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Oct 18, 2017

Tales From The Crypt: Halloween PR Horror Stories (and Tips for Overcoming Them!)


Halloween is right around the corner, and we can’t wait to put on our best costumes and eat way too much candy. With pumpkin patches popping up all over town and our favorite scary flicks playing on repeat, we couldn’t help but get in the spooky spirit with today’s blog post.

You are forewarned: The following is not for the faint of heart. Proceed with caution, as we are about to enter the ever-so-scary, only-in-your-worst-nightmare horror story tales from the PR crypt, and how you can overcome even the most frightening scenarios (For all our TFTC fans, we found the intro sequence on YouTube… in HD!)

1. You’re at a TV or radio station, with the host or reporter ready to start your client’s LIVE interview… only to learn the client is RUNNING LATE!

Oh the horror! What ever will you do? While it may be easy to go into panic mode, there are steps you can take to turn this one around. First, we ALWAYS make sure to send ample reminders to ALL clients on the day of their interviews to ensure they’re on time and ready to rock. Remember: CEOs and other executives are BUSY PEOPLE! It’s our job to help make their lives as easy as possible, especially as it involves media interviews. If your client is running late, take a deep breath and give them a call. Apologize to the media (we’re all human, they’ll understand that sometimes things happen!) and go into problem solving mode. Hopefully it’s just a bit of congested traffic, but work quickly to get them on the phone and ask for their ETA and how you can help them. Bonus Tip: Always make sure you have your clients’ cell numbers saved to your phone, so you don’t have to go digging for them!

2. You’re at a client event, which you’ve been planning for WEEKS now, and at the very last minute, learn that your caterer is not showing up.

We know, we know… this blog post should be rated for mature audiences only because this scenario is HORRIFYING! Even if you’ve been in talks with them for weeks, confirmed them every single day up until the event, and even on the day of… stuff happens, and PR pros need to be able to think quickly to smooth things over. For these scenarios, this is why it’s important to have multiple members of your team staffing an event, available to make a quick move on a moment’s notice. The key here is to make the remedy as smooth and seamless as possible, and NOT a big deal. Have one team member stay at the venue to keep things running there, and another team member hop into action. Even if it means going to a local grocery store to pick up supplies for a DIY charcuterie board and Starbucks carafes for coffee, if you act quickly and efficiently, you’ll be able to fix this one without missing a beat. It is important to cue your client into the situation, and ensure them you’ll get a refund from the no-show caterer ASAP. Take a deep breath, you got this!

3. You’re with a client being interviewed, and all of a sudden… the reporter goes off script and starts asking questions that are big NO’s!

Believe it or not, this does happen! Especially with high profile clients, influencers, and celebrities. For instance, let’s say you have a celebrity who is an ambassador for your client, and you set up an awesome interview only to have the report immediately fan-boy out and ask what a day in their life is like (…SO off topic). To prevent this in the first place, be sure to connect with the reporter before hand and let them know their interview is strictly about one specific thing, and to please not venture “off script” to make the most of their time. If they throw that kind suggestion out the window and do ask something inappropriate for the interview, kindly and politely step in and let the reporter or interviewer know that at this time, we’d prefer to channel all questions toward this person’s involvement with your client or the news at hand. The key is to help your client or interviewee feel comfortable and that they don’t have to answer every questions that comes their way.

Those are just a few of the scary scenarios you very well could find yourself facing in this industry. However, we know that together as a team, there is NO PR horror story we can’t overcome! Now we want to hear from you: How have you acted quickly in a crisis, thought on your feet to remedy something gone awry, or stepped in to help out a team member when they needed it most? Let us know in the comments below and stay up-to-date with the latest and greatest news from NRPR Group by signing up for our bi-monthly newsletter, HUSTLE WITH A CONSCIENCE!

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