Welcome! I’m with The Dr. Oz Show now, and in my 20 years on TV, I’ve worked for every possible news network —ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN and Fox. I’ve been awarded 13 Emmys in that time. I’ve also written hundreds of print columns. Along the way, I’ve become a media relations expert, and now I can help YOU with PR strategy. I’ll give you a peek behind the curtain to see how newsrooms operate. I’ll share why I trash most PR pitches and respond to a handful. I’ll teach you to generate positive press and minimize negative press. My services include:
“Elisabeth’s insight and advice from the viewpoint of someone who has ‘been there and done that’ has proved invaluable to our organization.” Shawn Powelson, Wheatland Electric Cooperative
“Thought-provoking and so helpful in guiding our staff on raising the organization's profile.” Sally Greenberg, National Consumers League
“The most useful media relations workshop I have ever participated in.” Jeff Olson, Credit Union Assoc. of the Dakotas
Most media relations consultants have never worked in the media. Some used to work in the media. I’m the only one I know of who is still a working broadcaster and columnist.
Let me expand on my list of services and give you a feel for what they include.
Media strategy. This is a “forest-not-trees” overview of what your company needs to do when it comes to media relations. As a media expert, I give you the “who, what, where when, why and how” to make the approach.
Media outreach. I help you find the right reporters to pitch and lay out the right way to approach them. As part of my PR consulting, I then mentor your communications team as they do this.
Pitch development. The key is to pitch vibrant stories that reporters will actually want. As your media relations coach, I help you identify and frame good stories about your organization and suggest the best formats for those stories.
Crisis coaching. I’m your media trainer, sharing moves you can make to sidestep badpress before it happens or minimize it after it’s begun, all in real time while you’re dealing with it.
Media training. What to say, what to avoid, how to dress, once you actually land aninterview with a media outlet. This is my easiest job as your media consultant.
PR campaigns. Want to do a prolonged, positive media relations outreach about your organization? I can help you plan a campaign featuring a “story of the day” —or week or month.
Tagline development. As a PR strategy, you should brand yourself with a second line after your company name. I can help you find the perfect words and make sure they’re not trademarked.
Website critiques. Does your website support the image you want to convey to the media and the world? I offer page-by-page pros and cons as part of my media relations tips.
Ghost writing. Employees just can’t get past dull “official-speak?” I can write colorful — yet appropriate— press releases, articles, website copy, and more using my background as a broadcaster and columnist.
Video campaigns. A picture is worth a thousand words. Let me write and produce web videos or video news releases for you. This is a very effective form of media outreach because journalism budgets are shrinking, so your video could get picked up by the media.
Radio segments/shows. My partners and I can create your own radio spots and get them placed on the air, if your product or service lends itself to a newsworthy message. This is the ultimate in unfiltered media relations.
Corporate spokesperson. If all my media coaching is still not enough, hire me to do it for you by appearing in on air satellite media tours, social media chats, print articles, etc. Jump to the Elisabeth Leamy Spokesperson page for more info.
Let’s use one of my recent media coaching clients as a case study. This electric cooperative was struggling with negative publicity, after a local town switched from its service to another power supplier. Here are just a few of the moves I coached the company to make, in my role as its media relations consultant.
The local newspaper repeatedly ran articles about how much money the town was saving by switching from my client's electric service to another provider's service. I coached the cooperative to pitch a positive story about how its own rates were going way down for customers. Readers care far more about their own bottom lines than savings to the city.
(Names redacted to protect client privacy)
Power supplier switch saves city millions Switching power suppliers last year resulted in a $4 million savings in wholesale power costs for [the] City’s electric utility in 2014, and could mean a small decrease for the city’s rate-payers in the future.
The [state] Municipal Energy Agency began supplying electricity to [the] City on Jan. 1. The city had decided roughly a year earlier to end its power supply contract with [name] Electric Cooperative due to concerns about future rate increases proposed by the company.
The [public utilities director] said the city paid [the old electric cooperative] $23,290,245 in 2013. The estimated total cost to the city for the first year of its association with [the new electric cooperative] is $19.2 million, which includes all costs for procuring the power supply, administrative charges, transmission service, and costs to operate the Energy Center.
Stabilizing electric rates was one of the city commission’s primary goals in switching power providers. “We had been told in 2012 by [the old electric cooperative] that we would receive a 6 percent increase in wholesale power costs, and that could continue for multiple years in a row. So hats off to you guys for stable rates in 2014. We expect rates to remain stable through 2015, and more than likely through 2016 without any changes,” [the public utilities director] said.
The numbers look good so far, [the] Mayor said. “I think it did what we wanted it to do — to stabilize the rates. I think that’s what it did,” he said.
(Names redacted to protect client privacy)
[Co-op] customers to see break on bills Because of a reduction in wholesale power costs, [name] Electric Cooperative is passing along to its members an 11 percent break on electric bills, starting with customers’ February statements.
[The electric co-op’s] wholesale partner, [name] Electric, refinanced some loans at better interest rates and made adjustments to business practices, systems and budgets, which reduced the cost of wholesale power. And in turn, the wholesaler is able to pass savings on to [the electric co-op’s] customers.
According to [the electric co-op], the cost reduction should put a total of nearly $5 million back in the pockets of customers over the course of this year. To illustrate the savings, if a residential customer’s electric bill averages $150 per month, they can expect to see a savings of $16.50 per month, which adds up to about $200 for the year.
Getting a break on electric bills is welcome news to [name], who owns [store name] Foods in [town name]. “We use a lot of electricity,” [the owner] said. “You can imagine what it takes to run 94 refrigerators and freezers 24-7 to keep food fresh.” The ability to pass lower costs to customers is a welcome change from the situation just three years ago.
In 2011, the Environmental Protection Agency enacted new rules [that] were anticipated to cost wholesale power companies 24 percent over the course of four years. But… [the electric co-op] managed to hold that price hike at bay, and required increases of only 9.5 percent between 2012 and 2014. The 11 percent wholesale power cost reduction essentially turns the clock back on power costs to a level lower than they were in 2012.
The electric cooperative’s website was outdated and cramped and failed to convey all the good work the organization was doing for its members and the community. I chose a vibrant new design and suggested adding an obvious “Community” menu tab and bold homepage buttons like “Save Money” and “Save Energy.” I also suggested the positive, evocative tagline “Delivering Energy For Life,” all as part of my media relations consulting for the company.
The cooperative’s self-description, used on its website and in every press release it sent, was awkward and stilted and failed to convey its truly heroic history. I used my background as a journalist to research the organization’s accomplishments and write a colorful, inspirational description that captures the reader’s imagination.
[Company name] Electric Cooperative was established in 1948 as a distribution and power cooperative, in the State of [state name] to provide a vitally needed service for the member consumers which they, as members, could not provide on an individual basis. Today, [company name] serves more than 33,000 electric meters in 19 different counties and maintains over 4000 miles of distribution power lines across Western [state name.] Together, with the help of our members, [company name] is committed to building a better and stronger rural America.
We work toward a bright future for southwest [state name] by:Our commitment to the promotion of a better community and way of life through encouragement of farm and rural area growth and development as well as that of small business and industry. Partnering with other technology companies, statewide affiliated organizations, and national organizations to accomplish the one primary goal of building a better and stronger rural America.
[Company name] Electric is proud to “Deliver Energy for Life” to more than 20,000 homes and businesses with a total of about 33,000 meters. We take our mission seriously because we know the electricity we deliver fuels those crucial fans in the grain bins after harvest time, keeps life-support equipment running for fragile older people, lights up athletic fields for our terrific school teams, and even powers night lights for children who are afraid of the dark.
We care because we’re not just a company. We’re a Cooperative. We’re owned by the people we serve. Those people are spread out over 17 different counties. In May, 2014 our members voted for self-regulation, bringing control of the cooperative’s prices and projects back home where it belongs. It takes 4,000 miles of power lines to distribute electricity to our members, and, as far as we’re concerned, the 3,999th mile is just as important as the first.
Speaking of the first, in 1948, nine visionary residents decided to take matters into their own hands and form an electric cooperative. They were tired of being left behind by the big for-profit power companies that didn’t want to spend the money to connect rural America to the grid. And so, [company name] Cooperative was born.
[Nine names] were [the cooperative’s] founders and original members. In addition to learning all they could about electricity, they had to take out loans, set up offices and lay miles and miles of lines. In 1950, through their own grit and determination, they were ready to welcome an additional 2,246 members.
Today that same up-by-the-bootstraps attitude lives on. When internet service providers failed to provide local residents with fast, reliable broadband service, we started our own —now serving more than 3,000 members. When we became aware that quality water was scarce in the area, we founded [company name] Water to ensure a reliable supply. And after [another local community] suffered with poor service for years, we were one of the co-ops that stepped up to take over the commercial power company there and restore reliable power.
What will our next challenge be? It’s impossible to know, but we do know this: We’re a member cooperative and that’s powerful. So bring it on!
My fees vary widely, depending on what PR consulting services you need from me. I can provide one day of media training to your staff or months of media strategy mentoring to your executives —or both. Clients often expand or contract their list of media relations coaching projects to find the right fit for their budget. Contact me to get detailed fee information about my media relations consulting services.
Here are my very latest television appearances.
And here are my latest print and online appearances.
Contact me to inquire about my media relations consulting services.
Or jump to the ElisabethLeamy.com homepage.
Just to be sure we’re on the same page, the kind of media relations consulting I do is called many things. You can call me:
if you’d like more information about Elisabeth Leamy, Media Relations Coach.
Alternatively, I offer an informative speech or a one-day training about media relations in place of full-on PR consulting. Please get in touch if I can be of service.