangalore workshop of three boys carrying out an activity described in the programme as ‘testing the stitching’ on Primark garments.
The ESC examined a substantial body of evidence including rushes tapes from the programme, emails to the UK programme team from the freelance journalist who obtained the Bangalore footage, and witness evidence.  The ESC has concluded that, although it was not able to say beyond reasonable doubt, it was more likely than not that the Bangalore footage was not genuine.
Read the press release and the ESC’s finding in full here:  http://www.bbc.co.uk/bbctrust/news/press_releases/june/panorama.shtml
For further information contact the BBC Trust communications team on 0203 214 4946.

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Press Notice – Rachel Hood Chair of Save Historic Newmarket says cost of Derby Appeal shocking.

Press Release
SHNAG (Save Historic Newmarket Action Group)
May 31 2011
Chair of Save Historic Newmarket and President Elect of the Racehorse Owners Association, calls on Lord Derby to STOP STOP STOP his Planning Appeal.
• It’s the Derby on Saturday
• The prestigious Derby Dinner tomorrow (Wednesday) hosted by Lord Derby
• One year since the Newmarket (FHDC) councillors threw out Lord Derby’s massive Hatchfield Farm development scheme (2 June 2010)
In this important week, RACHEL HOOD – Chair of Save Historic Newmarket (SHNAG) and President Elect of the Racehorse Owners Association, calls on Lord Derby to STOP STOP STOP his Planning Appeal.
“The money it’s costing the Council, the people and businesses of Newmarket to stop him concreting Hatchfield Farm is simply shocking.” says Rachel Hood, Newmarket’s newest elected district Councillor, “it makes me so upset! This money should be going to vital community services! Not wasted on legal bills. If he (Lord Derby) really wants to do something for Newmarket as he claims, then he must stop now – before a million pounds is squandered. ”
SHNAG won at Judicial Review in March and now will raise still more thousands to fight his Planning Appeal on behalf of the people of Newmarket.
Cllr Hood, elected to Forest Heath District Council on a wave of popular support in May, has spent three years leading efforts to stop Lord Derby building his new town on a greenfield site in this world famous Suffolk horse racing and breeding centre. She says the four week Appeal Hearings due to start on July 12th will cost Save Historic Newmarket Action Group in excess of £150,000, on top of the £75,000 spent on their victorious Judicial Review in March.
In addition to SHNAG, other parties who must be legally represented at the Appeal Hearings to fight Lord Derby’s application, are Forest Heath District Council, Suffolk County Council (both funded by local council tax payers), and an alliance of key Newmarket businesses including Jockey Club Estates Ltd, bloodstock auctioneers Tattersall’s, Darley and Godolphin racing stables and the Newmarket Trainers Federation . It is estimated these legal fees could exceed one million pounds.
The Appeal Hearings are due to continue until September. Te Inspector’s report goes to the Secretary of State Eric Pickles in October.
Notes to Editors
Lord Derby, 47, who lives near Liverpool, owns 167 acre Hatchfield Farm in Newmarket. He has applied to build over one thousand houses (1200) and 36,000 sq meters of commercial units on this important greenfield site. In the face of overwhelming local resistance, his planning application was unanimously rejected last year. Lord Derby has defended the plans, insisting to local derision he would never do anything to jeopardise the racing industry in Newmarket.
Those opposed to the development say it will result in irreparable damage to the town, known as the HQ of British Racing.
Racing in Newmarket dates back to the 12th century. One in four of its population is employed in jobs connected to the racing industry. It is widely regarded as the birthplace of thoroughbred competition. Routes across this small Suffolk town allow horses and their riders to get to the gallops safely from their stables.
At the recent Judicial Review hearing in the High Court David Elvin QC, speaking for SHNAG told the court: “National and international racing interests are very concerned that the proposals for urban expansion will impact on Newmarket as a centre of racing excellence.”
The Men Only Derby Dinner tomorrow (Wednesday) hosted by Lord Derby was boycotted last year by  racing legend Sir Peter O’Sullevan, who held an alternative Derby dinner in protest at Lord Derby’s Hatchfield Farm Scheme.
John Stonborough FCIPR
John Stonborough & Co
T +44 207 371 9695
M +44 7771 893 683
PR for Save Historic Newmarket Action Group
Please follow Rachel Hood on Twitter @hoodrachel
www.historicnewmarket.co.uk
www.stonborough.com @stonborough

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Forgetful, Who? Me?

I have just done an on-line Alzheimer test- – give it a try www.foodforthebrain.org and click on Cognitive Function Test. I am happy to report I have a very low risk of going gaga
just yet.
I have just done an on-line Alzheimer test- – give it a try www.foodforthebrain.org and click on Cognitive Function Test. I am happy to report I have a very low risk of going gaga
just yet.
I have just done an on-line Alzheimer test- – give it a try www.foodforthebrain.org and click on Cognitive Function Test. I am happy to report I have a very low risk of going gaga
just yet.
I have just done an on-line Alzheimer test- – give it a try www.foodforthebrain.org and click on Cognitive Function Test. I am happy to report I have a very low risk of going gaga
just yet.

 

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Russia: The Wild East BBC R4

Are you enjoying Martin Sixsmith’s extraordinary polemic Russia: The Wild East, a thousand years of Russia’s history? It’s on BBC Radio 4, every weekday afternoon for five weeks. We are about three weeks in now and approaching 1917.
It is a remarkable journalistic tour de force. Sixsmith knows his stuff. He digs out bite-size historical highlights to prove a pointed message that no matter what else goes on in the world, the thing Russians do is Brutal Autocratic Rule. Чем больше все меняется…
If I have any criticism so far, it is that Sixsmith ignores the significance of the Russian Orthodox church on this cultish, devout and superstitious people; its reactionary ignorance, its tense relationship with the Tsars and the suppression of  literary thought and artistic freedom over centuries.
However, nobody, who isn’t tied to a bed, can tune-in at 3.45pm on 50 consecutive weekdays; so 15 minute catch-ups with the iPod, iPlayer and Bose dock are a must. And therein lies the problem. The audio quality is too good!
Instead of listening to the Sixsmith panorama, as vast as a painting of the Volga by Levitan or Repin, I find myself waiting for the next crashed edit, the next level-jump, the next ‘fake’ street FX.
I keep wondering if he really is where he says he is; in Kiev, St Petersburg or actually in the studios of Ladbroke Radio Productions Ltd? The clue is when a background sound effect fades but the commentary remains consistent with the studio ambiance.
I bet most people don’t notice. But, like HDTV, with the clarity of sound that’s easily achievable now, every blemish is visible to the naked ear.

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NO

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SM & Unintended Consequences

I spotted this on the LinkedIn Crisis Communication forum (re Using Social Media in a Crisis) by Bob Wade ex COI (lightly edited)

…. The University of East London and several other universities have been given permission to run a ‘Twitter Farm’ in a programme to study how social networks change/direct behaviour during a crisis.

They group the Twitter dynamics as:
Stage one – ‘Open’ – what’s going on? Includes a lot of opinion – ‘I think it’s because of this etc’
Stage two – ‘Directed’ – sharing hard information and insight with each other.
Stage three – ‘Comprehension’ – what does this mean for me/us, who’s fault is this – consequences/blame.

They are taking live incidents and monitoring speed and size and content of responses. They looked at the Cork air crash on 11 Feb this year in Ireland. The first mention on Facebook was ONE MINUTE after the crash. They recorded 243 tweets on the crash – the incident began at 9.50 am – the first tweet with CORRECT information did not appear until 11.51. So for two hours, false information was circulating.

The peak in the Twitter exchange for the Cork incident was Stage Two, which was about the time the correct information began to appear. The danger period is Stage One when people are giving uninformed opinions. This is the reason Emergency Planners are waking up to the social media – there have already been two major ‘Stage One’ incidents with serious consequences:

Love Parade, Germany – several people crushed to death after texts and tweets circulated that the quickest route out of the festival was through the tunnel, when officials were trying to get people to disperse evenly through several exits.

New York Grand Central Station evacuation – Police dealt with a small suspect package; a very minor incident. But people began tweeting that the station was being evacuated, even that bombs had gone off else where in the city (the source of this rumour turned out to be a steam valve burst in the Mayor’s office). So the whole place self evacuated – when police and railway officials asked where everyone was going, people would show them their tweets and the officials and police would join them – its on Twitter so it must be true!

So the buzz words now in the emergency planning community are ‘network innoculation’ (moving quick to counter false rumours)and ‘network seeding’ ( getting correct info into the mix asap).

But a lot of us in the emergency services and Resilience community are dinosaurs (including me) and don’t know how to rapidly use social media to affect behaviour change during a crisis. So I’m certainly beginning to advise organisations that, if they are ‘not yet with the programme’ on social media, they need to make arrangements in their Media Emergency Plans to bring social media experts in, so their organisation can ‘join the conversation’ when the proverbials hit the fan, and move it to Stage 2 as quickly as possible. Some of the emergency services do get it however – I was with Hertfordshire Police on Monday for an exercise, and they told me how they use Facebook to talk direct to suspects, even asking them to hand themselves in – and some of them do!

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Victory on the Newmarket Battlefield

Stunning High Court victory for Newmarket residents. Forest Heath Council and Lord Derby’s plan to concrete Newmarket greenfield legally flawed http://bbc.in/eEzS05

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