Monday, January 14, 2019

City of Lake Worth: The Press/News Media Alert Level is ORANGE (High).

UPDATE! Along with everything else going on tomorrow at City Hall now information is coming in there will probably be a protest too! Unbelievable! Stay tuned for more information. For the press and news media Lake Worth City Hall will be the place to be.

For the public remember that protests cannot happen without the media present. So ahead of tomorrow evening please continue reading for instructions how to comport yourselves.

Have you heard about what is happening at the Lake Worth City Commission? Expect a lot of TV news media and the press as well. This City will be center stage and everyone will need to be on their best behavior. Our elected leadership, the administration and staff, and the public as well.

Learn more about what is happening a little later in this blog post.

Do you know how to do a proper TV interview? Does thinking about it make you nervous? Don’t be!

Below are the instructions how to do an interview for the TV news media which will also be helpful when doing an interview with the press. All you need is a mirror and about 10–15 minutes a day. Really. It’s that easy.

The Press/News Media Alert Level (PNMAL) is explained a little later in this blog post. By tomorrow the PNMAL could very well be RED (Off The Charts!).

Hear Ye! Hear Ye!
Citizenry of this City.
We have very special and distinguished visitors coming!

Find out who a little later in this blog post. Everyone needs to be on their best behavior. Be charming and respectful. Smile at people and say, “Hi!” Hop and skip and even whistle if you want. Be happy we have visitors coming to Lake Worth with a spectacular Beach!

A regularly scheduled City Commission meeting is tomorrow at 6:00. And it is Worth Noting for the public that Mayor Pam Triolo is the Chair. And our elected commissioners on the dais, just like the public in attendance, need to follow the instructions from the Chair.

At Regular Commission meetings there is no back and forth between the electeds on the dais. And after thirty minutes an agenda item up for discussion needs to be voted on or sent to a Work Session. Period. End of story.

We don’t need another embarrassment like what happened on December 4th, especially with visitors coming to town. A Work Session is where no votes are taken but the electeds can discuss a topic amongst themselves to best understand what the issues are. City staff can be invited to help. Work sessions happen all the time. It’s a way to make sure that PEACE does not become a political war.

Who are the visitors next week?

Following the roll call, then the invocation or moment of silence by Commissioner Omari Hardy, the Pledge of Allegiance by Commissioner Herman C. Robinson, setting the agenda, will then come Item 5 on the agenda: “Presentations”. . .

By State Senator Lori Berman and State Representative Al Jacquet!

And that’s not all. Then at Item 12A is consultant Mr. Richard Pinsky with his annual “Legislative Update” to the City Commission.

Mr. Pinsky’s update is always very informative and straight to the point with exceptional slides. This update will take anywhere from 20–30 minutes depending on how many questions the City Commission asks.

Then following will be agenda items 12B and 12C which will also be given thirty minutes. They will either be voted on to move forward or sent to a Work Session at a later point in time.

Item 12B is: “Resolution No. 03-2019 — Historic Preservation Design Guidelines”.

Item 12C is: “Resolution No. 04-2019 — Business license fines for noncompliance, brought forward by Commissioner Hardy”.

To look over these agenda items click on this link and scroll down for the January 15th Regular Meeting to download the “Agenda & Backup”.

Item 12B is on pp. 215–445 and Item 12C in on pp. 446–450.

Item 12B is something the City Commission has been informed about for some time now and they are all very well aware of what is happening. Item 12C is a new item and will either be voted on after thirty minutes or moved to a Work Session. Some on the dais may want to explore this item more with the Code Enforcement Dept. Some in the public may want to learn more as well. And maybe since this item proposes a recurring financial commitment this may be pushed forward into the budget season.

Item 12C will be voted up or down. Or sent to a Work Session. It’s a simple as that. Stay tuned as they say.

Now back to the press and TV news media.

Let’s take this scenario: You show up at City Hall next Tuesday and you see news vans and cameras and reporters standing around with notepads and one or more of them want to interview you? You could just decline and walk away.

Or. . .

Learn how to do a proper interview
in just ten minutes!

If you know the PNMAL is RED and you’ve learned the techniques below you should have no qualms whatsoever doing an interview.

Tomorrow the alert level will be Orange to Red. You have nothing to worry about if that reporter is from WPTV/NBC5. Reporters from WPTV are highly-trained multimedia professionals.

But what if that reporter is from CBS12/WPEC? That could be trouble. Or what if that reporter is from WPBF/ABC25? You should run like hell.

The Palm Beach Post stopped sending reporters to public meetings in Lake Worth City Hall a long time ago. But who knows? Maybe we’ll get a visit by a former Post reporter who is once again in the employ of the Post. Do you remember Chris Persaud? He was one of the greats.

Now once again. . .

A Timely Lesson.

This blog post includes instructional videos (see below), and according to feedback from my readers, many have found this information to be very helpful. For example, two years ago prior to the City of Lake Worth’s Neighborhood Road Bond referendum in Nov. 2016 a certain member of the local press (to go unnamed) was showing up around the City trying to get negative responses and spin the referendum in a very negative way.

That effort, am happy to report, ended up in vain. The referendum to fix our roads and potholes passed by a whopping 69%. But the problem remained: When a reporter is bent on spinning an issue negatively or making the City look bad, how should the unsuspecting public react?

For example, have you or someone you know ever been approached by a reporter asking for comment and maybe were surprised to see on TV or in the paper your positive comments went unreported but the one negative thing you said is what appeared in the news!

Or. . . Are you a seasoned pro dealing with the press and news media? How does one quickly teach the average person in the public how to give a TV news or press interview? It’s easy!

Rephrase the question
Give to Get.

To learn these two very effective techniques. . .

All you need to practice and become proficient is
a full-body mirror and 10 minutes.

Understand that most reporters in TV news and the press are a good bunch and highly professional. When you see a reporter don’t hesitate to walk up and say, “Hi” and strike up a conversation. If they’re in a hurry the best of the best will hand you a card and apologize for not being able to stay.

Keep the card handy to contact the
reporter later on.*

A little trick: Most of the time you’ll find the video crew or an intern following along to be very polite and respectful. Sometimes the best way to get information to a reporter is to “bend the ear” of the crew or intern.

They’ll pass that information on if he or she thinks it’s important to get the story narrative correct.

But what do you do if you’re approached by a reporter asking leading, hostile questions?

First pause for a moment! Never respond quickly.

Take your time and think it out for a moment. Then. . .

  • “Rephrase the question”
  • “Give to Get”

This short 2-minute video explains how these techniques work:

Don’t let any of the press or the media “spin” what is happening in and around our little City. Try this technique if a reporter approaches and asks you a leading question: Take a deep breath, pause, and remember what to do.

Rephrase the question and then “Give to Get”. 

Now for another example: A news crew showed up at Lake Worth City Hall (see video below) during the discussion at the City Commission about moving forward with the referendum to fix the roads and potholes late in 2016. However, despite all the efforts by one particular former commissioner to put a negative “spin” on the referendum, he failed. That referendum later passed overwhelmingly with 69% saying, “Yes” to the bond.

The positive messages won the day at
that Commission meeting.

If you see an interview in progress and hear false and/or misleading information being given to a reporter don’t hesitate to walk up and get the facts out. Approach the reporter and ask to be interviewed and remember to be polite, respectful, stay calm, and don’t get too excited.

Just stick to the facts.

However, study the body language closely in the video below of a former commissioner, Chris McVoy, PhD, who opposed the Neighborhood Road Bond in 2016, e.g., the hand gestures, posture, reassuring facial expressions, smiles, and try using these techniques the next time you’re interviewed by the media and press (please note, if you’re short on time, watch this three-minute segment of the video below and practice these techniques yourself in front of a mirror).

FYI: The TV news reporter in the video above is Kathleen Walter, formerly at CBS12 (WPEC). Walter is now the spokeswoman for the City of West Palm Beach. The news report produced by CBS12 in Oct. 2016 was very fair and accurate leaving out the open-ended questions posed by those interviewed and keeping to the facts.

*When interviewed by the TV news or press ALWAYS GET THE REPORTERS CONTACT INFORMATION, either a business card or write down their phone number and/or email. When the news hits the print edition or airs on TV and there is a reporting error you want that corrected as soon as possible.