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Posts Tagged ‘media relations’

The 10 Commandments of a Successful Media Interview

October 20th, 2017


The 10 Commandments of a Successful Interview

1. Never take a cold call from a reporter

Even if you know the topic cold and you feel you can handle the questioning, you need time to prepare yourself for the interview; you need to go into battle with a game plan.

2. Be prepared with a message

Research the situation, gather all the facts, develop key message, anticipate tough questions, practice your responses.

3. Don’t lie to the media

Never lie, mislead or manipulate the media. Don’t underestimate a reporter’s ability to find out the truth. You are never their only source of information.

4. Never say “no comment”

This is loaded word that to most people means you’re hiding something. If you plan to comment later, say so. Or politely tell them you are not going to answer that question.

5. Exude honesty and confidence; don’t appear defensive

Good interview preparation will allow you to speak with confidence. Control your emotions so that you neither attack or defend.

6. Show empathy or compassion where appropriate

Particularly in crisis situations, emphasize that your first priority is taking care of the people involved, not pointing fingers or assigning blame.

7. Do not speculate about the motives or opinions of others.

Reporters often do this to bait you into making antagonizing remarks about your adversary or competition. Politely tell reporters to ask them instead.

8. Forget about “off the record”

This is not a legally binding agreement, but a technique the media uses to get sensitive information. The rules aren’t always clear and your protection relies entirely on the integrity of the reporter.

9. Don’t joke or make wisecracks

Saying something in a joking manner never translates well in print, and sometimes not even on camera.

10. Remember, you don’t have to answer every question

If you don’t know, say so: “I don’t know the answer to that, but I’ll try to find out and get back to you.” Then do it. You don’t have to talk about your personal life, pending litigation or competitive information


January 17th, 2016

NEW Logo JPEG (542x154)

Homebuilder Sold 268 Homes During Second Year in Business,
Had 73 Closings in December

VISALIA, Calif. – Local homebuilder San Joaquin Valley Homes (SJV Homes) had a successful year in 2015 with 268 homes sold. SJV Homes constructed and closed 237 homes in 2015 —a 67 percent increase over the 142 homes it closed in 2014. The company also closed out one subdivision and added two more.

“Our second full year as a production homebuilder has been a very successful and satisfying year,” said Joe Leal, co-founder for Visalia-based San Joaquin Valley Homes. “And we continue to grow, we are adding a new neighborhood, Sedona, at the Palo Verde master plan in East Tulare and hope to have a grand opening in March. We will work around the El Nino spring rains to schedule that because we, like everyone else, desperately want rain for our region.”

SJV Homes closed out Catalina in December 2015, its first subdivision in Tulare County with 71 units.

“Catalina is a beautiful neighborhood that was well-received, and our thanks go out to our superintendent Chris Machado for a job well done,” Leal said.

In 2015, SJV Homes added two more subdivisions, Visalia at San Marino and Tuscany at Bakersfield. The homebuilder has five neighborhoods in Tulare County and two properties in Kings County, the nation’s second-fastest-growing urban county.

Founded in 2013 by Leal, Jim Robinson and Randy Merrill, who had overseen construction of more than 800 quality homes a year while working together for another builder, SJV Homes has grown from one home closing in its first year to 237 home closings in 2015. The company’s commitment to quality—based on the founders’ eternal question, “Would our own wives be happy with it?”— has earned it deep customer loyalty and trust.

The following is a breakdown of SJV Homes’ current projects:

Tulare County
Catalina, 71 units, Tulare, Calif. (sold out)
Chelsea Place, 155 units, Visalia, Calif.
San Marino, 95 units, Visalia, Calif.
Savannah, 130 units, Tulare, Calif.
Sedona@Palo Verde, 51 units, Tulare, Calif.

Kings County
Hartley Grove, 182 units, Hanford, Calif.
Pheasant Ridge, 73 units, Corcoran, Calif.

Kern County
Tuscany, 116 units, Bakersfield, Calif.

About SJV Homes

Deeply rooted in residential construction, the founders of Visalia, California-based San Joaquin Valley Homes have built thousands of quality homes and attractive neighborhoods for Central Valley residents. Founders Joe Leal, Jim Robinson and Randy Merrill share a vision of delivering excellence through every level of building, delivering wonderful homes in great neighborhoods. In 2013, SJV Homes combined forces with Presidio Residential Capital, a real estate investment company based in San Diego.

Crisis Management: Salvaging the Reputation of American Suzuki

March 5th, 2013

This post is part of a series on how good public relations can help businesses make a name for themselves, promote their products & services, land speaking engagements for executives, influence public opinion or handle crisis situations.

When Suzuki entered the U.S. market in 1988, its Suzuki Samurai was tested by the staff at Consumer Reports, a trusted source of consumer advocacy. But when the magazine published its findings, the Samurai was rated a “Not Acceptable” safety hazard because it allegedly rolled over in turns. The cover story decimated sales and damaged the reputation of American Suzuki Motor Corp. and all of its new vehicles for years. Consumer Reports continued to exploit the Samurai evaluation over time for financial and promotional gain until 1996, when Suzuki filed a product disparagement lawsuit alleging that the testing was rigged and the magazine staff so biased that it force the vehicle to tip over and maliciously published the false results.



The public reputation of Consumer Reports was so high that Suzuki hired Gladstone International, a crisis management firm in Southern California. We were brought on as media consultants to help Suzuki present its case to the public, prepare for media challenges and provide compelling information about Suzuki’s side of the story. We produced a video with enhanced audio that revealed incriminating comments by Consumer Reports staff, a lengthy Q&A to prepare for media interviews and a 12-piece media kits. We coordinated a news conference in Washington D.C. when the case reached the U.S. Supreme Court. And we engaged long-time Samurai owners and fan clubs to defend the vehicle’s safety record in a viral online campaign..


Our efforts generated coverage from the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times to the BBC and a special on CBS-TV’s “60 Minutes” where Suzuki’s general counsel appeared to challenge the publication. Although Suzuki settled the lawsuit in 2004, our efforts contributed to the restored reputation of the carmaker and media analysis showed media references to the Samurai as a dangerous vehicle virtually disappeared as a result.

Crisis Communications Thumbnail

May 14th, 2012

Great article on handling a communications crisis by Abigail Kesner, a senior associate at SE2, a Colorado-based mass communications firm. I met Abigail earlier this month during a business trip to Denver. We discovered that both of us had worked for CNN, although not at the same time.

This section addresses a fundamental principal of crisis PR that companies sometimes forget:

“When responding to the media, be forthcoming, particularly with ‘bad’ news. You should deal with a crisis like you pull off a bandage: quickly. Suppressing information that will later come to light will jeopardize your relationship with the professional media and will ultimately be a negative. This is particularly true in today’s technology-driven 24-hour media cycle where not only traditional reporters, but also bloggers and citizen journalists will have access to distribution of information on a large scale.”

It’s a fast read and hits the mark!



Wood Partners to Commence Construction on $27 Million Midtown Delray Community in Delray Beach, Fla.

May 9th, 2012

Wood Partners - Midtown DelrayWith Palm Beach County’s rental occupancy rate at over 95 percent, the 116-unit project is the latest in a market where new rental units are scarce


DELRAY BEACH, Fla.– (May 9, 2012) Multifamily developer Wood Partners announced today that it has closed on a $26.9 million deal to build Midtown Delray, a neighborhood of 116 three-story rental townhomes near downtown Delray Beach. Construction on the new community, which will be spread across 17 buildings totaling nearly 192,000 square feet of living space, is scheduled to begin on July 1.


The development is expected to generate more than $400,000 in annual property tax revenue for Delray Beach once construction is complete and leasing begins, which is anticipated by September 2013. In addition, the construction phase is projected to create approximately 140 full-time temporary jobs while pumping more than $10 million into the local economy, based on a formula developed by the National Association of Home Builders to estimate local impact of new rental units.


“Delray Beach remains an exceptional area for development,” said David Thompson, Director for Wood Partners in Florida. “Like our under-construction Alta Congress community, Midtown Delray is ideally positioned to place its residents right in the hub of a broad spectrum of cultural, dining, employment and recreational opportunities.”


Midtown Delray is located at 4200 Old Germantown Road, along the south side of Linton Boulevard and just east of Military Trail, in the midst of several high-end single-family neighborhoods, including Fox Chase to the east and Hammock Reserve to the west. The site is less than four miles east of the Ronald Reagan Turnpike and just two miles west of I-95 and the Delray Beach TriRail station that connects Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach with 18 stations along a 70-mile system.


“The Palm Beach County apartment market has seen positive absorption in the wake of the housing bust, as the shift from homeownership to rental continues,” Thompson said. “While absorption will taper off from the strong bump seen immediately following the recession, it should remain at a healthy pace for years to come. The decline in vacancies has already spurred growth in effective rents, which have been rising and should continue to do so as the market continues to tighten.”


Midtown Delray homes will average just under 1,700 square feet and each residence will have an attached garage on the first floor, 82 of which will accommodate two-cars. The unit interiors will feature high-quality amenities including ceramic flooring in kitchens, entries and baths, ceramic tub surrounds, and 9-foot 4-inch ceilings throughout. The kitchens will have all black appliances, 42-inch cabinets with granite tops and sleek, modern lighting fixtures. The community will also feature a clubhouse, swimming pool and tot lot.


The 7.27-acre site is near major local and regional employment centers, including West Palm Beach and Boca Raton, which is less than 10 minutes south of Midtown Delray and boasts more than 100 office buildings, including the Boca Corporate Center and Campus and the corporate headquarters of Office Depot. The community also sits just 25 minutes south of West Palm Beach, which is home to the $600 million Scripps Research Institute.


The development occupies a choice location at the nexus of Germantown Road and Linton Boulevard, just a short drive from Old School Square on Atlantic Avenue, the heart of historic Delray Beach.


An abundance of cultural venues, restaurants and shops make Atlantic Avenue dining and shopping second only to South Beach’s Lincoln Road among Florida hot spots. The nightlife along the avenue was even referenced in a USA Today article that described Delray Beach as “getting hipper by the year.”


As one would expect of a coastal South Florida community, recreation and outdoor activity opportunities abound. The Atlantic Ocean is less than three miles to the east and scenic Orchard View Park, a six-acre park with picnic pavilions, barbecue grills, playground, and a walking trail, is immediately adjacent to the site. Several golf courses are nearby, including Delray Beach Golf Club, designed by legendary golf course architect Donald Ross, whose prolific works include the masterpieces Pinehurst, Oakland Hills, and nearly 600 others.


Current Builders of Pompano Beach is the general contractor for the project; AW Architects of Boca Raton are the architects; Michael B. Schorah and Associates of West Palm Beach are civil engineers; and Urban Design Kilday Studios, also from West Palm Beach, will handle the landscape design.


About Wood Partners

Wood Partners is a national real estate company that acquires, develops, constructs and property manages high density and mixed-use communities. Through quality construction, responsible land development and intelligent design, our communities reflect the aesthetic and social fabric of the community and provide a luxurious living experience at a fair price. The company has been involved in the development of more than 36,000 homes with a combined value of more than $4.5 billion nationwide. To learn more about Wood Partners, please visit our Web site at


Wood Partners announces plans …

May 8th, 2012

Wood Partners announces plans to build Alta Alameda Station in Denver’s diverse & urban Baker neighborhood

Media Relations: Putting Wood Partners on the National Housing Map

February 15th, 2012

This post is part of a series on how good public relations can help businesses make a name for themselves, promote their products & services, land speaking engagements for executives, influence public opinion or handle crisis situations.

Challenge: Founded in 1997, Wood Partners had become the No. 1 multifamily builder in the nation with 6,000+ apartment starts in 2004. By 2007, it was named “The Fastest Growing Private Builder” in America by Builder magazine. Yet the company had almost no name recognition outside of its base in the Southeast and Texas, and that became a problem when Wood Partners wanted to expand, especially during the downturn when financing was tight.

Action: To build awareness of the Wood Partners brand, tout its track record and announce its expansion, Anton Communications implemented a comprehensive media relations and marketing campaign. It began with the successful launch of the company’s first California office in 2007, followed by the opening of a Denver office in 2008, and others in Seattle (2010) and Boston (2011). We also announced new acquisitions nationwide and promoted the company and its executives through proactive media pitching, executive interviews and speaking engagements at key industry conferences. Eventually, Wood Partners offices across the country began to call on our firm to help with grand openings of new communities and other special events, apply for industry awards and assist with social media efforts. In 2010 we were invited to join the in-house team in charge of developing a new website, and created most of the content.

Results: In 2010 and 2011 alone, our firm generated more than 300 positive news articles about Wood Partners with 5.6 million impressions, including coverage by the New York Times, the Financial Times, the Wall Street Journal and major newspapers in every city where it is actively developing. The print publicity alone was worth an estimated $442,000. Wood Partners has emerged from the depths of the housing crash as the second largest multifamily developer with almost 4,000 starts in 2011 – and everybody knows their name now.


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