Dealing with the media


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Dealing with the media

  1. 1. Dealing with the Media<br />Dennis Mulherin – LEQ Assistant Director 2011<br />
  2. 2. A crisis is….<br />…. Something that poses a threat to the operation and/or reputation of your organization<br />You Can’t Buy Time in a Crisis<br />
  3. 3. Respond early and appropriately – Have a critical response management plan, with contact details<br />It is better to over-escalate (then prudently de-escalate if needed)<br />Stakeholders have immediate demands<br />Everyone has an opinion<br />You need to recognise both courts – Court of Law and Court of Public Opinion<br />The Principles<br />
  4. 4. Inundated by phone calls<br />Grapevine goes crazy<br />Issues compound on issues<br />Stress, pressure, long hours<br />Key people will not have time for normal duties<br />What you can Expect<br />
  5. 5. If you don’t answer the calls, someone else will!<br />The information vacuum never exists for long<br />
  6. 6. Respond to the situation…ensure procedures are followed<br />Develop Key Message Statement<br />Draft Media Holding Statement<br />Gather the facts – who, what, when, where, how<br />‘Why’ is not important<br />The Golden Hour<br />
  7. 7. Key Message Statement is the source doc<br />Q & A document<br />Parents, staff and students<br />Script for receptionist<br />Consider new technologies like Twitter and Facebook for announcements<br />Consistent Approach to Communications<br />
  8. 8. 3 Key Points<br />People can remember between 3-7 points<br />Operate to the LCD<br />Have facts supporting each key message<br />Becomes the safe harbour that you revert back to when challenged<br />Key Message Statement<br />
  9. 9. A student is hospitalised with suspected spinal injuries from a school camp incident<br />A video appearing on YouTube showing a teacher punishing a student against a set of lockers goes viral<br />Key statements give assurances<br />Examples of Crisis<br />
  10. 10. The safety and well-being of the students is our number one priority<br />Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and all those affected<br />We are cooperating fully with the relevant authorities<br />Samples of Key Messages<br />
  11. 11. Buys you 2-3 hours<br />Limit it to confirming that an incident has occurred and is being dealt with as a matter of urgency, and that a full statement will be issued at the earliest opportunity<br />Only facts provided are WHAT, WHEN and WHERE<br />Never release the names of victims!<br />Media Holding Statement<br />
  12. 12. Syphon calls to give yourself time<br />School can’t tell parents their child has died – this has to be done by the police.<br />‘A serious accident has occurred’<br />It is better for parents to hear about an incident from you rather than hear it on the local news, via SMS, and email or on a website<br />Action<br />
  13. 13. Best to inform everyone together rather than in separate locations<br />Phone (including a recorded message)<br />Website – upload all releases to media/parents<br />Face to face – staff and students<br />Newsletter to parents<br />Media Releases<br />Social Media – Twitter and Facebook<br />Log all communications, including calls to/from the media<br />Communication Channel Options<br />
  14. 14. 5W’s and a H – who, what, when, where, why and how<br />Most important to least important<br />Use Key Messages<br />Media may chop the end off messages<br />Assume that a court case will follow…. Document everything<br />Keep all logs, keep all statements<br />Media Statements<br />
  15. 15. Does your critical Incident Management Plan have one?<br />Prepare templates in word (.docx) and also keep on a USB<br />Keep relevant policies in a handbook<br />Crisis Communication Plan<br />
  16. 16. 12 Million digital users<br />Average of 1.5 hours per day<br />79% of professionals spend at least 33 hours per week online<br />15 billion web pages viewed per month<br />Average demographic – 35-49 yo greatest users<br />Social and Electronic Media (Aust)<br />
  17. 17. The best time to handle a crisis is when there is no crisis!<br />
  18. 18. A critical stakeholder<br />A conduit to other stakeholders<br />A major influencer<br />You won’t stop the story with ‘no comment’<br />Are biased (as is every other person involved)<br />The Power of the Media<br />
  19. 19. Impact<br />Timeliness<br />Proximity<br />Prominence<br />Emotive<br />Human Interest<br />What is News<br />
  20. 20. Powerful<br />Influential<br />Biased<br />Under Pressure<br />Cynical<br />Individuals<br />What are the Media?<br />
  21. 21. Knowledgeable<br />Supportive<br />Opposed<br />YOUR FRIENDS!<br />What are they not?<br />
  22. 22. They story<br />The facts<br />Your cooperation<br />Inconsistency<br />What they want<br />
  23. 23. The last word!<br />The power to interpret and distort<br />Full control over the story<br />Little control over editing/headline<br />No desire to issue a retraction/correction<br />What they have<br />
  24. 24. Credibility<br />Knowledge that they need<br />The right to ask for the story angle<br />Control over your answers<br />What you have<br />
  25. 25. No comment = guilt<br />Stalling tactics<br />Not being called back<br />Wasting their time<br />Being told how to do their jobs<br />What they dislike<br />
  26. 26. “Do any of you ladies and gentlemen have questions for the answers I have prepared?”<br />Dr Henry Kissinger<br />Working with your Key Messages<br />
  27. 27. Allow you to deflect attempts to derail your message<br />Allow you to remain in control<br />Allow you to avoid commenting on topics not part of you messages<br />Using Transitional Phrases<br />
  28. 28. Let’s look at the overall picture<br />Let’s put that into perspective<br />The important issue here is…..<br />Well, that’s commercial information I’m not at liberty to disclose, however what I can say is..<br />Before I go on, let’s get the facts straight<br />That may be the view of one sector of the community, but I believe it’s important to also consider the bigger picture<br />Last year/month/week, our decision was based on the information/technology at hand. Now we know/have…<br />There seems to be a lot of misunderstanding/incorrect information here. Let me clarify some points before we go on<br />I don’t have that information on hand, but when I do, I would be happy to discuss it further with you<br />I am unaware of (the details of) that report, but I’ll get a copy and then I’ll be able to make further comment on it. But what I do know is…<br />Source<br />Transitional Phrases<br />
  29. 29. I don’t think I’m the right person to answer that question. I suggest you speak to…but I an able to say…<br />Let’s start at the beginning<br />That’s a hypothetical question/situation and I don’t think it is appropriate to speculate, however the real situation is…<br />Your information/scenario is not accurate. The true situation is…<br />What that means is…<br />That information is the subject of legal action/a police investigation, but what I can say is…<br />Before we get off that subject/topic, let me add that<br />That’s not my area of expertise, but what I can tell you is…<br />That’s a good point, but I think you’d be interested to know that…<br />Let me answer that by saying…<br />Let me give you some back ground information…<br />Whole that is certainly important, don’t forget that…<br />Source<br />Transitional Phrases (cont)<br />
  30. 30. Nerve come with the territory<br />Breathe…relax<br />Speak slowly and calmly<br />Pause<br />Preparing for the Media<br />
  31. 31. Expect tough questions<br />Eliminate surprises<br />Have prepared answers<br />Rehearse<br />Anticipate the Questions<br />
  32. 32. Never do an interview ‘cold’<br />Arrange a time to call the journalist back<br />Check their deadline<br />Have facts/figures to hand<br />Buy what little time you can<br />
  33. 33. No such thing<br />If you don’t want it published then don’t say it<br />Avoid off handed comments and sarcasm<br />End of interview is the end of the discussion<br />“Off the Record”…<br />
  34. 34. Take the initiative and tell your story early<br />Reinforce and answer key messages<br />Correct errors!<br />Remember that the camera is always on<br />When being interviewed<br />
  35. 35. Tell them something you DO know<br />Avoid ‘um’ ‘ah’ ‘well’ ‘you know’<br />Never lie or bluff<br />Admit you do not know and agree to find the answer in a suitable timeframe<br />If you don’t know the answer<br />
  36. 36. It alienates the audience<br />It makes communicating your point difficult<br />Be sensitive to language and culture<br />Acronyms are an educators companion, but<br />Avoid Jargon<br />
  37. 37. Arrive early to avoid being flustered<br />Ensure the location supports your story<br />Key messages, key messages<br />Forget the camera and talk to the journalist<br />Short sharp responses<br />Starts upon entry and finishes in your car<br />Tips for TV Interviews<br />
  38. 38. Single breasted dark suits<br />Avoid stripes, they strobe<br />Conservative tie<br />Pale shirt<br />Neat hair<br />Minimise jewellery<br />Remove sunglasses<br />Remove lanyards, badges etc<br />Dressing for an Interview<br />
  39. 39. Walk with a concerned look on your face<br />Don’t forget that you have rights<br />
  40. 40. Preferably stand but sit upright if sitting is unavoidable<br />Don’t sit in a high backed chair<br />Avoid fidgeting<br />Fold hands on lap, but use hands to stress a point<br />Maintain eye contact with the journalist<br />The camera amplifies mannerisms<br />Drink water prior, but avoid alcohol or milk products<br />Try filming yourself as a practise to identify those mannerisms<br />Body Language<br />
  41. 41. Be polite and take moral high ground<br />It doesn’t have to be adversarial<br />Don’t lose your temper<br />Check your attitude<br />
  42. 42. Hypothetical questions<br />Questions that seek a personal opinion<br />Eg: how does that make you feel?<br />Rapid fire questions (answer the one you like first)<br />Interrupting<br />Paraphrasing – eg: so what you’re saying is<br />Be Aware of…<br />
  43. 43. The presenter acknowledges the expertise and work of Mrs Sarah Dixon – People and Culture, Rowland<br />Acknowledgement<br />
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