May 2021 Water Cooler Conversation
By The Garrity Group
Tom Garrity: Welcome to the virtual water cooler here at The Garrity Group, I’m Tom Garrity thanks for joining us. We’re gonna have a little staff conversation around the water cooler so if you want to grab your favorite cup of joe or water and join us for some of the great conversation. And you can always share that with us by emailing us at info at GarrityPR dot com. So, starting off we have three topics today we’re going to first talk about one thing, just one thing that we’re looking forward to this May. And let me go ahead and share first I’m going to share three things.
Tom Garrity: Okay, I’ll share one thing, which is the nicer weather, you know, my office actually has a bunch of ash trees, right outside, and it’s always nice when they’re in full bloom because I can open up the windows in the morning and not have to worry about getting blinded by the light. But you know, just, just something about the weather in May, that’s really nice. We don’t necessarily have those April winds, and the temperatures are a bit more moderate, so we don’t have some of those mornings where it’s like subzero where it feels like and then extremely hot afternoons but hey it’s 2021 so who knows what will happen. So that’s mine. Andie, what’s yours.
Andie Mirabal: I’m getting married, so I’m excited. And I finally get to. I’m fully vaccinated and ready to trek out of New Mexico. So that’s two things, but they’re all in one weekend so I think that counts.
Tom Garrity: Well, that’s great and Amanda what is the proper way should I say Congratulations. Best wishes, I know that we’ve had this conversation before when, what is the proper etiquette?
Amanda Molina: To Andie, that is, yes, like she knows something about. Yeah, I mean, I know that best wishes used to be, you know the proper term to say to a woman when she becomes in is about to get married or does get married but I think the rules are a little looser now. So, you know.
Amanda Molina: Congratulations. Best wishes, good luck, I’m kidding. I think it’s all, it’s all good.
Tom Garrity: Okay Amanda, I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to use that as the kind of toss over to you but what are you looking forward to in May?
Amanda Molina: I agree on the nice weather, you know, last summer was rough with where we were in May with the kiddos so I’m looking forward to this year being able to get out and do some fun things with the family and explore a little bit more than we got to last summer.
Tom Garrity: That’s great so and yeah, I think all of us agree 100% that this May is much better than last May. So biggest PR lesson that you’ve learned over the last few weeks, Amanda let’s stay with you.
Amanda Molina: Mine is more of a reminder of, you know, kind of a lesson and a reminder of, of course. COVID is still a major discussion amongst all of us. And I noted that all this discussion around masks and there were a lot of well-known medical and scientific professionals who are coming out saying, you know, if you’re fully vaccinated, you really don’t need the mask outside and I felt like the CDC was a little slow and I think a lot of people did on their messaging, you know, they just came out today which is the 14. When professionals were kind of preceding them and some of these messages, and with an organization like CDC, that’s your main go to, and it just reminded me to maintain credibility, we always got to be ready, always on our feet for our clients when those important messages need to come out. We need to be the first to tell the story, and be quick, transparent, so it was it was just more of a reminder to me.
Tom Garrity: That’s good. That’s good, Andie?
Andie Mirabal: Over the past few weeks I think I’ve been reminded that as much as people are predictable. People are unpredictable. And so, you know, having a solid understanding of the news cycle and news processes and just having really good best practices for your internal and external communications will help you kind of weather any storm.
Tom Garrity: That’s good, that’s good. Mine. My biggest PR lesson. You know me, I’m a rule of threes kind of person so I have three of them. So, one is good policy fosters good public relations so something that Richard Draper back when he headed up Intel many years ago, as far as the communications team that he shared with me it’s always kind of stuck. And I’ve been reminded, especially with, you know the very positive coverage the Balloon Fiesta received from the Albuquerque Journal’s editorial page that you know good policy fosters good public relations in a variety of different ways. As far as, you know, really having that consistency of message, which is the second thing and then the third, it was something a discussion that we had here at the office on the four audiences that need to be addressed in a crisis and all of that reminded me that, you know, we really need to be talking more about, you know iron sharpens iron. And so, we really need to be able to share a lot of these insights with each other, so that way we can all, as Amanda you said, you know we can all really be prepared for when those moments happen for our clients. And the four audiences in case you want to go look in the blogs, include the victims, employees, customers and vendors, and then the media and the level of compassion you show to the media will determine how quickly your organization and successfully your organization, weathers a crisis.
Tom Garrity: So, with that, why don’t we talk about the one thing that communications professionals, and I’ll keep mine to one thing, probably not, can do to help restore trust in the media. Andie, this is something that caught your attention. Share a little bit about that.
Andie Mirabal: Yeah. The other day I was driving on Paseo and I noticed that someone had printed a banner and hung it for everyone on Paseo to see it says that the media is the virus, which got me thinking about trust. The public level of trust in in the media, which I know you know, GPS has shown not one of the top trusted, places and things like for information but just got me thinking about what we can do as communications professionals to, to kind of help that since we kind of work alongside them. And so, since we’ve worked alongside side them, I think, one of our, one of the things we can do is kind of help ensure that they’re, we’re doing our part to make it easier for them to do good journalism, so you know making sure that we have. We’re citing good sources and providing them with resources, you know, taking a look at following like their ethics policies and stuff, making sure that we’re doing our part to help them.
Tom Garrity: That’s good, that’s good to see you got it. Yeah, you just have to make sure that the information that we’re providing is accurate, because I think, you know sometimes it’s easy to go down that rabbit hole of saying well here’s what we think it is. Now here’s what we know it is. Amanda, what about you? What’s that one communication, one thing that communications professionals can do to restore trust in the media?
Amanda Molina: You know when, when Andie brought up this question, I immediately thought back to a story that I read in March, and they know the New York Times covered it, but it was a poll that was done, I believe by Gala. And it talked about how, if you voted Republican or if you voted Democrat, the complete difference in how you viewed the pandemic. And, you know, one side underestimated at one side over overestimated it. But what was interesting to me is that the last paragraph talked about a lot of it may having to do with the information that’s taken in. And I don’t know about you guys but I certainly don’t want politics getting in the way of my medical, you know decisions and so I just found it really interesting why, why are we, you know, what is the information that we’re taking in and why is that guiding us and those decisions that we make. So, you know, I got to just go with Andie on that that as professionals, public relations and communications professionals all we can do is make sure that the information we’re getting out and our clients are getting out is truthful and just, you know, doesn’t swing one way or the other or push people to do, it’s for the good and it’s a bit has a nice baseline. So, you know, it’s a tough. It’s a tough call. I don’t know I think a lot of people have certain feelings about the media right now and I hope we continue to be able to push those truth telling subjects and that one’s a tough one. I don’t know.
Tom Garrity: And just to kind of touch on what Amanda, what Andie was sharing rather about Paseo del Norte, and for those who are not in the Albuquerque area, Paseo is actually an East West thoroughfare that connects the east part of Albuquerque to the west part six lanes three in each direction, and it’s very heavily traveled and one thing I noticed when traveling on Paseo not too long ago, is that a lot of residents, along the in the eastern part of the city are hanging out banners, protesting different things in there that are proposed for their community as far as utilities that are going to be installed and so I thought that was very unique because, you know, it was almost like, you know, a triptych of, you know, different messages as you drove, you know, either east or west on Paseo. But, you know, the perception survey as we know has, you know, always said that you know there’s access to media then there’s trusted media. And of course, you know the traditional media sources television, radio, print, are the most trusted, not necessarily the most accessed anymore and so I decided just to before we got started here knowing this topic would come up. I looked at four different actually five different media sources in the Albuquerque market, three television to newspaper. And I found that for the most part, you know, four of the media sources didn’t have a lot of back clickbait. And, you know as far as, you know, what is, you know, I’ll just call it up here in just a second, but you know there’s just so much, you know clickbait out there as far as Albuquerque iPhone users don’t forget to do this before Friday. Now, clearly clickbait, you know, and its sponsored content and they have it identified as sponsored content, but it’s so small and stuff and so you know, unfortunately, you know there are some media who are policing themselves and don’t have that clickbait, on page one unless it’s click bait to get into one of their stories. But there’s also a lot of, you know, some very hidden clickbait so you know I think, even though the Albuquerque Journal, 770 KKOB and KOAT are all teaming up on a literacy initiative which was announced, you know, on Friday, May 14 I think that there’s still a need for media literacy. So, you know so people the consumers can really understand, you know, and decipher what is backed and what is fiction. So, little soapbox on that my apologies.
Amanda Molina: It’s a tough one.
Tom Garrity: All right. Anything else for the good of the good before we part the water cooler today?
Tom Garrity: No. All right, well thank you very much for spending a few minutes with us here at The Garrity Group water cooler in the Journal Center area. We hope that you have a great day and for more insights like these, please be sure to visit Garrity PR dot com. Have a great day.
Published May 26, 2021
Right out of the gate, full disclosure: I am a Southwest Airlines A-list flyer. I have enjoyed flying Southwest and will continue fly with this airline.
Welcome to the June edition of The Garrity Group water cooler conversation where we have a chance to talk about the events that are on our mind on this June 21, 2021.
Christmas celebrations were concluding when my brother and his fiancé asked what I thought about the CBS police drama “Blue Bloods.”
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