Posts Tagged ‘Arizona’

Media Training: How Shooter Should’ve Handled Media

Wednesday, February 5th, 2014

Media Training

AZCentral’s Laurie Roberts wrote an opinion piece raising questions about the campaign and travel expenses of Arizona State Senator Don Shooter. Roberts wrote Shooter did not return several phone calls to discuss the questions.

In a video that accompanies Roberts’ story, a 12News reporter tells us he tried to talk to Shooter about the opinion piece. The 12News reporter says someone told him Shooter would be in a meeting. But the reporter says a few minutes later, he saw Shooter walk to his car. The reporter turned on his camera but says Shooter didn’t respond and drove away.

Any businessperson or politician facing scrutiny who hasn’t addressed the media’s questions shouldn’t be surprised if a reporter approaches him or her outside an office or in a parking lot. Your strategy for handling those situations should stretch beyond not responding or driving away. (We are assuming the reporters have accurately portrayed their interactions with Shooter.)

  • Answer the media’s questions. Explaining your side of the story on the phone or in person is much less awkward than reporters tracking you down at unexpected times or locations. Worse, the next time you face the media for a positive story, reporters may take advantage of that opportunity to address tough questions while the audience listens.
  • Before the interview, decide what one to three key messages you plan to focus on when addressing the questions. Keep circling back to your core points. Don’t delve into unnecessary details if possible. Use phrases such as, “The key issue is,” “It’s important to note that,” “Let me reiterate that.”
  • If necessary, explain you are working to improve and consider changes.
  • If you truly can’t comment, explain why. Maybe you need more time to get information. Maybe you don’t want to give out wrong information. Whatever phrases you provide, avoid no comment.

Be transparent. And that doesn’t mean looking at reporters through the windows of your vehicle.

Photo Friday: Shooting Story Of Hope And Help

Thursday, December 5th, 2013

Watch How Arizona Mom Gets Six Kids To Brush Teeth

Wednesday, November 6th, 2013

By Victoria Rosenblum

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Parents know how hard it is to persuade children to brush their teeth. Now imagine having six kids. You might as well make it fun.

This is exactly what Amy and her husband Phil Maschue do to motivate their six kids to brush their teeth twice a day.

“I’m a speech-language pathologist who works primarily with kids with autism who typically don’t like anything in their mouths,” said Amy. “I found early on in my career that I could help families get compliance with tooth brushing and other speech therapy oral motor related tasks by making up songs that the children liked. It’s worked really well with my own kids, too.”

Amy and her kids would make the songs about the things that each child enjoys. Her oldest son liked trains, so they bought a train-themed toothbrush that said “cha cha.” This inspired the song she’d sing to him:

You brush your teeth. Cha cha cha cha cha cha cha cha cha.

You brush your teeth. Cha cha cha cha cha cha cha cha cha.

First you brush the top ones the top ones the top ones.

Then you brush the bottom ones the bottom ones the bottom ones.

You brush your teeth. Cha cha cha cha cha cha cha cha cha.

Her oldest daughter liked stories rather than songs. They would use silly voices to give a mission to her toothbrush hero, arm it with toothpaste and narrate what was happening to the “Evil Plaque and Gingivitis” whose job it was to make holes in their teeth so the Tooth Fairy would leave only a lump of coal instead of $1.

Jillian, 5 and Maeve, 3 love The Little Mermaid. They made up a song and worked on following directions at the same time. Watch them in action here:

Amy and Phil personalize each song or story so that the kids brush well and for the recommended two minutes two times a day.

“I think that’s a great idea!” said Dr. Lee Weinstein, a Scottsdale pediatric dentist who is the dental director of Arizona’s Medicaid program. “In my opinion, she has now motivated her kids and it works for her.“

When it comes to kids, brushing their teeth is not on the list of their top priorities. It can become a tedious chore, which makes them less inclined to care about their dental health.

“They will never understand the importance of brushing. Parents need to be parents and make sure their kids brush their teeth whether they like it or not,” said Dr. Weinstein. “You can try to make it fun. Try to instill good habits. Try to share the time with your kids.”

According to Dr. Weinstein, you should be taking your child to a pediatric dentist starting at age one.

“You take your child to a pediatric dentist because they are geared to come up with different ideas and different approaches to make dental hygiene fun.”

By getting into an office early on and teaching your kids how to care for their teeth, you will be able to prevent a large amount of decay, the possibility of putting them through extensive procedures, sedation and consequential costs.

“Good oral care is important for a nice smile but is also important for good general health,” said Amy. “I want to keep my kids healthy and teach them healthy habits.”

Whether it’s a song or story, help make brushing more fun whether you have just one little one or as many as six.

Dr. Lee Weinstein of Dental Associates For Kids Only in Scottsdale, Arizona is a public relations client. 

Arizona Foothills Magazine Interviews Image Consultant Janice Hurley-Trailor About Mom’s Post Pregnancy Transformation

Thursday, August 15th, 2013

The Flip Side provides public relations for Janice Hurley-Trailor.

Click here to read the story. 

Please like the story on Facebook and share it on Twitter. Thank you.

Is PR About Quickies Or Something Long Term?

Sunday, August 11th, 2013

Some businesses commit themselves to hiding or spinning problems instead of better understanding the causes and addressing solutions. I’ve attended staff meetings where not one employee intended to ask a challenging question, fearing management would somehow punish him or her for raising a concern. But businesses gain strength by identifying, even publicly, their weaknesses.

A public relations firm or campaign should help businesses achieve their long-term goals by highlighting successes and correcting failures and misperceptions. This is easier said than done when a company’s own conduct lands it in quicksand. When money is at a stake, how do you persuade a business to be willing to reverse course even if a new approach means, in the short term, bruised egos and lighter pockets?

Because a Bandaid is just that for serious publicity injuries:  a short-term fix that briefly allows management to duck for coverage without actually changing minds or influencing important audiences. This strategy, or lack of strategy, may slow the downward spiral and bring about some spurts of goodwill. But even the least educated people have noses and they are skilled at smelling B.S. even when covered in roses.

Public relations should not be spin. An audience already anticipates that and has a pre-existing condition called suspicion. Surprise them by reminding them what you do right and showing a willingness to accept and correct what you do wrong. Think short term and that’s how you will be judged. Think long term, be willing to take some punches and that’s how you will increase your chances of success.

Our Video For The BBB About An Ad Agency

Thursday, August 8th, 2013
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Employee Communications: Crazy Work Ideas

Wednesday, August 7th, 2013

A manager once told me my paycheck should be all the incentive I need to appreciate my job. Other managers made it clear to me extra pats on the back are unnecessary because bosses shouldn’t need to thank employees for simply doing their jobs. Those arguments may hold some merit but are out of touch with reality and present a poor strategy in retaining top talent. On the other hand, creating a fun office environment must stretch beyond the foosball table. We understand changing a work atmosphere starts with changing work culture, but let us shoot for the stars and pitch some ideas most executives would never consider. But we dare you to run these ideas up the corporate ladder.

  • Do The Limbo: This classic inspires smiles from cruise ships to Bar Mitzvahs. All you need is a broom stick from the supplies room. Recommend proper attire to prevent awkward moments when people fall down.
  • Trampoline: This won’t thrill the companies’ attorneys, but five minutes bouncing at lunch will make 5pm not seem so far away. Again, recommend proper attire.
  • Throw loud things: Few things release frustration more than throwing stuff that lands with a bang. Grab a sample of traditional office supplies, head for that unused office and make the walls fear your arm strength.
  • Stickers: Rewarding excellent work with sports or fashion stickers should raise spirits.
  • Get dirty: Take off the ties and high heels, find a communal mud hole one Friday afternoon and make puddles.
  • Blow bubbles: Bubbles seem to make people happy especially as employees refine their skills and improve drastically at this fun task.
  • Bring dogs to work: A co-worker regularly brought his big dogs to work. The canines strutting around led to smiles. Then suddenly he stopped bringing our four-legged friends. The rumor was someone complained to management. Executives may poop on this idea, but they should stuff their excuses into a bag.
  • Spin in chair: Lift spirits by asking people to quickly spin co-workers in their chairs. The ensuring laughter and dizziness can help kickstart the day.
  • Funny hat day: I sparked several conversations when I started wearing an Indiana Jones-type hat while reporting outside during Arizona summers. Imagine the range of discussions when everyone puts their hats and heads together.
  • Limo Ride: For a while, I thought of a way to scale back employee absentees or “mental health days.” When our business is large enough, we look forward to awarding the employee with the fewest absences and a guest a limo ride to an expensive dinner on us. A drawing will break ties in lowest absences.

What are some of your crazy ideas?

Some Of The Silliest Stories I Covered In TV News

Thursday, August 1st, 2013

A neighborhood invaded by unwanted chickens on the loose

Women getting drunk by using tampons soaked in alcohol

A woman cleaning houses topless

A proud adult movie actor complaining that Viagra evened the playing field

Farmers worrying the government might tax them for cows passing gas

A search for a family’s large, lost lizard

Dressing up in a tuxedo and covering an Oscars party at a college

Airing two stories in one night about the fact it did NOT snow as predicted

Visiting a Nevada brothel to investigate whether Arizona should legalize such businesses to collect more taxes

Spending a day at a mall to demonstrate how much free stuff shoppers could get, which included getting my ear pierced at no charge

Our Video For The BBB About A Moving Company

Sunday, July 28th, 2013
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Applaud Cheerios For Showing Family Few Others Will

Tuesday, July 23rd, 2013


Yes, we took notice of the Cheerios commercial showing a white mom and an African American dad. We took notice because how many companies are willing to show interracial couples in their commercials? And why not? Look around. Couples whose faces do not look alike are part of America’s fabric. Look no further than our president. Look no further than my brother-in-law and sister-in-law.

But Cheerios still had to fend off people leaving shameful comments. (Notice comments are disabled for the video unlike other Cheerios commercials on YouTube.) And, according to a report, kids don’t understand why people would write such shameful words.

I grew up in a South Florida elementary school where most of my classmates were African American or Hispanic. Few of us cared about our different colors. We were so young, no misguided adults had time to teach us to dwell on such differences. By contrast, I attended an almost all-white high school where classmates sometimes discussed minority-related issues as if writing a thesis. In other words, they had no significant relationships with people of color.

So I don’t blame kids for wondering what the heck is wrong with some adults. This is one situation where a company should not worry about offending a portion of its audience. If part of its audience can’t accept parents whose faces are of different colors, a company need not worry too much about such customers.

We applaud Cheerios for showing a family few others will. But it’s sad if showing a white mom and African American dad is still considered a risk.