PRSA Mid-Atlantic District Chesapeake Conference – Media Relations Talk – June 25

By on Monday, May 20, 2013

I got a note last week indicating that my proposal for a session called: “We Don’t Speak as Victims, We Speak as Survivors: Engaging the Media on Sensitive Topics”  was accepted for the PRSA Mid-Atlantic District Chesapeake Conference being held June 25, 2013 in Columbia, Maryland. I’ve never attended this conference before, but I’ve heard good things about it. The theme is “Looking Beyond the Cloud: Down to Earth PR Strategies” – which certainly appeals to my pragmatic approach to PR in general. Here’s the description for my session:

Nonprofits and the causes they champion need media attention to raise awareness, fight for reform, and bring in needed financial support. But when they work on sensitive topics like suicide, bereavement, community crisis, natural disaster, or child exploitation, the typical guidance for media engagement falls short and media stereotypes of what trauma “victims” should look like can overwhelm the story line that public relations professionals are trying to share.

Public relations professionals working in these areas need to know the important groundwork to cover before engaging the media on a sensitive topic, how to prepare organizations and survivors to speak from a place of empowerment, apply storytelling to their organization’s communications efforts to under gird and support media engagement, and the three principles needed to structure media relations around a sensitive topic.

Attendees will walk away with helpful tips and information. They will understand the important groundwork that must take place in advance of media engagement, will know the three principles for structuring media engagement around a sensitive topic, will understand four key tenets involved in preparing survivors to share with the media, and know how to apply storytelling principles to their organizations more broadly so they are seen as a viable resource on a key issue. 

If you are in the area, I hope you’ll consider attending the conference and checking out my presentation in person.

Everyone wants to know what you think.

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