PR for Business Leaders

November 23rd, 2012 by under Uncategorized. No Comments.

As it turns out, I love participating in pilot curriculum projects.  There’s just something so invigorating about the whole experience – the professor is excited, the students are excited, the school, other classmates, and first year students plotting their electives are all excited – and it gives the students a unique opportunity to help shape the curriculum.

Having thoroughly enjoyed kicking off the revised Entrepreneurship and New Ventures curriculum in the spring, I was eager to participate in this semester’s Public Relations for Business Leaders pilot project, especially with Ken White at the helm!  At Smith, Ken recently moved from the Office of Marketing and Communications into his new role as Associate Dean of MBA and MS Programs, and our cohort couldn’t be happier.  Ken initiated the launch of the pilot project at Smith, which is being taught in cooperation with the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) and includes Dartmoth, Northwestern, University of Texas El Paso, and Quinnipiac University in the MBA Initiative Pilot Project.

Last week, The Pincus Group hosted our class for a media training session at a live television studio, where we each took a turn in the hot seat for a live interview in front of a green screen.  We later viewed and critiqued each of our performances.  It was an invaluable experience, and a great way to learn from the professionals and each other.



The primary lesson I learned during our media training was that the poise, confidence, clarity, and effective communication exhibited by people in the media isn’t just luck or charm or good lighting – it takes practice!  We learned that whether facing the public sporadically or on a regular basis, a leader must be able to identify the audience, intent, and message (AIM) of each appearance.  I was happy to know that it is generally considered uncouth for a reporter to ambush a spokesperson with topics outside of the proposed scope of the interview, but one should be prepared to go on the “charm offensive” if this occurs.  Finally, it is important to remember that the ideal length of a message is 6-8 seconds of speaking, and this message must stand on its own – “be quotable.”