Chapter 11 Working With The Media


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Chapter 11 Working With The Media

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