“4 Questions Journalist Spotlight” with Giovanna Drpic, CBS46

This week our “4 Questions Journalist Spotlight” with Atlanta Daybook shines on Giovanna Drpic, political reporter with CBS46. Click here (http://tinyurl.com/ybcuwrpu) to learn more about Giovanna, what she does every day, and the coolest thing about her!

Giovanna joined the station from New York where she hosted and produced the Emmy-nominated business show, “Money & Main$treet.”

Mitch Leff is the president of Leff & Associates Public Relations (www.leffassociates.com), an Atlanta-based PR agency. Leff also operates Leff’s Atlanta Media (http://www.leffsatlantamedia.com) an online database with contact info for thousands of Atlanta-based journalists, and Mitch’s Media Match (www.mitchsmediamatch.com), a service that connects Atlanta journalists with local experts and sources.

Contact him at mitch@leffassociates.com, (404) 861-4769, on Twitter (@mitchleffPR), or on Facebook at Leff & Associates.
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“4 Questions Journalist Spotlight” with Gracie Bonds Staples, Atlanta Journal-Constitution

This week our “4 Questions Journalist Spotlight” with Atlanta Daybook shines on Gracie Bonds Staples with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Click here (http://tinyurl.com/y83u8yky) to learn more about Gracie, what she does every day, and the coolest thing about her!

Gracie writes the “This Life with Gracie” column in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution where she offers her perspective on lifestyle issues.

And while we’re talking, go ahead and sign up for Leff’s Atlanta Media, our database of every journalist in metro Atlanta (www.leffsatlantamedia.com)!

Mitch Leff is the president of Leff & Associates Public Relations (www.leffassociates.com), an Atlanta-based PR agency. Leff also operates Leff’s Atlanta Media (http://www.leffsatlantamedia.com) an online database with contact info for thousands of Atlanta-based journalists, and Mitch’s Media Match (www.mitchsmediamatch.com), a service that connects Atlanta journalists with local experts and sources.

Contact him at mitch@leffassociates.com, (404) 861-4769, on Twitter (@mitchleffPR), or on Facebook at Leff & Associates.
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The Matt Lauer Apology

I’m going to assume you know the Matt Lauer situation … so I won’t spend time explaining it again. As “The Atlanta PR Guy,” I was curious what folks thought about the situation.

Lauer said in a statement this week:

“There are no words to express my sorrow and regret for the pain I have caused others by words and actions. To the people I have hurt, I am truly sorry.  As I am writing this I realize the depth of the damage and disappointment I have left behind at home and at NBC.  Some of what is being said about me is untrue or mischaracterized, but there is enough truth in these stories to make me feel embarrassed and ashamed. I regret that my shame is now shared by the people I cherish dearly.”
So we conducted a quick survey, asking:
1) Do you believe his apology is sincere?
  • 54% said Yes, 46% said No.
2) Do apologies like this carry any weight for you?
  • 63% said No, 37% said Yes,
3) Do you think he would have come forward on his own if a credible accuser hadn’t come forward?
  • 97% said No.
4) How should Lauer have handled this?
  • Made a written statement (that’s what he did) – 61%
  • Held his own press conference – 14%
  • Appeared live on Today – 16%
  • Made no comment at all – 9%

Most who responded to our survey thought his apology was sincere, but a larger percentage don’t feel the apology carries much weight. It’s become standard practice to make a written statement apologizing for your misdeeds. Which leads, of course, into the “carries little weight” part.

I’m sure his PR agency counseled him that making some sort of statement was better than staying silent. The rules of crisis communications encourage companies or individuals to 1) Offer a quick response, 2) Be honest, and 3) Respond as completely as you can. My calculation in his situation would have been that issuing the statement would do little damage, but that it wasn’t likely to have much positive impact.

The elements that are unknown to most of the general public, but likely known to Lauer and his advisors, would include the likelihood of other women coming forward now that the doors are open.

A common comment has been that NBC should have had someone other than Savannah Guthrie make the announcement this week. She and Matt are close friends and the news clearly impacted her. A better strategy would have been to have Lester Holt come on Today to do it. That separation would have helped the “optics” of the news.

Guthrie’s personal pain is understandable when you know how long she’s worked with Lauer. But her delivery focused on the “bad news” of Lauer being fired, rather than the bad news that women at Today have been sexually harassed by this man for years. It diminishes the pain of the woman who came forward.

Continuing the Conversation:

Megyn Kelly offered this week to have the women and Lauer on her segment of Today to discuss the issue. Would that be a good forum?

Should Lauer expert favorable treatment or tougher questions from his former show?

Would he be better off doing an exclusive interview with Oprah?

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“4 Questions Journalist Spotlight” with Art “Madman” Mehring, Total Traffic Weather Network

This week our “4 Questions Journalist Spotlight” with Atlanta Daybook shines on Art “Madman” Mehring with Total Traffic Weather Network.. Click here (http://tinyurl.com/yb457hgb) to learn more about Art, what he does every day, and the coolest thing about him!http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RjV78KPw0FU

Mehring has been with the Total Traffic Weather Network, a part of iHeart Media, for more than 14 years, first as a traffic reporter in Atlanta and for the past seven years in Charleston, SC as well. In Atlanta, you’ll hear him on 94.9 The Bull; RealRadio 105.7; and 640am WGST. In Charleston, he’s on all six iHeart Media stations.

And while we’re talking, go ahead and sign up for Leff’s Atlanta Media, our database of every journalist in metro Atlanta (www.leffsatlantamedia.com)!

Mitch Leff is the president of Leff & Associates Public Relations (www.leffassociates.com), an Atlanta-based PR agency. Leff also operates Leff’s Atlanta Media (http://www.leffsatlantamedia.com) an online database with contact info for thousands of Atlanta-based journalists, and Mitch’s Media Match (www.mitchsmediamatch.com), a service that connects Atlanta journalists with local experts and sources.

Contact him at mitch@leffassociates.com, (404) 861-4769, on Twitter (@mitchleffPR), or on Facebook at Leff & Associates.
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CEO Exclusive Radio: How to Keep Calm and Handle the Media

This week I was invited, along with my client J. Michael Moore from the Goizueta Business School, to be a guest on the CEO Exclusive Radio Show, hosted by Soyini Coke.

Not to take away the joy you’ll get from listening to the whole show, but we discussed a couple of important topics:

  • Build relationships with media and other audiences that endure for years.
  • Practice. Invest in media training for your C-Level execs.
  • Prepare for a crisis. It’s the most important step in avoiding one.

I hope you’ll take a few minutes — as you’re working out or driving to work — to listen: http://www.ceoexclusiveinsights.com/blog-post/keep-calm-handle-media/

Mitch Leff is the president of Leff & Associates Public Relations (www.leffassociates.com), an Atlanta-based PR agency. Leff also operates Leff’s Atlanta Media (www.leffsatlantamedia.com) an online database with contact info for thousands of Atlanta-based journalists, and Mitch’s Media Match (www.mitchsmediamatch.com), a service that connects Atlanta journalists with local experts and sources. Contact him at mitch@leffassociates.com, (404) 861-4769, on Twitter (@mitchleffPR), or on Facebook at Leff & Associates.
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“4 Questions Journalist Spotlight” with Frank Reddy, Forsyth County News

This week our “4 Questions Journalist Spotlight” with Atlanta Daybook shines on Forsyth County News editor Frank Reddy. Click here (http://tinyurl.com/yavqwboy) to learn more about Frank, what he does every day, and the coolest thing about him!

And while we’re talking, go ahead and sign up for Leff’s Atlanta Media, our database of every journalist in metro Atlanta (www.leffsatlantamedia.com)!

Mitch Leff is the president of Leff & Associates Public Relations (www.leffassociates.com), an Atlanta-based PR agency. Leff also operates Leff’s Atlanta Media (http://www.leffsatlantamedia.com) an online database with contact info for thousands of Atlanta-based journalists, and Mitch’s Media Match (www.mitchsmediamatch.com), a service that connects Atlanta journalists with local experts and sources.

Contact him at mitch@leffassociates.com, (404) 861-4769, on Twitter (@mitchleffPR), or on Facebook at Leff & Associates.
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“4 Questions Journalist Spotlight” with Cynthia Rozzo, East Cobber

This week our “4 Questions Journalist Spotlight” with Atlanta Daybook shines on East Cobber founder Cynthia Rozzo. Click here (http://tinyurl.com/y9njls9q) to learn more about Cynthia, what she does every day, and the coolest thing about her!

And while we’re talking, go ahead and sign up for Leff’s Atlanta Media, our database of every journalist in metro Atlanta (www.leffsatlantamedia.com)!

Mitch Leff is the president of Leff & Associates Public Relations (www.leffassociates.com), an Atlanta-based PR agency. Leff also operates Leff’s Atlanta Media (http://www.leffsatlantamedia.com) an online database with contact info for thousands of Atlanta-based journalists, and Mitch’s Media Match (www.mitchsmediamatch.com), a service that connects Atlanta journalists with local experts and sources.

Contact him at mitch@leffassociates.com, (404) 861-4769, on Twitter (@mitchleffPR), or on Facebook at Leff & Associates.
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