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America Outdoors E-News

June 5, 2008

Avoid Risks Associated with Improper Applications and Interviewing Bill to Regulate Wilderness Therapy Programs Passes House Committee
15 Quick Tips for Successful Media Interviews America Outdoors Initiates Partnership with Adventures in Travel Expo for Discounts on Exhibit Space for New Exhibitors
AdventureVacation.com Expects 400,000 Hits America Outdoors' Marketing and Management Conference
Avoid Risks Associated with Improper Applications and Interviewing

Although interviews and application forms are necessary and effective ways to determine whether a potential employee is right for a company, they can also present landmines for potential liability if not handled correctly. A company should never have an individual conducting interviews unless that individual has been trained about the various equal employment opportunity requirements that must be followed. Even if an interviewer does not intend to be discriminatory, words or questions mistakenly or innocently used can create the impression of discrimination.

To read more on this issue and on background checks go to the Personnel Management Section of the Member Resources area of the AO website.

Bill to Regulate Wilderness Therapy Programs Passes House Committee
  The House Education and Labor Committee approved a bill Wednesday, May 14th, that would create stricter rules - and penalties - for wilderness therapy programs, boot camps or similar programs, with several provisions modeled after a program in Utah. The bill has a number of requirements that will create challenges for wilderness programs, such as surprise onsite inspections and a requirement to notify parents within 24 hours of any missed medications. The bill prohibits withholding food, water and other basic necessities from children. The legislation only applies to residential treatment programs. The bill has been marked up by the Committee but still has to pass both the House and Senate.
H.R. 5876:
  • Requires the Department of Health and Human Services to establish regulations for wilderness therapy and boot camp residential programs;
  • Establishes new staff training requirements and regulations where state's are not regulating adequately;
  • Authorizes a toll-free hotline for people to call and report abuse, among other provisions;
  • Calls for the Health and Human Services Department to create a web site with any abuse information connected to a specific program;
  • Requires staff qualifications and responsibilities to be explained to parents looking for more information on sending their children to the camps or therapies.

The bill appropriates $50 million per year through 2013 to HHS to carry out the provisions.

States have three years to set safety and other standards created in the bill once it is signed into law, if Congress passes it. Meanwhile the Assistant Secretary for Children and Families of the Department of Health and Human Services will promulgate regulations and conduct unannounced inspections. Government-run programs are exempt from federal oversight. For a link to H.R. 5876 go to Government Affairs in Member Resources. Look under Legislation.

15 Quick Tips for Successful Media Interviews
  AO is preparing a folder of strategies to use in public relations and in crisis management that will be available on the website later this week.
  1. Have a clear objective. You should never do an interview without having a clear idea of what you want to see in print (or on TV/radio). That means having a key message. Write it down, know it well, and weave it into every answer you can.
  2. Press your point. Look for opportunities during the interview to repeat your key message. Open and close with it, if you can.
  3. Be ready for the worst. Take the time to think of the worst possible questions you'll get asked. Then think of the best answers for each of them.
  4. Be honest. You don't need to tell everything you know, but never lie, no matter how difficult the truth might be.
  5. Never say "no comment." If you can't answer a particular question, say so, but explain why. "No comment" sends off alarms for a reporter that suggests you have something to hide. Explain that you are unable to answer the question because it involves litigation, proprietary or personnel information, or whatever the case.
  6. Everything is "on the record." Don't ever assume or accept that a conversation is off-the-record, not-for-attribution, on background or on deep background. Everyone's definition of those terms is different, and you have to assume that everything is on-the-record.
  7. If you don't want it printed, don't say it. While you have to be honest, you don't have to volunteer things that are not helpful.
  8. Play editor. The reporter will only be able to use a small portion of what you say. If your answers are long, the reporter will edit what you say to extract the quote(s). If your answers are brief and to the point, then you are helping make that selection.
  9. Don't be afraid of saying, "I don't know." Do more than one interview and it's a lock that you'll get asked a question that stumps you. Say so. It is much better than trying to make it up. In fact, if you aren't 100% sure of the answer, you should say so. Offer to get the answer, if appropriate, and make sure somebody follows up.
  10. Be responsive. Press your point, but don't completely dodge the question. Answer the question, but still look for ways to press your point by way of amplification, explanation or clarification.
  11. Be friendly. Don't get into an argument with someone who buys his ink by the barrel. Most reporters aren't out to get you, and even those who are will be easier to handle if you remain professional.
  12. Don't be shy. If a question has an underlying premise that is incorrect, challenge it. If the reporter makes a statement that you disagree with, say so. An unchallenged statement could be used as a quote from you.
  13. Silence is golden. Don't try to fill moments of silence. In most cases, the reporter is simply writing down what you just said. But some reporters use silence as a technique (especially on the electronic side) and you'd be amazed at some of the things they learn when an interview subject struggles to fill it. When you are through with your answer, stop and wait for the reporter to ask the next question.
  14. Don't answer someone else's question. You may be asked about something a customer or competitor did. Be very careful about such questions. Refer the reporter to the appropriate source.
  15. Don't speculate. Reporters love to play "what if." Don't do it. A simple answer is that you don't like to speculate, and if the "what" happens, you'll be happy to answer the question then.

And here's a free one: Relax! You've forgotten more about the subject than the reporter will ever know. And if you are following these suggestions, then you have little to worry about.

America Outdoors Initiates Partnership with
Adventures in Travel Expo for Discounts on Exhibit Space for New Exhibitors
  The Adventures in Travel Expos (ATE) has partnered with America Outdoors to provide members with 10% off exhibit booth space for new exhibitors for its highly regarded active and adventure travel shows.

ATE is located in top DMA markets including Seattle, New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Washington D.C. Over 65,000 highly qualified consumers attend the shows each year. To inquire about the shows and booth space call 203-878-2577 x 108 or email sales@adventureexpo.com. Visit www.adventureexpo.com for dates.
America Outdoors'
Marketing and Management Conference
  America Outdoors is proud to announce that world renowned author and marketing expert James Gilmore is designing special programs for AO's International Marketing and Management Conference. As co-author of The Experience Economy: Work Is Theatre & Every Business a Stage, James H. Gilmore spawned worldwide interest in experience design, customer experience management, and experiential marketing. Gilmore's most recent book, Authenticity: What Consumers Really Want, contends that Authenticity is the new Quality-that businesses must learn to manage authenticity as a distinct business discipline.
Here are just some of the programs offered at this year's event.
  • Rendering Authentic Adventure Experiences
  • Getting Real: An Interactive Workshop
  • Makeover of the Outfitted Trip
  • Make Selling Fun: The Easiest Way to Convert Leads into Customers and Stand Out Online
  • How to Use Social Media to Drive Thousands of Hungry Customers to Your Outdoor and Adventure Website
  • Hiring and Interviewing Techniques to Land the Best Employees
  • Managing and Motivating Seasonal Employees
  • Emerging Lifestyles and Travel Trends
  • Practical Conservation Strategies that Save You Money
AO's conference offers over 20 Marketing and Management sessions to keep your business ahead of the curve and from falling behind the competition. From the latest in Search Engine Optimization to Risk Management Strategies and a special track on Hiring, Managing and Motivating seasonal employees, you can't afford to miss this incredible value. Go to americaoutdoors.org for more information and program descriptions.
AdventureVacation.com Hit Report
  In June adventurevacation.com will have over 400,000 hits and at least 12,000 visits.
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David L. Brown Executive Director dbrown@americaoutdoors.org
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