Crisis & Media Training Evolved

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_MG_9869Brad Ritter, APR President

My story…

I’ve always been fascinated by communications –the power of speaking the right words at the right moment to sway an audience, the tone and cadence of the voice, and the authority and style with which the words are delivered.

I was hooked at an early age. As a young boy I camped out in the backyard of my Cleveland, Ohio, home, listening to radio talk shows. I became intrigued by antique radios and began collecting them. The first one, a 1929 Crosley Cathedral, has a special place in our home.

This love affair with communications led to my first “career”: reading the morning announcements in high school and doing the public address announcements during sports events. I went on to become a radio DJ in college and dabbled in acting, but Hollywood never called.

From there it was on to a real career as a television reporter, anchor and producer, first at the CBS television station in Toledo, Ohio, later at network stations in South Florida and elsewhere in Ohio. I appeared on CNN and ABC’s Good Morning America.

My work as a journalist reinforced my belief in the power of words and effective storytelling. In 1990 I joined a leading Midwest public relations agency and developed the firm’s media and presentation training program. I also created the presentation coaching program for one of the nation’s largest independent media production companies.

Not long afterwards I opened my own communications firm to train spokespersons for every type of electronic and print media encounter, including one-on-one interviews, live and taped satellite media tours, corporate and social media videos, and press conferences. I also help leaders prepare for public speaking engagements.

As a media and presentation trainer/coach I’ve helped hundreds of people nationwide, from CEOs to mayors and celebrity chefs, tell their stories more effectively. I also consult with clients on media strategy, message development, crisis management, and speeches and presentations.

But of all the things I do, helping people gain confidence and tell their stories well is by far the most rewarding. There’s nothing quite like being in the room when a client delivers a speech or conducts an interview and hits a homerun!

 

JanetJanet Ritter

Janet’s passion for effective communications is no fairy tale. At a time when her friends were more interested in Barbie dolls and clothes, Janet became infatuated with Walt Disney. Mind you, this was no Mickey Mouse love affair. She was intrigued – some thought obsessed – by the master storyteller’s methods for attracting an audience’s attention, sustaining their interest and persuading them to want more.

She applied Disney’s principles when writing pieces published in literary journals, school newspapers and a letter to the editor at the Cleveland Plain Dealer. It’s little wonder that Janet pursued a B.A. in journalism from The Ohio State University with emphasis on business marketing.

As a travel writer, Janet related stories of exotic, as well as more familiar, destinations. While spokesperson for AAA Ohio Auto Club, she promoted tourism, offered traffic safety advice, demonstrated automotive maintenance techniques and positioned her employer as the motorists’ advocate by monitoring and reporting on gasoline pricing trends. In all, she conducted an average of more than 200 media interviews annually, prompting a broadcast reporter to comment, “That’s more stories than I do in a year.”

Perhaps it was lessons learned from Mr. Disney that made her an in-demand news source and earned her the title “Favorite Spokesperson” among business reporters at a Midwestern newspaper.

The next chapter finds Janet living her career ambition as a public relations and communications consultant. Her efforts now are focused on helping others tell their stories through identifying and developing messages, writing, delivering special projects, training groups and coaching individuals to deliver performances for which they can be proud. She is an accredited member of the Central Ohio and Los Angeles chapters of the Public Relations Society of America. She also is a member of PRSA’s Travel & Tourism section, and has served as a regional and national judge for PRSA professional competitions. Janet serves on the executive committee and is a former board member of the Intelligent Transportation Society of Ohio, and is an internationally published author.