Communications Breakdown

A Field Guide for Communications Professionals

A must read for anyone who uses communications to do their jobs. From PIOs to hands on Executive Directors, this book will help you understand the tactics and the strategies that move the media to action and move the needle on messaging campaigns.

About The Book

Communications Breakdown is exactly what it says it is: A Field Guide for Communications Professionals. No industry has changed so much and so quickly. The communications landscape has undergone tectonic shifts in the past decade and requires a new suite of navigation techniques to chart the best courses.

But it’s not just new tools, tactics and strategies that communications professionals need to master; it’s understanding how to use old tools that are still relevant in new and creative ways. Press releases, media events, the personal touch – these are all still critical parts of the playbook. But if you’re not using them in today’s context, you’re not using them effectively.

Communications Breakdown: A Field Guide for Communications Professionals gives critical, relevant information for everything from writing for media to earning it; from creating media moments to understanding what to do with them. This book will give you the tools and techniques you need to know today to master your message.

“It’s critical for me as a communications manager to know what’s working right now. Communications Breakdown will help you hone your craft.”

– Amy Johnson,

The Governor’s Institute

What’s inside


Chapter 1

The News – Not Your Father’s Oldsmobile


Chapter 2


Chapter 3

Pitching Stories to the Media


Chapter 4

Press Releases


Chapter 5

Social Media Musts


Chapter 6

Speaking Reporter


Chapter 7

Owning Your Interview


Chapter 8

Media Event Musts


Chapter 9

Making the Most of a Media Moment


Chapter 10

Communications Self-Audit

Chapter 1 – The News: Not Your Father’s Oldsmobile

Remember that ad? If you were born sometime in or before the early 1980s, you might. One of the more effective television commercials from the late 1980s (and let’s define effective here as memorable) was for a car with the tagline: “This isn’t your father’s Oldsmobile.” Among us older farts, anyway, it’s a classic.

When it comes to the news and the media, you could say something similar. Except, these days it might go something like: This isn’t your older twin’s media,” given how fast everything is changing.

The media landscape has changed so dramatically over the last five to ten years and the rules of engagement have shifted so sharply that if you’re a communications manager and haven’t been keeping up, there’s just no way you’re able to do your job effectively (sorry, that’s just true… but you already know that).

The upshot is, there’s no magic to it. That’s what Communications Breakdown: A Field Manual is all about – breaking down the components of communications that are working today. This isn’t a rehash of tactics we all learned in journalism and marketing school years ago; it’s not what you think should be working or what might work if only done a little differently. This book offers one basic thing: best practices on how to communicate to reach the media, the public and your people.



“This book is a living document. We will be adding updates and making changes along the way. If you have any suggestions or find anything you think should be changed around, we’d love to know about it! The sole purpose of this book is to help communications professionals do their jobs and there are great ideas everywhere. We’re all ears!!”

– Jon Camp / CampSight Strategies

“Finally! A book that spells out best-of-breed tactics for communications professionals.”

"If you want to get in the media, make sure you're doing it right - read on!!."

"A great how-to for anyone responsible for messaging and storytelling."

About the author

Jon Camp founded CampSight Strategies after a long, successful career as an on-air television reporter. From the cat perch of a local journalist, Jon spent two decades observing the best and worst of professional communications. He was on the front lines as the media game transformed from solidly print to a digital Wild West where social ruled the day. You won’t find a better guide when it comes to getting your message to the media and, not just telling, but selling your story.

Jon Camp


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