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Confident Communications Podcast
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Confident Communications Podcast

Author: Molly McPherson

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Helping people and organizations respond in the right way at the right time with public relations expert Molly McPherson, APR. This podcast is your guide for examining how communications can make or break a brand, organization, or leader—discussing the best practices in PR, digital media, crisis communications, and social media.

The podcast offers a mix of analysis of current events and interviews with newsmakers, communications professionals, and business experts from Molly's 20+ years of public relations and crisis communications expertise working for FEMA and heading communications for the cruise line industry.
115 Episodes
According to this week’s guest, the British royal family has the greatest long-term brand of any organization.   Hard to argue with public relations strategist Julia Angelen Joy. Not only is she an ardent follower of the Windsors, she is also a fan of Netflix drama, The Crown. That’s where I come in.   When I read Julia’s blog post, 16 Royal PR Lessons, I knew I needed to bring her on the podcast to discuss the intersection of my favorite subject—public relations— with my favorite program at the moment.   You guessed it.   Share your thoughts on Twitter: @mollymcpherson @JuliaAngelenPR
The hottest social media app on the market has exploded amid growing frustration over the alleged censorship of pro-conservative posts by Facebook and Twitter. So what is Parler about and who is using it? Listen to hear everything you need to know about the social media platform and whether it is the right place for you.   © Molly McPherson 2020
An estimated 161 million Americans took the polls—either by mail or in-person—to elect a president. What happened after that was a week of division and confusion. One president-elect is declared, the other says, "Not so fast. Even in a competitive election, there was one winning strategy that struck me when it came to creating a wave of support for selling your next product, idea, or campaign: learn how to get people to mobilize and engage your product, idea, business, or movement. Learn how to build a groundswell.      © Molly McPherson 2020
According to my guest, there are no natural-born experts when it comes to dealing with the media. Even the legends need help speaking in front of the camera.  Why is it then, that so many people who are in a position to speak with the press about positive media coverage, dealing with a contentious issue, or managing a full-blown crisis, choose not to receive the training to help them put their organization in the best light possible?  Listen to this week’s guest, Warren Weeks, tell you why he is Canada's most in-demand media trainer.  You can find Warren Weeks on Twitter @warren_weeks or his website   © Molly McPherson 2020
In an interview that made headlines last week, 60 Minutes correspondent Leslie Stahl asked President Trump, "Are you ready for some tough questions?" Whether he was or not, viewers will never know because Trump left the interview. Learn how to build the architecture behind the perfect PR response to stay one step ahead of, rather than behind, a story about your organization. Public opinion moves fast nowadays, especially on social media, which means if you don't know the risks to your organization that can lead to a crisis, you may be worse off than Rudy Guiliani in a Borat film.   © Molly McPherson 2020
During the recent confirmation hearings, Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, asked Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett to show the notes she was working from while answering questions for the past few hours. She held up a blank block of notebook paper and said, “Just a letterhead that says United States Senate.”  Now that’s memorization!  On this episode of The Confident Communications Podcast, how to memorize your next speech and know it cold in 7 easy steps. It may not get you through days of confirmation hearings, but it can certainly help.  Mentioned in the episode - Master the Art of Public Speaking    © Molly McPherson 2020
If you watched the first presidential debate in 2020, you may have felt like you were watching history - a train wreck of historic proportions. For 90 minutes President Trump repeatedly interjected and clashed with former Vice President Joe Biden. When it was Biden's turn to speak, he vacillated between exasperated smiles and astonished dismay. What may have appeared to look like a chaotic mess, was likely a part of a master plan - at least by one of the candidates. Donald Trump was creating a controlled chaos by repeatedly baiting Biden and debate moderator Chris Wallace. The crosstalk was more a cross between negotiation and intimidation in the form of baiting. It's a manipulative strategy that provokes an angry, aggressive or emotional reaction from another person. Someone can take the bait in a media interview, business negotiation, relationship - and yes - even a debate. Listen to three characters that someone is trying to bait you, and what you can do to stop them dead in their tracks.   © Molly McPherson 2020
With the rising demand for transparency from the public, organizations and their leaders are learning the importance of interacting openly and honestly with their stakeholders. The leaders and organizations who interact openly and honestly with the media and the public, will be rewarded with trust and credibility. Similarly, those who try to mislead and deceive will find themselves in a hole filled with negative press and public opinion, from which they will find it difficult to emerge unscathed.   This episode is a 24-hour glimpse into President Trump’s visit to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center and the swirl of confusion that resulted from conflicting reports from Trump’s own chief of staff and press briefings led by his physician.   © Molly McPherson 2020
Everyone makes mistakes. However, not everyone admits to making them, and that can lead to much bigger problems. Talk show host Ellen DeGeneres used the opening monologue of her season premiere to address her role allegations of a toxic production environment at the daytime series in her opening monologue. It was time to admit a mistake. Learn five maneuvers to help create an architecture for getting you through the sometimes brutal process of admitting when you are wrong. Mentioned on the podcast: How to Apologize During a PR Crisis: Why Ellen DeGeneres Kept Quiet (And Why You Shouldn't)  © Molly McPherson 2020
This episode, my 100th, is my treatise for helping communicators do their job in the crazy age of media mayhem. For over two years I have been sharing my advice and experience from the front lines of my client work to help other communicators and PR people become self-confident in their professions. From crisis management to social media wins and fails, this weekly podcast is my commitment to help you communicate better, smarter, and more confidently in a time when it is confusing and stressful.    © Molly McPherson 2020
You know a memorable quote when you hear it. You see it published repeatedly or going viral on social media, you have a quote for the ages. We are weeks into a global pandemic and there are multiple heads of organizations attempting to make their mark on this historic moment. How will they succeed? In this episode, you’re going to learn how to create a memorable quote plus hear examples of memorable quotes throughout history. [4:31] 1: Write like people actually talk.Learn how to be conversational while leaving out the unnecessary filler language. [7:29] 2: Use memorable language.Find out how to use your words to help paint a picture. [8:52] 3: Avoid the hype.Lose the hyperbole and focus on the facts. [9:53] 4: Skip the jargon.No one wants to burn calories struggling to understand your acronyms. [11:38] 5: Fancy facts.Sprinkle storytelling to add depth to the story. [13:12] 6: Use this grammar style to attribute a quote.Certain styles lend themselves to speaking; others to writing. [14:02] 7: Consider the appropriate tense.Different word choices should be used for something that has just happened vs. something that’s more timeless. [15:33] 8: No fake news.Keep it real; avoid the bias. [16:58] 9: Boil down your big idea.Here’s how you can make your message more shareable. © Molly McPherson 2020
Given that an estimated 75% of people suffer from fear of public speaking, it is safe to assume that most people, when asked, would say that they want to become more confident in their public speaking.  This means there will never be a shortage of speakers who need a tip or two to calm their nerves when speaking in front of a crowd.  The pandemic may have put a pause on in-person presentations, but the ease of virtual presentation means more people are being asked to speak on-screen, often the case, in front of large numbers of people. On the podcast, revisiting an earlier conversation with public speaking and voice coach Gina Razón. Why the voice is a tattletale for your confidence and exactly what speakers do when they’re not as confident or as prepared as they’d like to be when they speak.   © Molly McPherson 2020
*Jerry Seinfeld voice* What's the deal with all these lame excuses from people??!! The last weeks of August 2020 were far from sleepy and dull. From the DNC to the RNC; from Jerry Seinfeld to Jerry Falwell, Jr. - what a week for people speaking their minds about the heated issues of the week.  On the podcast, the best/worst excuses we heard from the week from people and organizations that landed in hot water. What they said and the likely strategy behind the response. Denial, shift the blame, bolstering, minimization, mortification, transcendence, and attacking the accuser. Response strategies to lessen the blow to a reputation. Mentioned on the podcast:  Jerry Seinfeld: So You Think NYC is Dead? How to Spot a Liar (Episode 16) Tell-Tale Signs Someone is Lying to You in Text or Email (Episode 93)     © Molly McPherson 2020
Is it wrong to want to be admired? Of course not! It is natural human behavior to want people to view you in a positive light. This is neither narcissistic nor selfish behavior. It’s a healthy desire that inspired people to do better — to live up to the admiration. It also helps with your reputation if you find yourself in a PR crisis. On this episode, three approaches for becoming an admirable person.   © Molly McPherson 2020
People are social beings who not only thrive on interactions with others but rely on it daily. Whether it’s a conversation with a friend, time with family or a business interaction, I think we can all agree we miss mixing with people. However, with all the chaos and fear COVID-19 brought into our lives, our typical social opportunities as well as norms have gone sideways. Even if when we do have the opportunity to see people in person, there’s an enormous elephant in the room with us — mask or no mask? The rules for interacting during a pandemic are complicated, but the mask issue is as huge as the elephant. Here's how get someone to politely wear a mask without sounding obnoxious.   © Molly McPherson 2020
A few weeks back, The Ellen Degeneres Show fell under heavy scrutiny for how it's treated its employees in the past.   Reports came flying in about the working conditions that many employees have been experiencing while filming the show. Many of which include racism and intimidation.   The calls for cancellation are loud and clear - not the for the television program necessarily - but for the host, Ellen DeGeneres.   Anyone can find themselves in a public peck of trouble that spills out online, causing reputational harm. On the podcast this week: Why you need to apologize When to apologize What not to do when you make a public apology © Molly McPherson 2020
As much of our communication nowadays shifts to remote platforms, we are having more conversations via text, email, instant message, and chat. Even if there is no personal interaction in communication, you may be exposed to deceptions and lies you may not even notice. On the episode this week, the tell-tale signs someone is lying to you when you read a text or email.   Mentioned on the podcast: Episode 16 - How to Spot a Liar.   © Molly McPherson 2020
For many people, arguing is something they would rather avoid. Confrontation is stressful and it sometimes seems like a waste of time. However, in a cultural climate more divisive than ever, it is not unusual to be drawn into a dispute.   Learn strategies for getting the upper hand in an argument so you can get your point across and win it in the end.      © Molly McPherson 2020
If the quarantine has you feeling a little lost; like you’ve lost your sense of direction, then it’s time for a mental reset to find out matters to you in work and life. Listen to Molly’s conversation with J. Douglas Holladay, author of Rethinking Success, to hear the essential principles to consider to refocus, stay connected and be joyful - starting now. Buy the book: Rethinking Success: Eight Essential Practices for Finding Meaning in Life and Work   © Molly McPherson 2020
The political meme posted to Facebook. The tone-deaf tweet.  The clip of your video rant.   The indiscreet post.  If you’re on social media, then the odds are you’ve posted something regrettable online.   It may seem obvious that people shouldn't post off-color, racist, sexist, and inappropriate comments on social media, but lapses in judgment can happen when people start posting when they are in a "hot" state.   On this episode, how to prevent writing a regrettable social media post. And if you do, what to do next.    © Molly McPherson 2020
Comments (1)


Gov Blanco is deceased. If you were IN #Katrina, IN Louisiana, you knew Gov Madamoiselle Blanco was working for US, Day ONE. I am ashamed of Sullivan’s reflections, which tout his ignorance. Why not address the communications to Regional FEMA HQ on HF that went to Tennessee and address the timeline of Sullivan’s entrance & his PERSONAL introduction to the disaster. Bets on post 3 days... With #Respect I disagree. Read a book Tim. #JIC #FEMA

Apr 15th
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