WASHINGTON-Pennsylvania Senior Vice President of Communications and Marketing Michael Wishnow gave GAC attendees in the “Scooping the Bankers” breakout session an earful about how to handle media relations. He emphasized the differences and similarities between public relations and advertising. “When you’re talking about public relations, it’s still messaging but it’s through news,” Wishnow said. “It’s a much more subtle way to get the message across.” “Be proactive in your public relations. Be out there first,” he advised, so you can frame the issue instead of letting others do it and reacting. Other key advice: 1)Stay on message. 2) Give thought to the message. 3)Don’t have too many messages. 4)Return to the message no matter what is asked. 5)Deadlines are crucial. 6)”This one almost sounds silly but always be truthful.” 7)Be reliable. “If your PR person doesn’t want to work 24/7, you may want to find them another line of work.” 8)Never repeat the negative wording of a question. 9)Be respectful of reporters. 10)Be passionate. “It has to show through in print, but even more importantly in broadcast.” One strategic maneuver that PCUA has made is to position itself as an expert in various financial areas. Once a month, an executive from PCUA goes on a local finance show, “Pennsylvania Newsmakers,” with local credit union leaders to discuss various financial issues, such as financial education or managing credit. The league also asks its board members to go through media training. See complete GAC coverage on pages 24-30. [email protected]

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