Media Relations 101
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Media Relations 101



Media relations best practices

Media relations best practices



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    Media Relations 101 Media Relations 101 Presentation Transcript

    • Understanding the News Media
      • Media relations –
      • Refers to a relationship that an individual or organization develops with journalists
      • Informing the public of an organization’s mission, policies and practices in a positive, consistent and credible manner
      • Broadly divided into proactive and reactive activities
      • Public relations –
      • Extends that relationship beyond the media to the general public
      • Gains an organization or individual exposure to their audiences using topics of public interest and news items that do not require direct payment
      • It also offers third-party legitimacy that advertising does not have
    • Understanding the News Media
      • Purpose of media relations:
      • To build awareness through third-party sources
      • To create understanding of an issue or position
      • To develop public image; foster goodwill toward the organization
      • To publicize a new product or service
      • The role of media:
      • To tell THE story, not to tell YOUR story
      • Proactive Media Relations:
      • Stories initiated by the company and/or the agency
      • News releases
      • Bylined articles
      • Case studies
      • Expert source pitches
      • Human interest stories
      • Social Media
      • Editorial calendar opportunities
      • Crisis Media Relations: Stories initiated by the reporter that
      • may not be favorable toward the company or that result
      • from conditions beyond the company’s control
      Understanding the News Media
      • What is news?
      • Is it new
      • Is it unique
      • Is it the first
      • Is it timely
      • Is it the only
      • Is it local
      Understanding the News Media
      • Understanding Media Lead Times
      • Daily newspapers (4 p.m. night before)
      • Weekly newspapers (2 days to a week before)
      • Television (same day to two weeks)
      • Radio (same day to two weeks)
      • Online (immediate)
      Understanding the News Media
      • As a spokesperson, you have the right to:
      • Not be tricked
      • Be treated fairly
      • Be quoted accurately
      • To say “I don’t know”
      • Know the topic of the interview beforehand
      • Know who you’ll be talking with and if they’ve written about the company
      • As a spokesperson, you are obligated to:
      • Be honest and be ethical
      • Be professional
      • Be prepared
      Understanding the News Media
      • As a spokesperson, you DO NOT have the right to:
      • Say things “off the record”
      • Review an article before it goes to print/airs
      • Speak about topics or issues you are not educated on
      • Disclose private information about the company, its employees, its agents, its customers or its vendors unless approved in advance
      Understanding the News Media
    • Understanding the News Media
      • Do’s and Don’ts of Media Relations
      • Do:
      • Treat this as a business relationship
      • Rehearse
      • Remember to use key messages
      • Speak in sound-bites
      • Be memorable
      • Know the media will talk to your competitors
      • Respect deadlines
      • Provide detail
    • Understanding the News Media
      • Don’t:
      • Keep talking to fill silence
      • Speculate
      • Talk too fast
      • Forget: Everything you say can and will be used in print
      • Bad mouth anyone
    • The 4-Step Interview Process
      • Screening
      • Preparation
      • Interview
      • Follow Up
      The 4-Step Interview Process
    • The 4-Step Interview Process
      • Screening
      • Ask questions about the interview
        • Topic
        • Deadline
        • Contact information
        • Publication
      • Stall, if necessary
        • This isn’t a good time. Can I call you back this afternoon or tomorrow?
      • Do NOT get pushed into an instant interview
      • Determine if you want to do the interview in-person or over the phone
      • Contact your agency to make them aware of the opportunity. In most cases, media should be referred to your communications leader.
      • Screening
      • Research the reporter
          • Do they usually cover this topic or beat
          • Have they covered organization before
          • Was it a positive story or experience
          • What is their background
      • Research the publication
          • Is this a tier one, tier two or tier three media outlet
          • What is the audience (agents, customers, employees)
      • Determine the appropriate spokesperson
          • Are you the expert
          • Is there someone else that is more appropriate for the topic or audience of the publication
      The 4-Step Interview Process
    • The 4-Step Interview Process
      • Preparation
      • Analyze the reporter’s request to further your own communications objectives by writing down:
        • 2 – 3 key messages you want to convey
        • 2 – 3 difficult questions you’re likely to face and how you would answer them
      • Get your surroundings ready
        • Reserve a space for the interview where you won’t be interrupted
        • Gather any supporting materials or relevant press information
      • Get yourself ready
        • Rehearse key messages, particularly if this is for a broadcast interview
        • Review statistics, dates or other information you want to convey
        • Take a deep breath
      • The Interview
      • Avoid:
      • Hallway interviews
      • Lunch interviews
      • Interview during happy hour or over cocktails
      • Interviews during private events
      • Do:
      • Set ground rules up front
      • Outline any topics that are off-limits
      • Communicate any time constraints up front
      The 4-Step Interview Process
    • The 4-Step Interview Process
      • A good answer:
      • States or restates the question
      • Gets right to the point
      • Is conversational and sincere
      • Uses relevant facts, figures and names
      • Doesn’t use industry jargon
      • Is informational, not promotional
      • Uses visuals to clarify a point, as available
      • Is truthful
          • If you don’t know, say so.
          • If you make a mistake, correct it.
          • Never speculate.
          • Don’t lie.
    • The 4-Step Interview Process
      • Positive Vs. Negative Language
      • Word choice during an interview can be critical in helping to ensure your words don’t get misquoted or your thoughts misrepresented.
      • Avoid negatives, absolutes and statements that place blame
      • Choose positive, more flexible words and statements
      • Use power words that describe action or invoke emotion/feeling
      Valuable Lessons Mistakes Differences Faults Unwise Bad Could have Should have Seldom Never Often Always Situation Problems Instead use… Avoid…
    • The 4-Step Interview Process
      • Controlling the Interview
      • Bridge from a question or topic to the answer/message you want to give
          • From my perspective …
          • Let’s talk about something I am even more familiar with …
      • Briefly answer the question, but quickly move to a message you’d like to give
          • Yes, but …
      • Pose a new question and answer it yourself
          • The real question here is “what are we doing about the problem.”
          • The heart of the matter really is “what we are doing about the problem”
      • Stop talking
          • Reporters often leave uncomfortable gaps of silence to get you to fill the space
    • The 4-Step Interview Process
      • Responding to difficult or inappropriate questions
      • Stay calm
      • Don’t show panic – by laughing, avoiding eye contact or body language
      • Take a deep breath and collect your thoughts
      • Don’t be defensive
      • Use pre-determined lines to buy you some time or to address the nature of the question
          • I wasn’t prepared to talk about that today.
          • I can send you some additional information on this topic.
          • I’m not sure how this question is relevant to the topic at hand.
          • Can you elaborate on the question?
          • I’m not familiar with the issue/situation and am not equipped to discuss this.
    • The 4-Step Interview Process
      • Follow up
      • Discuss how the interview went with a member of communications or the agency
          • Were you able to include key messages
          • Were there any errors in the information provided
          • What was the tone of interview
          • What questions were asked
          • Is follow up needed
          • Do you know when the piece is expected to run
      • Make any corrections or clarifications immediately following the interview
    • The 4-Step Interview Process
      • Follow up
      • What if there is an error or mistake?
      • It is appropriate to promptly address a factual error or mistake
      • Be aware that print retractions and corrections are usually tiny and are not immediate
      • Online edits can usually be made in real-time
      • What if the article is negative?
      • Be cautious
      • Assess how much damage is really done
      • Address an issue first with the reporter you spoke with
      • Don’t risk ruining a good relationship
      • Use your communications leader to handle this matter
    • QUESTIONS? Mike Hogan Media Relations Specialist Phone: 614/383-1617 Email: