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Chapter 11   Working With The Media
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Chapter 11 Working With The Media


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  • 1. Working with Journalists
  • 2. Working w/Journalists  Survey: media relations #1 responsibility of PR staff  Journalists admit using news releases (50-60% of the time)  Journalists = info processors, not info gatherers  Journalists are 3rd party endorsers  PR people save journalists time, money, effort of gathering their own news  Publicists operate as “unpaid reporters”
  • 3. Working w/Journalists Cont’  Media depends on PR and vice versa  2/3 of journalists say they don’t trust PR people, but 81% say they need them  There are areas of friction – Hype/Other Irritations – Name Calling – Sloppy/Biased Reporting – Tabloid Journalism – Advertising Influence
  • 4. Hype/Other Irritations  Use of over used words: “unique” “revolutionary”  Using gimmicks to sell a story – Make sure there is a news hook and clear connection between item and news you are announcing – Send items reporters can use – Consider creative packaging instead of promotional item – Think simply (one item)
  • 5. Sloppy/Biased Reporting  Execs think news coverage often reflects a reporter’s bias  Execs believe journalists don’t do their homework and have no background in the subject they are covering
  • 6. Sloppy Cont’  Execs also don’t understand how the media operate and what they need; therefore, they may give vague answers or stonewall – Reduce by:  Educating execs on how media operate, basic news values  Train execs to give brief answers (soundbites)  Provide extensive background information to reporters
  • 7. Tabloid Journalism  Becoming more prevalent  Things to consider when dealing w/sensationalist media: – Never do adversarial interview alone. Have media- savvy attorney sit in on the interview – Research reporter and know his/her method of questioning – Don’t accept any document on camera – Get a commitment that you will be able to respond to accusations made by others
  • 8. Advertising Influence  Most media dependent on ad revenues  Influencing news content – Some newspapers, magazines run stories that prominently feature their advertisers – Big advertisers may demand advance warnings about controversial articles, so it can decide whether to pull its ad  Ex., many airlines demand The New York Times yank their ads if they appear near news of an air crash
  • 9. Individual Interviews  Interview the reporter first  Anticipate questions  Know your audience  Develop a message  Answer questions, but link them to your message whenever possible  Conclusions first, back up with facts  NEVER answer hypothetical questions  Always answer positively; it’s the answer that counts, not the question
  • 10. News Conferences  Reporters ask questions simultaneously  Significant news to announce – Crises – # of requests from reporters – New, MAJOR product introduced  Consider – Time – Location – Invitations – Organized – Conclusion
  • 11. Media Tours  Personal visits to multiple cities and media outlets  Objective is to: – Generate coverage (schedule interviews w/print and broadcast) – Establish a working relationship (visit w/reporters to educate them about a product or organization, etc.)
  • 12. Previews and Parties  Used for: – Opening of a new facility – Launch of a new product – Announcement of a new promotion for an already established product – Often held in the evening
  • 13. Press Junkets  Trips of reporters paid for by company so the reporter can view a new clothing line, product, etc.  Used a lot in the travel industry  Also used in movie, fashion industries  Some debate about whether this is ethical or not
  • 14. Editorial Board Meetings  Meet with board members of the newspaper to educate them on a cause/issue, position of your organization, etc.  Visit to request coverage and editorials supporting a particular cause  Used by non-profits, associations, political candidates, trade groups, etc.
  • 15. A Media Relations Checklist  Know your media  Limit your mailings  Localize  Send newsworthy information  Avoid gimmicks  Be environmentally friendly  Be available/accessible  Get back to reporters  Answer your own phone
  • 16. Checklist Cont’  Be truthful  Avoid “off-the-cuff” remarks  Protect exclusives  Be fair  Help the photo/video journalists  Explain  Remember deadlines  Praise good work  Correct errors POLITELY
  • 17. Advertising Influence Cont’  A Question of Ethics – How does PR person sort out the media that are “for sale” and those that maintain high standards? – Should you build ad costs into your PR budget? – If publication insists you buy an ad to get news coverage, should you? – Is buying an ad in exchange for news coverage or paying an editor a consulting fee a violation of ethics or just good business?