SNPA's News Industry Summit: Oct. 10-12 in Nashville

Crisis PR: How to counter the assault on journalism and media credibility


In today's highly divisive political environment, the media and its credibility have become the news. Reporters and media outlets are under attack from all sides – the public, companies, social media, even the nation's highest office.  How can local newspapers convince their audience to click and read when they're constantly warned of "fake news"? 

During next month's SNPA News Industry Summit in Nashville, Tara Deering Hansen, principal of Sonder Public Relations, will discuss the importance of local newspapers developing a public relations strategy to strengthen trust and credibility in their communities.  Like any reputable company, newspapers must know and own their brand.

On Thursday morning, Oct. 11, Deering-Hansen will walk through the steps newspapers can take to:

  • Evaluate and understand their brand image.
  • Proactively educate and engage their targeted audience.
  • Successfully promote the critical role they play.
  • Promote transparency before, during and after perceived errors or bias.
She will provide a framework for SNPA members seeking to develop their own public relations strategy and some immediate tactics to educate and engage their communities.

"In today's environment in which readers are being warned of 'fake news,' it's imperative," she said, "that newspapers develop a strategy to promote their credibility.  I'll walk through steps you can take to understand your newspaper's brand image and how you can proactively educate and engage the public, ultimately turning them into advocates."

Sonder Public Relations is a Des Moines, Iowa, firm specializing in public relations, corporate and strategic communications, and crisis consulting. Prior to joining the firm, Deering-Hansen was group vice president of communications at Hy-Vee, Inc., where she oversaw external and internal communications for the regional grocer's 250 stores and 85,000 employees. Her public relations efforts yielded Hy-Vee consistent national media attention and she was recognized with a 2015 Progressive Grocer Top Women in Grocery Rising Star Award.

She previously held several positions with companies and advertising agencies where she was instrumental with marketing, branding and government relations efforts. Earlier in her career, she was a reporter for the Chicago Tribune, Des Moines Register and Omaha World-Herald. A graduate of Iowa State University, she resides in Clive, Iowa, with her husband, Bruce, and their three daughters.

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Hotel Rooms
The News Industry Summit will be held at the Nashville Hilton. The SNPA room block at the Hilton has been released, but the hotel might have rooms available at its standard pricing. To check availability, call the hotel at (615) 620-1000 (Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.) or dial 1-800-HILTONS.

There are many hotels in and around downtown Nashville.  To shop for the best available rate, check your favorite travel website like and


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