A media relations samPleR

For those out there who still don’t quite understand how PR works, here’s a nice example of media relations:

Last weekend, rocker and gun rights activist Ted Nugent made a speech to the National Rifle Association, comparing President Obama and Democrats to coyotes. “If the coyote’s in your living room pissing on your couch, it’s not the coyote’s fault,” he said. “It’s your fault for not shooting him.” He went on to remark, “If Barack Obama becomes the president in November, again, I will either be dead or in jail by this time next year.” Nugent’s comments gained the attention of the Secret Service, who scheduled a Thursday appointment to talk to him.

On Wednesday, Hofstra University’s public relations firm successfully pitched Fox News Radio (FNR) on interviewing an “expert” who can talk about how celebrities can repair their images after they’ve gone too far with political comments. Hofstra’s University Relations office asked me if I could be available for interviews on several Fox-affiliated radio stations the following morning. Understanding the PR value for the school (and for me!), I said yes.

On Thursday at 6 a.m., I was emailed a schedule. From 7:08 through 10:10 a.m., I talked with 10 radio morning shows from 10 different cities throughout the U.S. I sat by my phone as a Fox producer in New York called a minute or two before I was to go “live” on each station. The interviews each lasted 5-8 minutes; a Florida host interviewed me for 15. I was asked about Nugent and other celebrities who get themselves into trouble, and I suggested that a sincere apology is always a good way to begin healing damage that’s been done to a public image. I added that Ted Nugent doesn’t seem to care much about his image and is not likely to say “I’m sorry” — except maybe to the Secret Service.

The result of all this: Hofstra got mentioned several times on Fox affiliates throughout the country, and morning show audiences heard some (hopefully) good information and got a favorable impression of the university. Ten radio stations got a few minutes of solid programming on an interesting topic, and the PR agency that pitched it got paid. This, ladies and gentlemen, is an example good PR. Your thoughts?

13 thoughts on “A media relations samPleR

  1. Rachel_Lynn_Gonzalez

    I remember Professor talking to us about this in class one day. This is a GREAT example of PR! I’m pleasantly surprised that so many radio stations responded to this pitch and decided to air it, but I’m happy that they did because it turned out to be great PR for both Hofstra and Professor Morosoff! I wish that I was able to hear a portion of one of the on-air interviews to see what types of questions they asked and how Professor Morosoff responded. I think that this topic is also very important for a PR person to know and to be well educated on how to handle clients with a poor reputation in the eyes of the public and the media.

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  2. Andrew Katz

    I learned in different courses about having the opportunity to interview with multiple radio stations over the course of a day. Hearing your experience made me envision and imagine the experience even better. In regards to Nugent, I believe he was a bit to expressive in his recent remarks about Obama. He did a number on himself when mentioning that he personally would be either dead or in jail if Obama is president in Fall of 2012.

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  3. Kimberly Caro

    It is interesting to see how one individual’s ridiculous comments and destruction of his public image could help another organization enhance their image. Hofstra was able to to gain their own publicity and press coverage so quickly by acting immediately. I love how you explain that a sincere apology is always a great place for celebrities who say/do the wrong thing to start! We have seen so many celebrities mess up their image by denying a situation which, in the end, turns out to be the truth.

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  4. jenniferbrackman

    I don’t believe that Ted would apologize either, but the good news is how well this worked out for Hofstra. Now the radio listeners will know more about Hofstra University, and our school will seem very credible because you were used as a public relations expert. The press coverage that our school gained all because of this guy’s stupid comments worked out in our favor. Thanks Ted! 🙂

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  5. Jenny Zheng

    For Ted Nugent, his words have become his PR strategy, and that strategy is to get attention by being nasty. As you said the other day in class, this man has been irrelevant for a couple decades, and if he apologized now, no one would really care because no one really takes him seriously enough to care about what he did in the first place. Unless you’re the Secret Service.

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  6. JackieZupo

    I agree the best way for a celebrity to help their bad image is to offer an apology. However, I highly doubt Ted Nugent will even apologize. In the past he has never seemed to care about how his extreme comments have affected other people. But I am glad the university received good PR by speaking on behalf of the incident.

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  7. Lindsey Dodge

    This is the best example of good PR for Hofstra I have heard in a while, besides the debate obviously. It was very smart of the PR company to pitch you as an ‘expert’ to radio stations across the country. Not only was the beneficial for you and Hofstra, your insight to repairing a celebrity’s reputation was helpful to the public that herd the broadcasts.

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  8. aluisi2

    This is a great example of how PR works. This is what I think is so great about PR, you pitch the story correctly, to the right people, and you can gain press coverage instantly. Not to mention you gained press coverage for minutes at a time, on multiple different radio stations. This is every PR person’s dream to get coverage from more than one outlet. This is great coverage and press for Hofstra University.

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  9. Annik Spencer

    I think that this is an excellent way to gain publicity that almost any organization can use to gain attention! Go Hofstra!

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  10. Abby Littleton

    We talked about this in class the other day. What a mistake he made. I think it is very cool that you got to give your input on the subject, though!

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  11. juliachappell

    Thanks for giving us an inside look into how it works to serve as an expert on news radio program. What a cool experience to be able to speak about a topic you love and are knowledgeable about to the audience. With good PR, everybody wins! I love being able to see PR in action. It makes me excited to work in the industry.

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  12. Emily

    As ridiculous as Ted’s comment was, I’m glad it worked put well for you and Hofstra. Even if this guy does have a reputation of saying things like this, he should still apologize.

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