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Training Creativity: Brainstorms

Filed Under (blogs, creativity, integratePR, IPR Staff Blog, Public Relations) by integratePR on 15-04-2014

The characteristic and skill of “creativity” is often not one you can express on command; runners, comedians and musicians, for example, can physically show their talent at any given moment. Although intellectual talent, such as creativity, is much more difficult to “prove” that you have, you still need to practice and train to strengthen this skill for when the opportunity arises.

In a position and industry where, more often than not, our creativity has to be “on” and our thinking caps ready to be worn during any meeting, call or moment, creativity is no longer a bonus skill, but a necessity. Sometimes, it is tough to be creative all day. Runners become fatigued, comedians miss the punch line and musicians strike the wrong chord; in every line of work, it happens. Our skilled PR and social media pros have found various ways of staying creative and my personal favorite is brainstorms.

Brainstorms

Brainstorms are the racetrack, microphone and stage to showing your creativity. There are various ways to brainstorm and various techniques leaders use to execute brainstorms. Some brainstorms are quick gatherings around a desk and others may have been on your calendar for two weeks. Whether the topic is unknown in advance, you come prepared or you partake in a SOS-flash brainstorm, we have only two rules for brainstorms:

1. No idea is a bad idea.

It’s a brainstorm. You are encouraged to throw out any and all ideas. You and your colleagues’ brains are literally “storming”- coming together and clashing ideas. If you really can’t have “bad” ideas, then call it a strategy or planning meeting, not a brainstorm. The brainstorm is the meeting to create the ideas for the strategy or planning meeting. Therefore, every idea should be welcomed and appreciated.

2. Don’t be limited.

Factors such as time, budget, feasibility or probability should not be harped on while brainstorming. Similar to “no idea is a bad idea,” don’t limit yourself or your colleagues with notions that your idea cannot or will not work. You may have to eventually scale your idea down, but never limit your creativity or imagination. 

We pride ourselves on being a very creative office and team and we think our clients would agree. Our collaborative teams and nature are definitely the foundation of our creativeness and we know that at any given time, a good brainstorm can help strike that “big idea”.

 

Written by: Mary Paolantonio

The Internet is Changing the World…

Filed Under (blogs, integratePR, IPR Staff Blog, Public Relations, Social Media) by integratePR on 11-04-2014

Duh, right? But as a social media account executive, my entire job centers around being on the Internet, monitoring social media platforms and from time to time I may get lost on some distractingly captivating sites. Aside from the endless amount of cat videos, music choices and Buzzfeed personality quizzes to see which Harry Potter character you are, I love finding those awesome stories where we see the Internet changing lives.

One of the latest incidents of the Internet joining people together to fulfill a mission was the missing Malaysian flight. DigitalGlobe, a Colorado firm that owns some of the most advanced and incredible satellite equipment around, invited people to join forces and search for the missing airliner by combing through images of the ocean. Studying over 1,230 square miles of satellite photos would take way too long for a single person to filter through, but with a digital grassroots strategy, they were able to gather more than 115,000 volunteers to try and find any sign of the missing plane.

While there was not much luck with finding the airliner, we did see the Internet community rally to help the “Burger King Baby.” A woman who was abandoned as a newborn in a Burger King 27 years ago, made a simple request on the internet to help her find her birth mother. In less than a month, she was reunited with her birth mother through the incredibly intricate web of people that saw her Facebook post.

But by far, my favorite story of the connected web solving greater issues is the story where the valuable online community helped to decipher a note left behind by a dying grandmother. In 1996, a grandmother lost her short battle with cancer, leaving behind a grieving family and a stack of “rambling” letters that seemingly made zero sense. It’s completely nonsense… Or so her family thought for more than a decade.  

When the woman’s granddaughter put the photo of this note online and asked for help, she found it. Quickly. The sequence of individual letters represented prayers, including the Lord’s Prayer, and it only took 15 minutes for the glorious community on the Internet to decipher the message. This woman was praying for her family through these letters. She had lost her ability to speak but continued to pray for the happiness, safety and health of her family until her passing.

So sure, the Internet is full of selfie-obsessed and comment-happy people, but sometimes it’s a community of folks who are more than willing to help share their expertise to help someone else. And as someone who is constantly monitoring and engaging with others on the internet, it always brightens my day to see the difference such an expansive community can make when they are willing to help.

 

Written by: Kaitlyn DuBose

Tips for Successful Job Hunting

Filed Under (blogs, company culture, Houston, integratePR, Public Relations) by integratePR on 08-04-2014

Integrate Public Relations is growing and currently has two job openings – one for a Senior Social Media Account Executive and the other for a Graphic Designer.  Since Integrate Public Relations is hiring, we thought it’d be great to share some job search and interview tips.

In general, searching for a job can be very stressful and overwhelming.  When applying for specific positions, be sure your resume is up-to-date and all information is correct. For tips on building a memorable resume, check out our three part resume guide from Mary! 

Remember to search for jobs and companies that truly interest you, and look for a company culture you think you’ll mesh with. Want to know if you’ll fit with the IPR team? Check out our Instagram where we showcase what we’re up to, behind the scenes. Everyone performs better when he or she is happy and comfortable so be sure to do your research and only accept a position that is right for you.

Writing is a large component of public relations and agency work.  Picking the perfect writing samples to send to a potential employer is important, and a great opportunity to show off your talent, and your knowledge in AP Style. In the public relations world, AP style is everything; we are admittedly AP Style junkies! We reach out to journalists at various media outlets every day, which means AP style must be used correctly on a daily basis. As PR pros, our goal is to have our client’s announcements covered by targeted media, so everything sent to media must be newsworthy, and we strive to make it as easy as possible to help reporters write stories about our clients.

Landing an interview means the light at the end of this job search tunnel is getting brighter.  Whether it’s over the phone, via Skype or in person, an interview can be simultaneously exciting and frightening. So study up! Do some research on the business before the actual interview to ensure you understand the work and company’s overall goals. It is also helpful to be able to reference previous projects or clients the company has worked with, so they know you are truly interested and have been staying up-to-date with what they’re doing.

When asked questions during an interview, use this as an opportunity to tell them everything you possibly can about the topic at hand. Elaborate (not exaggerate!) on your experience and skills; this is the time to sell yourself and your capabilities.  It’s best to relate your skills or past experience to the position you are interviewing for, or how your unique set of skills will help you ultimately benefit the company. Be sure you articulate and speak using correct grammar. As PR professionals, it’s our job to speak on behalf of clients, and grammar is of the upmost importance. Being able to communicate to and craft messages for different audiences is something our talented team has mastered, and any company will want to know that potential new additions to the team can speak eloquently on behalf of its clients and represent the company well.

To all you job seekers out there, we hope the search goes well and these tips provide useful insight. We wish you the best of luck and happy job hunting! Those interested in applying for open positions with Integrate Public Relations can send resumes to jobs@integratePR.com.  Be sure to stay up-to-date with our company’s growth through Facebook and Twitter, we have a lot of exciting stuff going on!  

April Fool’s Etiquette: Who Did it Right?

Filed Under (blogs, community, integratePR, marketing, Public Relations, Social Media) by integratePR on 03-04-2014

April 1st is always a day filled with laughter, and caution, because of the inevitable pranks that are bound to be played on innocent, or not so innocent, parties.  This year’s April Fools’ Day was no exception.  Brands and businesses around the globe joined in on the jokes.

The phrase “If it’s on the Internet, it must be true” definitely isn’t the case on April Fools.  The Integrate Public Relations team thoroughly enjoyed reading about the different, light-hearted jokes companies played on their customers.  Buzzfeed’s Definitive Guide to Every April Fools’ Day Prank even made its way around the office email chain, and we definitely had some favorites.

With selfies on the rise, Metro News in England played a huge practical joke on selfie lovers. An article titled  “Appetite for Selfie-Destruction” went live on Metro’s website at 6 a.m. on April 1st.  The article claimed that selfies would soon be banned in Britain, which left selfie fanatics across England in an uproar.

As to be expected, Google was on top of the pranking game.  Google Maps unveiled a Pokemon Challenge where users would need to find all hidden Pokemon characters in various locations on Google Maps in order to complete the challenge successfully.  Additionally, Google gave a nod to photobombs when Google+ added the Auto Awesome Photobombs feature for its users to take advantage of.  Always wanted David Hasselhoff to photobomb your picture?  Now he can.

Large, global corporations weren’t the only ones participating in the pranks.  Our client, Goode Company, couldn’t resist playing a good April Fools’ joke on its beloved customers.  Goode made its social media followers’ hearts drop when it announced that, due to the rising price of pecans, it would temporarily discontinue the renowned Brazos Bottom Pecan Pie.

A PR professional’s job is to know and understand a client’s audience and how they will react to everything and anything the client receives attention for or the campaigns we execute on their behalf as their public relations team.  This holds true when it comes to April Fools’ jokes, as well. 

Not all companies’ audiences will be receptive to pranks, so it’s imperative to understand who they are talking to and to fully consider what kind of reaction the prank may evoke. If a company should decide to do a prank, it is part of the responsibility of the public relations team to make sure the prank is age-appropriate, family-friendly and remains in line with the voice of the brand.  Pulling a practical joke can be unpredictable.  Discussing how this joke could possibly backfire and how to handle it if it does will be a top priority for the PR team. 

If an April Fools joke does go haywire, it can be tricky to know how to respond. Do you, as a PR pro, ruin the joke for the rest of the audience, or do you tackle the backlash on an individual basis? If a customer was to misunderstand the prank, it is important to handle that incidence delicately. Through private or direct message, explain to that user that the joke was all in good fun in honor of April Fools Day, and that the joke will soon be revealed and things returned to normal.

From a PR standpoint, a perfectly executed prank engages the audience, generates genuine curiosity and buzz, and keeps people laughing. Generally speaking, they are also harmless and can be identified as a joke after a good laugh and further investigation.

All in all, we’d say that this year’s April Fools’ Day jokes went smoothly for most brands and companies.  For more thoughts and opinions from our PR experts follow us on Facebook and Twitter.  

Don’t Be Fooled: Debunking 6 Myths about the Life of the PR Pro

Filed Under (blogs, company culture, Houston, integratePR, IPR Staff Blog, Public Relations) by integratePR on 01-04-2014

I’ve never been one to appreciate falling for April Fools Day pranks and you’ll certainly never know me as the mastermind behind an epic holiday prank.  While I recognize that April Fools Day can be a fun way to take a load off, relax and just have a good laugh, I’m not big on acting the part of the fool…or subjecting someone else to that role. 

With that being said, I think I’ve adequately fooled most of my friends, family and peers into thinking they have a basic understanding of what my colleagues and I, as PR and Social Media professionals, do for a living.  It certainly wasn’t intentional; I never meant to fool you…it just seemed to happen by default.  Read below as I debunk the six myths of the day-to-day life of PR professionals, because….not everything you hear is true. 

Myth 1: Doing PR is glamorous. As a PR pro, you have access to lots of free things, most of them shiny, expensive and new, and even more access to the glitziest and glamorous parties.

Truth: While some of our client accounts come with perks (read: working with a bakery can mean lots of delicious sweets around the office), as a PR pro, we have to pay for access to the city’s best parties, concerts, and events just like you do.  That’s right, I don’t have access to that Fleetwood Mac concert you’re DYING to attend this summer or to the Grammy’s next year. We also understand boundaries, which means, even if given the opportunity to accept lots of free goodies, we wouldn’t necessarily ask our clients, because we respect their needs to grow their businesses (and we hope to HELP them with this, instead of constantly asking for free swag). 

Myth 2: Public Relations is the same thing as event planning, and by default, if you do PR, you’ll be a great at planning my cousin’s Bar Mitzvah, my wedding, or my charity event.

Truth: While we do find ourselves brainstorming awesome event ideas for clients, and sometimes even planning and implementing events (like this awesome one for our client, West Point Lincoln), this just so happens to be an added benefit of a PR firm with event experience.  For the most part, when you hire a PR pro, you’re hiring the professional to promote your event before and/or after, not to plan it from start to finish.

Myth 3: PR is advertising, so as a PR professional, you must know how to create ads, place ads and find me the best pricing on ads. You were responsible for the Budweiser Clydesdale horse Superbowl commercials, right?

Truth: Again, some PR pros have super-skills surrounding advertising and/or have experience with advertising, but your typical PR pro is not handling advertising campaigns or dollars on a day-to-day basis.  Some agencies, like ours, have the expertise in-house and offer the services through what we call  “media buying.”

Myth 4: PR is an easy job for my ditzy friends who have bigger dreams of finding the perfect husband than they do of attaining meaningful career goals.

Truth: Insulting for obvious reasons, this myth couldn’t be farther from the truth.  Not only are PR pros stacked with amazing skills like impeccable writing and mastery of the English language (that’s right, we have grammar and spelling on lockdown), we’re also problem solvers who are quick on our feet, creative thinkers, excellent communicators and relationship builders, and then some. PR is not for the light-hearted.  Those in the profession understand that they can, at times, take a beating from media personalities, clients and partners, alike, but it’s these skills (and infinite more that I didn’t mention above) that mean PR pros are just that: professionals. Plus, we can have our gorgeous hubby and our dream PR job, at the same time…and many of us do! 

Myth 5: PR pros have tons of extra time on their hands to help me or my business (or my dad’s business, or my baby sister’s business or my golden retriever’s business…you get the point) with its PR…for free.

Truth: While we do LOVE the that work we do, and we are appreciative of your vote of confidence in our experience and ability to hopefully do right by you and your business, we typically don’t have a whole lot of time to spare. PR pros do not work a typical 9 – 5 job…we’re always on the clock. We work until 9 PM to make sure that every client email is answered, that tomorrow’s press release is perfect and that fires are put out…or that they don’t start at all. We’re on email all hours of the day in case a news anchor emails us with a last minute, and often times, timely request. We’re waking up early on a Saturday morning to check media in at your festival or race. We’re attending networking events with industry professionals, potential partners for our clients, media and more.  You get the point: our hours are long.  With that being said, while we’d love to help you, our time is valuable and precious, and after work, we want to take a load off…not necessarily give away our secrets for free.  

Myth 6: All PR pros look, dress and act like Samantha from Sex and the City. 

Truth: While homegirl is certainly a hottie, once again, it’s just not true.  First, most PR professionals represent companies and brands, not individual personalities and famous people (although, many of my colleagues would love to get their hands on Amanda Bynes’ and Lindsey Lohan’s business). Second, we wouldn’t dare enter a meeting or attend an event in a strapless dress or a skin-tight number.  Finally, PR pros do what we do for a living so we can stay behind the scenes and let our clients shine, not to collect attention like Samantha did so often. 

While the list could go on and on for the types of myths that are out there and the truths PR professionals live and work by, I’ll spare you.  Instead, you tell me – what do you think we do for a living? Share it on our Facebook page and we’ll let you know if you “get it” or if you need a little extra education.   

 

-Written by Jenny Selber

“But First, Let Me Take a Selfie”

Filed Under (blogs, integratePR, IPR Staff Blog, Public Relations, Social Media) by integratePR on 25-03-2014

Ah, the selfie. A global phenomenon that almost everyone is familiar with, especially after Ellen’s famous Oscar selfie that set a twitter record. If you’ve had enough willpower to stay away from all channels of media for the past two years and aren’t familiar with the term, “selfie” is defined by Oxford Dictionaries as, “a photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and uploaded to a social media website.” (Yes, “selfie” was added to Oxford Dictionaries in 2013.)

Some people live off of selfies; the joy of taking a picture on their smartphone at the perfect angle, selecting the most flattering filter (thanks, Instagram!), then posting the photo and receiving praise for their beauty and keen photography skills becomes an addiction. But others are a bit cynical about the trend. There are various hashtags that mock selfies, including #antiselfie, which “fights online narcissism” and discourages self-interest on the Internet. We love this.

Individual’s vanity and fixation with taking photos of themselves has become so outrageous that there are sites dedicated to the most outlandish selfies, such as “Selfies at Funerals” and “CopSelfies,” proving that when it comes to the trend, there are no boundaries. The selfie obsession has even sparked The Chainsmokers to create the worst song in history, “#Selfie” (listen at your own risk).

As if taking a selfie at a funeral isn’t bad enough, you know a trend is serious when it becomes damaging to followers, and whether you like to selfie or not, it has truly plagued the world. As ridiculous as it may sound, more and more news stories are emerging about the psychological damages selfies are causing.  A selfie obsessed teen in Britain made headlines this week because he attempted suicide after he couldn’t take the perfect picture of himself. Every day the 19-year-old would devote 10 hours to taking around 200 selfies and even dropped of school to focus on his obsession, which led him to become depressed and try to take his own life. Known as Britain’s first “selfie addict,” the teen has since recovered and is dedicated to helping other people break their unhealthy relationships with social media.

Not only is it causing depression, but plastic surgeons are reporting that they’re also seeing more cases of patients wanting minor facial surgical procedures in order to look better in online photos. Dr. Edward Farrior, President of the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, recently wrote a news release about the topic and reported that one in three plastic surgeons have seen an increase in requests for this reason. “Social platforms like Instagram, Snapchat and the iPhone app Selfie.im, which are solely image based, force patients to hold a microscope up to their own image and often look at it with more self-critical eye than ever before,” said Farrior.

Pretty scary that a little social media trend is causing all of this, right?

Luckily, the power of selfies is also being used for good. In the U.K., the “No Makeup Selfie” was created for breast cancer awareness. The campaign and hashtag encourage women to post selfies sans-makeup and promote donating to Cancer Research UK. In only six days, the makeup-less selfies raised about $11 million, further proving the influence selfies have on people. Let’s just hope this trend will spread to America.  

There’s no doubt that the selfie trend is here to stay. So tell us, what’s your opinion of selfies?

P.S. In case you were curious, Oxford’s use of “selfie” in a sentence was, “occasional selfies are acceptable, but posting a new picture of yourself everyday isn’t necessary.” Hah!

 

Written by: Laura Littlejohn

Time Management – As learned at SXSW

Filed Under (blogs, company culture, integratePR, IPR Staff Blog, Public Relations) by integratePR on 18-03-2014

In today’s increasingly busy work environment where (admittedly) more is expected and (unfortunately) we have the same number of hours, Scott Hanselman has some great suggestions for scaling yourself. I saw him speak in a quick and efficient 15-minute session on productivity at SXSW last week. If you were following our tweets and SXSW blog, you may have seen our team geeking out over him and his session. It was a little difficult at times to keep up with every word he was saying, but for those of you that missed his insightful words of wisdom, the gist of it was that the interruptions in our life are useless, and it is important to only focus on what is necessary and moves us towards our goals.

Essentially, with every activity we do in our workday, Hanselman wants us to consider if that task is helping us advance to what we need to be achieving. Now, for myself, I do find that a 5-minute Buzzfeed quiz is actually very helpful; I know that to take a break between editing a document the 14th and 15th time is actually essential to making sure that I clear my mind between versions, and I am then able to completely refocus a few moments later when I come back to it. However, I know that I can get totally lost in Pinterest; it is all consuming and can capture my attention for hours at a time without me realizing it. So knowing this, I have to stay away during the workday. I think this realization would make Hanselman proud.

Another recommendation that Hanselman made, one that I am not 100% sure I can get behind, was to wait until lunch to reply to any morning emails. He says that if we can achieve three things that we set out to do each day before lunch, we will feel more successful in our lives overall. And by responding to emails, we immediately get sucked into the grind and get away from our goals for the day. I can completely see where he is coming from with this piece of advice, but cannot imagine that feeling of seeing my inbox pile up and not responding. That’s definitely my own anxiety to overcome.

Overall, I enjoyed Hanselman’s talk: his reminder that there is really no such thing as a busy season, that re-stacking the pile doesn’t actually help you remember to do it on time, and while it sounds obvious, a great reminder: the less you do, the more of it you can do.

SXSW is an awesome experience for inspiration, education and a chance to work ON the business versus IN the business. This opportunity for personal development, networking, fascinating conversations with industry leaders, and of course, team bonding, comes once a year and we are already counting down the days until SXSW 2015. 

Written by: Allie Danziger

And the Oscar Goes To…

Filed Under (blogs, Events, integratePR, marketing, Public Relations) by integratePR on 06-03-2014

We’re still laughing from the Oscars this past Sunday. The Integrate Public Relations team agrees that this year’s Oscars was one of the best. Ellen DeGeneres, emcee for the awards show, brought a light-hearted humor to the ceremony. She didn’t try too hard to be something she’s not. She did her thing and the laughs came naturally.

From a public relations stand point, the 2014 Oscars was also a huge success.  The ratings were phenomenal, with this year’s broadcast deemed the most-watched telecast in 10 years.  Fox News also states that ratings are up 7 percent over last year’s televised award show.

This year’s Oscars also did some good and raised money for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.  Remember that infamous Oscar selfie, with stars like Ellen DeGeneres, Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Kevin Spacey and more Hollywood royalty?  You know, the one that crashed Twitter.  Well, that selfie was retweeted more than 3 million times, and now Samsung has matched that amount to donate $3 million to St. Jude.

Another big stunt at this year’s Oscars was when the pizza delivery from Big Mama’s and Papa’s Pizza arrived. Ellen brought him out into the audience to share the slices, and superstars like Julia Roberts, Meryl Streep and Brad Pitt were seen enjoying the obviously delicious pizza and chatting with the delivery guy.  This is an example of great product placement, especially because this delivery guy had no idea what he was about to step into.  And now, even after the Oscars are over, the small, local business is still reaping benefits and gaining coverage.

As PR professionals, our ultimate goal is to garner coverage for our clients and spread the word about their work.  From news and radio stations mentioning our clients like The Houston Wave and Goode Company BBQ, we’re always thinking of new and innovative ways to get client names out there. IPR works with our clients to not only raise awareness for the client’s business, but also to help clients get involved in the community.  From the work that Three Brothers Bakery does with the Susan G. Komen Foundation to the iPads our newest client, West Point Lincoln, donated to a class at Spring Oaks Middle School, we’re proud to help our clients help others throughout the Houston-metro area.

Stay up to date with IPR company happenings and client happenings by following us on Facebook and Instagram.        

Our Office Buzz(Feed)

Filed Under (blogs, integratePR, online presence, Public Relations, Social Media) by integratePR on 20-02-2014

Addicted to BuzzFeed? We feel your pain. The endless source for stress relief, entertainment, inspiration and news, BuzzFeed has become a part of the daily lives of all of us here at Integrate Public Relations, whether it’s emailing around a cute article about how pugs are the best, taking a quiz to find out what food is your spirit animal, or keeping up with the world, we just can’t get enough.

So, how do you take advantage of something as widely used as BuzzFeed? The social media team here at Integrate Public Relations decided to find out.

On BuzzFeed’s Community page, anyone can create and submit his or her own article or material, for free! We decided to do this for a few of our clients.

For Cafe Adobe, we created a fun BuzzFeed post all about how Tex-Mex is the only Valentine a girl really needs – A Single Girl’s Guide to Surviving Valentine’s Day. Full of comical rom-com gifs and ecards, this BuzzFeed list was a fun way to tell a new audience about various menu items from Cafe Adobe.

The Goode Company social team also created a BuzzFeed list for the 20 Things Texans Love. As the expert on Texas culture, lifestyle and food, Goode Company utilized BuzzFeed as a platform to share this expertise.

We see BuzzFeed as a growing tool and plan on using it in the future as a fun way to capture an entirely new audience. Not only do BuzzFeed articles shake things up a bit, but it’s also a platform where clients can be more open and out there with their content and showcase their true personalities.

Are you a BuzzFeed addict? We’re always up for a good BuzzFeed link, so share your favorites with us on Facebook or Twitter

What Are They Doing Now?

Filed Under (blogs, crisis communications, Entertainment, Public Relations) by integratePR on 13-02-2014

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The Integrate Public Relations Team loves all things social media, and some of the girls’ guilty pleasures are pop culture and pop culture news websites.  They keep the rest of the team up-to-date on all things Hollywood and celebrities.

Recently Jon and Kate Gosselin, the stars from the canceled TLC show Jon and Kate Plus 8, have been making a splash on entertainment news stations and websites.  Since their divorce in 2009, Jon and Kate have made their differences and negative opinions of the other known.  Everyone remembers Jon’s womanizing ways during his divorce and Kate’s effort to carry on the show as Kate Plus 8, but it’s the latest news headlines that have Integrate Public Relations’ pop culture lovers buzzing.  Their immersion back into stardom has us cringing, as it’s somewhat of a public relations nightmare.

Jon has made his way back to the front of the camera and is starring on the reality TV show Couples Therapy, with girlfriend Liz Jannetta. What seems to be pushing him even further into the spotlight are the interviews, like the one with E! News, where he says he wants “temporary primary custody” of the children because he thinks Kate needs a “psychiatric evaluation.” 

These interviews are the result of Kate and her twin daughters’, Mady and Cara, disastrous interview on the TODAY Show where the twin girls hardly spoke.  Needless to say, this is a crisis PR situation.  After this awkward, quiet interview Kate is being scrutinized for her parenting skills, or lack there of, and if she raising her eight children in the celebrity lime light is too much for her, and for her children.

As PR professionals we have to ask, is this the best way to handle the situation?  Dealing with media while simultaneously dealing with another person who has opposing views can be complicated.  The different components of their relationship would probably work more cohesively if Jon and Kate discussed such topics as custody and Kate’s mental health one-on-one and behind closed doors.  If the two feel the need to broadcast their statements and publicize their personal affairs, they should have a PR professional give them media training or use a spokesperson to release a truthful, neutral statement.

What makes this situation particularly challenging from a PR standpoint is that Kate appeared with her twin daughters on the Today Show fully confident that they would speak up in support of her and her parenting, as they had in a previous magazine interview. It was difficult to watch Kate squirm when her daughters declined to answer or cooperate. Clearly, she was not briefed on what to do in the absolute worst of situations. Crisis communication and damage control are necessary in the PR world, and we can learn from Kate’s unraveling on a national television show.