Who is your media contact? Do you have just one? Has this person been trained? How will facts be confirmed before this person speaks to the media?
Where is the media allowed on your grounds? Do you have this in your policies? How will you enforce? Will you inform your staff and community? Can the media come into your building?
Why do you need to know HOW to handle the media? Correct representation of the facts. What story do you want out there? What can happen if it goes wrong? What we do for one student…
Who can talk to the media? Have you trained your staff about this? Is this a part of your policy statements? “Off the record.”
Tips for the District Media Contact Set the interview when you’re ready. Select a comfortable, non-distracting location. PRACTICE – in the bathroom in front of a mirror Take your time responding to give thought to your answer
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and we are concerned for the safety of our students.”
Myths about Interviews Myth: The interview starts when the reporter asks you the first question. Fact: The interview starts when you first meet the reporter and/or their camera-person. Myth: You are there to answer the reporter’s questions. Fact: You are there to tell the “real” story. Determine your objectives. You may use notes for facts, quotes, key words, etc.
Myths about Interviews Myth: Your audience is the reporter. Fact: Your real audience is the person reading the newspaper and watching the news. Use language the average person would understand. Myth: I can wing the interview. After all, I am only being interviewed by the local reporter. Fact: Most media outlets are connected to a national network. The local interview may have a national audience.
Myths about Interviews Myth: I must talk if the reporter is silent. Fact: Be alert to the waiting tactic. Most people can stand only 6.5 seconds of silence. Reporters know this. When you have said all you need to say – STOP! Myth: The interview is over when the reporter says thank you for being interviewed or when you think the camera has stopped rolling. Fact: The interview is not over until you are driving away from the studio or the reporter has left the school.