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Confident Communications with Molly McPherson
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Confident Communications with Molly McPherson


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A podcast for helping communicators create the right message at the right time and deliver it on the right channel with public relations expert Molly McPherson, APR. Listen weekly for your guide to the best communication techniques in leadership, communications, and managing a reputation both online and off. Episodes feature a mix of current events analysis and interviews with newsmakers, communication professionals, and business experts from Molly's more than 25 years of public relations and crisis communications expertise working for FEMA and heading communications for the cruise line industry in Washington, D.C. This podcast is crucial for any public relations professional or communicator who wants to feel confident in all the top communication channels. Fans of the podcast love to hear Molly's take on current events while offering practical advice for building confidence in all communication efforts.Find Molly at and Twitter, @mollymcpherson.
144 Episodes
A press release is one of the most powerful ways to communicate news and events. And one of the most powerful ways to write a press release is to create it with SEO-friendly words to help rankings in search engines. Rich Brooks, founder of the digital marketing agency flyte new media in Portland, Maine, helps SMBs and non-profits increase their online visibility, drive more qualified traffic to their sites, and convert that traffic into leads and business. He is the host of the Agents of Change podcast and annual conference. In this episode, Rich shares the steps you need to take when writing an SEO-friendly press release, and provides some tips on how to ensure that your journalists pick up the right keywords.Listen + Subscribe Stitcher or Apple PodcastsNeed help creating the right message? Try Outwrite Editor to help improve your writing. © Molly McPherson 2021
Are you someone who hesitates to talk about matters that matter to you because it is easier to stay quiet and avoid the backlash because you are responsible for other people's well-being? Yeah? Well, me too. I understand how it feels to be in a position of wanting to speak out when you sense there is an injustice - when something is not aligning with your core values. But caring for people who rely on you to stay stable may keep you quiet. My book, Indestructible, was written to help people use the power of an online reputation to prevent and stop a media crisis. The same ideas apply to a person's personal reputation as well. After completing the book, I recognized I needed to follow my own advice. There is nothing to fear in the 'cancel culture' if you lead with human decency. Stop letting others control how you communicate about yourself and your business by not being afraid to speak out. This podcast episode is about the key to an indestructible reputation. It's easy - don't let anyone bring it down and drag it through the mud. Maintaining your reputation means being ethical and honest in your interactions with people, both in business and in life.Kindness, honesty and compassion - that's how to become truly indestructible. Listen + Subscribe Stitcher or Apple PodcastsNeed help creating the right message? Try Outwrite Editor to help improve your writing. © Molly McPherson 2021
The best way to manage a crisis is to prevent one.The best way to prevent a crisis is to identify the types of crises that can affect your business.In this episode, we cover the top 10 crisis types communicators need to know how to handle to lessen the damage or remove it altogether.Each one has its own unique set of challenges and implications, but each type of crisis can create significant fallout if unprepared for properly.Mentioned on the podcast:Ep. 122: How to Use Social Media In Emergency Situations: Winter Storm EditionEp. 108: What is Parler? Everything you need to know about this social network with all the buzzListen + Subscribe Stitcher or Apple PodcastsNeed help creating the right message? Try Outwrite Editor to help improve your writing. © Molly McPherson 2021
Pitching the press is an important part of the PR process, but it is part of the job that many PR people do not necessarily want to do.Regardless of the industry you work in or represent to the media, knowing how to effectively create a pitch for the media is the most critical step to success in PR and content marketing.Guest Christy Laverty discusses the changes in news coverage from timing to Twitter.  Christy Laverty spent over 20 years as a media expert, but now works to help people pitch the media, sell a story, or get visibility. Her specialty is helping people leverage the power of the media to gain influence, serious business credibility and customers.Listen + Subscribe Stitcher or Apple Podcasts© Molly McPherson 2021
Many law enforcement agencies, particularly local police, have learned how important it is to use social media to reach the public and the press during an active incident. Whether it's Twitter, Facebook or YouTube, social media is as valuable resource for many police departments as it is for traditional brands and businesses. On the podcast, Julie Parker will share her strategies for how law enforcement can use social media to communicate directly with the public, as well as tips to improve a department's media relations. Mentioned in the podcast: 2002 D.C. sniper attacks in Washington, D.C. Minneapolis Police Department's handling of George Floyd Boston Marathon bombing Active shooter in Prince George's County Duante Wright shooting in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota Julie Parker is a recognized media consultant specializing in crisis communication, public relations, media coaching and social media training for national and local law enforcement agencies.  As a former television reporter and police department media director, Julie uses her decades of experience to help law enforcement agencies and their personnel learn the bet strategies for using the media relations and social media.  Listen + Subscribe Stitcher or Apple Podcasts© Molly McPherson 2021
I love giving presentations, workshops and keynotes because I love helping people.I love giving virtual presentations because they are incredibly convenient, interactive and easy to use.What I know is that people no longer love (perhaps even despise), is sitting through virtual presentations. "Zoom" fatigue has certainly set in for most people when they have to log in to another - ugh - meeting.Although we are so close to returning to those in-person meetings, many of us still have months of virtual calls ahead of us. Plus, due to the ease and cost-efficiency of the meetings, many are here to stay.On the podcast, the three areas that help you become an all-star participant and can also prevent those "Zoom" fails that end up going viral. Listen + Subscribe Stitcher or Apple Podcasts© Molly McPherson 2021
Simply put, companies in 2021 should have a diversity statement. When Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was charged with killing George Floyd in May 2020, it triggered a national wave of protests throughout the country. The protests eventually simmered down, but the call for more diversity and inclusion gained the necessary traction to make diversity and inclusion a priority for companies. A strong statement shows a company's commitment to building an inclusive workplace that welcomes people of all backgrounds. But how does someone get started writing the statement? What are the elements in an ideal diversity statement? In this episode, you will learn how CEOs of major brands respond to diversity incidents, such as Derek Chauvin's conviction, and some suggestions for writing a diversity statement that gets the job done.Listen + Subscribe Stitcher or Apple Podcasts© Molly McPherson 2021 
The pandemic has created many problems for businesses and organizations, but it has also created a greater need for PR and communication practitioners to find ways to think beyond the challenges of 2020 to solve issues dealing with social distancing, diversity, and inclusion in 2021. Gini Dietrich shares how she advises her clients to update their PR and communication plans to meet public expectations. She's also sharing her take on the shrimp in the Cinnamon Toast Crunch fiasco.     Dietrich is the founder, CEO, and author of the Spin Sucks, blog host of the Spin Sucks podcast, and author of Spin Sucks, She is the creator of the PESO Model, which has become an industry staple for describing the four types of media and how to integrate them into your PR plans to help establish your authority. Listen + Subscribe Stitcher or Apple Podcasts© Molly McPherson 2021
Mega-influencer and bestselling self-help author Rachel Hollis found herself in her fan's crosshairs  again(!) after sharing a blunt assessment of one of her follower's comments that rubbed her the wrong way. After seemingly comparing herself to Harriet Tubman among other notable and "unrelatable" women on a Tik-Tok video, Hollis faced a severe backlash online with calls for her cancelation and people calling her out for her views on a work ethic tied to a person's worth - not to mention how she described the woman who cleans Rachel's toilets.  With the ease of airing opinions in a social media reply, the public has found a way to cast judgment against individuals and businesses, where it hurts - their online reputations. On the podcast, the common trait of people who are threatened with cancelation due to an online transgression and how to avoid it. Also, while you're at it, how you can create an indestructible brand.   Listen + Subscribe Stitcher or Apple Podcasts© Molly McPherson 2021
As many business leaders come to recognize that online media is an important part of any reliable business plan,  many are reluctant to take the leap onto social media for many reasons including: fear of saying the wrong thing at the wrong time. However,  there is a significant push for turning to public relations to help boost the visibility and credibility of not only the business, but of the CEO. However, PR today usually means social media. How can CEOs make that leap? Public relations practitioner and writer Michelle Garrett knows PR and how to use it for leadership communication. Her article, published in Entreprenuer magazine, Want to Do a Public Relations Push? Focus on Social Media First, was the basis for our discussion. You can find Michelle on Twitter or her website. Listen + Subscribe Stitcher or Apple Podcasts© Molly McPherson 2021
Mastering the on-camera presentation is a skill that can benefit anyone working in today's virtual environment. (Look no further than Governor Andrew Cuomo. He got an Emmy for it for crying out loud. First discussion point of the episode.) The need to convey trust and leadership via a computer screen isn't going away - ever.Brad Phillips is a master at understanding how to convey a message to the media, whether in person or a virtual interview. In this episode, he offers three objectives for anyone planning an interview with the press or speaking at a virtual press conference. Brad runs Throughline, a media training and public speaking firm where he has trained thousands of media spokespersons and public speakers including a presidential candidate, several members of Congress, Olympic athletes, top CEOs, directors of nonprofit organizations and heads of government agencies. He’s prepared speakers for TED Global and TEDx Talks, the World Economic Forum in Davos, presidential debates, and thousands of other business- and issue-oriented presentations. His book The Media Training Bible has been Amazon's top selling title on this subject since its release in 2012. Before starting Throughline, Brad worked for ABC's Nightline with Ted Koppel and CNN's Reliable Sources, The Capital Gang, and Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer.Listen + Subscribe Stitcher or Apple Podcasts© Molly McPherson 2021
The value of social media in a crisis skyrockets when you know how to use the different platforms to boost your PR response efforts. Molly shares tips from her social media playbook, which she uses for her clients, as well as examples of major brands that use social media to manage and issue or crisis. Listen for PR response tactics for Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, TikTok, and Clubhouse. Mentioned in the episode: Episode 125: Build an Indestructible Social Media Crisis Plan in 3 Easy StepsUniversity of Oregon forward Sedona Prince, put a TikTok spotlight on the disparity between the men's and women's weight rooms while competing in the NCAA March Madness Tournaments. Listen + Subscribe Stitcher or Apple Podcasts
Social media's effect on crisis communication is powerful. A growing number of crises not only start on social media, but its viral power fuels the communication crisis as well.This episode explains the difference between a social media fail and a social media crisis, and why the latter is so damaging to a brand or organization.  Learn the three categories of a crisis based on responsibility and how social media contributes to each level. Then, three easy steps for how to build a social media crisis plan that will not destroy your reputation. Mentioned in the episode: Episode 123: How to Spot the Guilty Culprit From This Type of Media Response: Tells from Ted Cruz to Andrew CuomoMembers of Gov. Cuomo's own party now calling for his resignation (my interview with CBS 6, WRBG in Albany, NY)Listen + Subscribe Stitcher or Apple Podcasts
Whether you work as a public speaker or occasionally find yourself giving a speech in front of a room, there is an outcome you are likely trying to achieve: Persuasion?Sales?Inspire change? At the end of this episode, I promise you that the next speech you make in front of an audience or speak for a live video presentation will be the best you have ever made.Allison Shapira, author of Speak with Impact: How to Command the Room and Influence Others, is our guide in this episode, which guarantees you will immediately leave an impact in your next speech or presentation. Allison offers tips to deliver well-crafted messages with confidence and authenticity.  After listening to her advice, you will sound as capable as you are.Listen + Subscribe Stitcher or Apple Podcasts © Molly McPherson, 2021
Whenever there is a crisis, there is often the truth, and then there is the story we hear. Managing a crisis in the age of social media isn't easy, especially when there are so many people with an opinion and a Twitter account. To get it right means you need to respond in a manner that makes it go away. Fall into this trap that so many people ensnarled in a crisis do, and you'll never survive. On this episode, the one crisis response tactic that so many people have used to get themselves out of the line of fire,.  Listen for this one response that is the ultimate defense mechanism, but nowadays only leads to a bigger crisis.  Mentioned in the episode: How to Apologize During a PR Crisis: Why Ellen DeGeneres Kept Quiet (And Why You Shouldn’t)How to Admit Your Mistakes: The Ellen DeGeneres ApologyHow to Write a Memorable Quote Listen + Subscribe Stitcher or Apple Podcasts
Power outages and no running water have left Texas and other parts of the South reeling from the effects of a deep freeze in mid-February that has created a huge communication need for services that meet the most basic needs.The recent natural disasters have shown that social media is an integral part of the crisis response. When leadership and communications work together to plan the right response to reach stakeholders, the most effective plans optimize social media. In this episode, three key takeaways on how to use social media in an emergency situation highlighting best practices from the Texas winter storms. 
Just found out your dear friend or family member was giving a scary diagnosis?Do you not know how to deal with it? Wondering how to respond?This episode is here to help.A deeply personal episode about how to respond to a friend or loved one who has recently been diagnosed with a shocking and serious diagnosis.Although there may not be a set script for the best words to say to a friend or loved one who is dealing with a frightening diagnosis, there are words of comfort that are the right words at the right time.  Mentioned in this episode: #116: How to Respond to a Grieving Frien‪d‬-- Needing to book a virtual speaker for your event? Go to for more information. -- To help JDRF's mission is to find a cure for type 1 diabetes (T1D) and its complications through the support of research, donate here. 
The first day of February opens a month that offers many opportunities to acknowledge the achievements and struggles of this group, both past and present.In this episode, why many companies and organizations may choose to overlook this important communication opportunity in February, and the potential negative impact if they do not. A must-listen for communicators who are struggling how to approach the topic of communicating about this historic month to their leaders.Mentioned on the podcast: Episode 116: What Executives Should Know About Speaking Out on Politics and Social Issues with Anthony Hayes  -- Needing to book a virtual speaker for your event? Go to for more information. 
Sometimes the hardest part of dealing with a bad news story for communicators, is dealing with a boss whose opinions or behavior become the story. In an episode inspired by the recent story of the CEO of a restaurant group wading in on the 2020 election results with disastrous results, Dr. Abby Medcalf offers a guide for people who need to navigate complicated situations with a difficult boss. From being selfish and self-centered to constantly seeking praise and assurance, people can react negatively to any feedback, especially from a junior colleague. On the episode, what to say first to a problematic person and what never to do to bring them onto your side of the street. -- Needing to book a virtual speaker for your event? Go to for more information. 
Is there anything worse than having to deliver a message to someone when you know they don’t want to hear it? Not only is it one of the most dreadful conversations you can have, it can also lead to permanent pain if not handled properly. On this episode of the podcast, how to deliver bad news and not be left in a position where the recipient wants to shoot the messenger - you. Whether in an official statement to the press or when sharing bad news with employees, listen to three tips to help you break the news. -- Needing to book a virtual speaker for your event? Go to for more information. 
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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