Dealing with the media2

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Dealing with the media2

  1. 1. DEALING WITH THE MEDIA: A Guide for AspiringA Guide for Aspiring Public Relations OfficialsPublic Relations Officials Eric JohnstonEric Johnston Deputy EditorDeputy Editor The Japan Times, Osaka bureauThe Japan Times, Osaka bureau Kansai Gaidai UniversityKansai Gaidai University April 15th, 2009April 15th, 2009
  2. 2. The Role of the MediaThe Role of the Media  To provide factually correct informationTo provide factually correct information to the public that the media, NOT theto the public that the media, NOT the public relations official, considerspublic relations official, considers important.important.  To provide information and opinionsTo provide information and opinions that add to the public’s knowledge andthat add to the public’s knowledge and perception of the issue.perception of the issue.  To present a story in an interesting wayTo present a story in an interesting way that keeps people’s attention.that keeps people’s attention.
  3. 3. Impressions & Stereotypes,Impressions & Stereotypes, or What the Media Really Thinks ofor What the Media Really Thinks of PeoplePeople in Public Relationsin Public Relations  PeopleinPublic Relations arethosewhoweren’tintelligent enoughtogetajobinjournalism.  Thejobof aPublic Relations officialis totelllies andhide thetruth. Thejobof ajournalistis toseekoutthetruth.  Public Relations peoplearesimplyglorifiedsecretaries who rarely, if ever, knowwhat’s reallygoingontheir organization.
  4. 4. Impressions & Stereotypes,Impressions & Stereotypes, or What Public Relations People Really Think ofor What Public Relations People Really Think of people in the Mediapeople in the Media  Journalists have a limited capacity for facts.  Journalists preferscandal and negativity to positive news.  Journalists will lie to you ortrick you just to get a sensational story.
  5. 5. Top MistakesTop Mistakes Public Relations Officials MakePublic Relations Officials Make in Dealing with the Mediain Dealing with the Media  Fail to provide correct information.  Fail to provide information in a timely manner (before deadline).  Fail to anticipate media needs.  Fail to do their homework on the media before they meet them.  Fail to prepareFail to prepare properly for pressproperly for press conference or pressconference or press briefing.briefing.  Fail to follow up afterFail to follow up after the conference orthe conference or briefing.briefing.  Fail to understandFail to understand which media are mostwhich media are most important.important.  Fail to remember thatFail to remember that media is neither theirmedia is neither their friend nor theirfriend nor their enemy.enemy.
  6. 6. FAILURE TO PROVIDE CORRECTFAILURE TO PROVIDE CORRECT INFORMATIONINFORMATION..  Trust with the media is everything. TheTrust with the media is everything. The quickest way to break that trust is to give aquickest way to break that trust is to give a reporter false information.reporter false information.  Two kinds of failures, intentional andTwo kinds of failures, intentional and unintentional. Unintentional failuresunintentional. Unintentional failures signal a lack of competency. Intentionalsignal a lack of competency. Intentional failures show a PR official cannot befailures show a PR official cannot be trusted.trusted.
  7. 7. FAILURE TO PROVIDE TIMELYFAILURE TO PROVIDE TIMELY INFORMATIONINFORMATION  Deadlines are everything to a reporter.Deadlines are everything to a reporter. Don’t expect a ``fair’’ story if you fail toDon’t expect a ``fair’’ story if you fail to meet reporter’s deadline.meet reporter’s deadline.  Understand that the closer to deadline youUnderstand that the closer to deadline you provide the information, the more likely itprovide the information, the more likely it will be the information may not bewill be the information may not be included or edited the way you’d want.included or edited the way you’d want.  Public relations’ officials who missPublic relations’ officials who miss reporter’s deadlines lose the reporter’sreporter’s deadlines lose the reporter’s trust.trust.
  8. 8. FAILURE TO ANTICIPATEFAILURE TO ANTICIPATE MEDIA NEEDSMEDIA NEEDS  Providing useless information is theProviding useless information is the quickest way to reconfirming stereotypesquickest way to reconfirming stereotypes that a Public Relations official is athat a Public Relations official is a professional liar.professional liar.  Providing useful information but in aProviding useful information but in a confusing and unclear way makes it lessconfusing and unclear way makes it less likely the media will get the point of whatlikely the media will get the point of what youyou’’re saying. Knowing media needs inre saying. Knowing media needs in advance builds trust, and gets youradvance builds trust, and gets your message across.message across.
  9. 9. FAILURE TO DO THEIRFAILURE TO DO THEIR HOMEWORK ON THE MEDIAHOMEWORK ON THE MEDIA BEFORE THEY MEET THEMBEFORE THEY MEET THEM  Who are the most important media for myWho are the most important media for my organization?organization?  What have they said in the past about myWhat have they said in the past about my organization?organization?  Who are the most influential media?Who are the most influential media?  What are the names of the reporters,What are the names of the reporters, editors, and producers I need to know, andeditors, and producers I need to know, and what are their information preferences?what are their information preferences?
  10. 10. FAILURE TO PREPARE FORFAILURE TO PREPARE FOR PRESS CONFERENCEPRESS CONFERENCE  Does the speaker know what questions reporters are likely to ask? (THIS IS THE NUMBER ONE JOB OF A PR(THIS IS THE NUMBER ONE JOB OF A PR OFFICIAL, FROM AN ORGANIZATIONOFFICIAL, FROM AN ORGANIZATION’’SS POINT OF VIEW)POINT OF VIEW)  Are the press conference facilitiesAre the press conference facilities adequate (good location, reasonably quiet,adequate (good location, reasonably quiet, proper lighting, comfortable seats, bigproper lighting, comfortable seats, big enough)?enough)?
  11. 11. FAILURE TO FOLLOW UP WITHFAILURE TO FOLLOW UP WITH PRESSPRESS AFTERAFTER THE BRIEFINGTHE BRIEFING  Once the press briefing is over, yourOnce the press briefing is over, your job is not over. You need to checkjob is not over. You need to check the media afterwards and see whothe media afterwards and see who said what about the presssaid what about the press conference.conference.  ItIt’’s OK to ask the press after thes OK to ask the press after the briefing if they plan to writebriefing if they plan to write something, but do NOT ask themsomething, but do NOT ask them why they didnwhy they didn’’t report your event.t report your event.
  12. 12. FAILURE TO UNDERSTANDFAILURE TO UNDERSTAND WHICH MEDIA ARE MOSTWHICH MEDIA ARE MOST IMPORTANTIMPORTANT  Who are you trying to reach?Who are you trying to reach?  Which media are the most importantWhich media are the most important for reaching your target audience?for reaching your target audience?  ``Important``Important’’’’ versus ``Influentialversus ``Influential’’’’.. Important to your customers,Important to your customers, influential among the general public.influential among the general public.  REPORTERS ARE INDIVIDUALS ANDREPORTERS ARE INDIVIDUALS AND MUST BE TREATED AS SUCH.MUST BE TREATED AS SUCH.
  13. 13. FAILURE TO REMEMBER MEDIAFAILURE TO REMEMBER MEDIA IS NEITHER YOUR FRIEND NORIS NEITHER YOUR FRIEND NOR YOUR ENEMYYOUR ENEMY  A reporter is NOT your customer.A reporter is NOT your customer.  A reporter IS a competitor for informationA reporter IS a competitor for information about your company.about your company.  A reporter is NOT out to send yourA reporter is NOT out to send your company into bankruptcy or get you fired.company into bankruptcy or get you fired.  You DO have a responsibility as aYou DO have a responsibility as a citizen in a democratic society tocitizen in a democratic society to provide information to the media, evenprovide information to the media, even if that information is something yourif that information is something your bosses may not want to give to thebosses may not want to give to the media.media.
  14. 14. Technology: Friend or Foe?Technology: Friend or Foe?  INTERNET/E-MAIL BULLETINS: Good,INTERNET/E-MAIL BULLETINS: Good, but be aware that many journalistsbut be aware that many journalists put your bulletins in the spam file.put your bulletins in the spam file.  FACEBOOK/TWITTER: So-so. CheckFACEBOOK/TWITTER: So-so. Check with journalists first before sendingwith journalists first before sending out Twitter messages or asking themout Twitter messages or asking them to join you on Facebook.to join you on Facebook.  PR Videos and DVDs: Helpful ifPR Videos and DVDs: Helpful if youyou’’re dealing with TV or Internetre dealing with TV or Internet reporters.reporters.
  15. 15. Do’s and Don’t with TechnologyDo’s and Don’t with Technology  DO make sure that your companyDO make sure that your company’’ss Website is easy to use, uncluttered, andWebsite is easy to use, uncluttered, and does not take too long to download (staydoes not take too long to download (stay away from Flash and heavy graphics).away from Flash and heavy graphics).  YOUR COMPANYYOUR COMPANY’’S INTERNET SITE SHOULD BE UNDER THES INTERNET SITE SHOULD BE UNDER THE CONTROL OF THE PUBLIC RELATIONSCONTROL OF THE PUBLIC RELATIONS’’ DEPARTMENT, NOT ADEPARTMENT, NOT A SEPARATE IT DEPARTMENTSEPARATE IT DEPARTMENT  DO make sure that the most up-to-dateDO make sure that the most up-to-date information is easily available.information is easily available.  DONDON’’T forget to include basic, practicalT forget to include basic, practical information like telephone numbers is oninformation like telephone numbers is on the main page.the main page.  DONDON’’T ever assume that journalists canT ever assume that journalists can navigate your Website as easily as younavigate your Website as easily as you can.can.
  16. 16. Special Issues Regarding PublicSpecial Issues Regarding Public Relations in JapanRelations in Japan  The Three Types of Japanese Public RelationsThe Three Types of Japanese Public Relations OfficialOfficial 1)1) The BureaucratThe Bureaucrat – Humorless, unfriendly, but– Humorless, unfriendly, but extremely good with small facts and figures.extremely good with small facts and figures. 2)2) The Potted PlantThe Potted Plant– The stylish, beautiful young– The stylish, beautiful young woman or handsome young man who looks good,woman or handsome young man who looks good, speaks a foreign language, is polite, and alwaysspeaks a foreign language, is polite, and always around, but who knows absolutely nothing andaround, but who knows absolutely nothing and has no access to the people journalists need tohas no access to the people journalists need to meet.meet. 3)3) The ProfessionalThe Professional – Businesslike but friendly, fast,– Businesslike but friendly, fast, efficient. Knows the media well and, basically,efficient. Knows the media well and, basically, likes them even when he disagrees with them.likes them even when he disagrees with them.
  17. 17. Special Issues Regarding PublicSpecial Issues Regarding Public Relations in JapanRelations in Japan  In Japan, PR officials are rarely professionallyIn Japan, PR officials are rarely professionally trained as PR officials. Compared to U.S.,trained as PR officials. Compared to U.S., Singapore, Hong Kong, parts of Europe, JapaneseSingapore, Hong Kong, parts of Europe, Japanese PR officials are too often amateurish.PR officials are too often amateurish.  Because Japanese PR types can be poorBecause Japanese PR types can be poor communicators, personally, they can appearcommunicators, personally, they can appear professionally secretive, arrogant and deceitful toprofessionally secretive, arrogant and deceitful to outsidersoutsiders ––especially to foreign journalists.especially to foreign journalists.  PR officials in Japan are often unable or unwillingPR officials in Japan are often unable or unwilling to take a more objective view of theirto take a more objective view of their organization than PR officials elsewhere. Theyorganization than PR officials elsewhere. They cancan’’t joke about their organizationt joke about their organization ``The worst``The worst thing about a fanatic is his sincerity.thing about a fanatic is his sincerity.’’’’
  18. 18. Special Issues Regarding PublicSpecial Issues Regarding Public Relations in JapanRelations in Japan  Branch offices of Tokyo firms do have PRBranch offices of Tokyo firms do have PR officials, but they are often uselessofficials, but they are often useless `madogiwazoku`madogiwazoku’’. Usually all important PR. Usually all important PR information comes from Tokyo.information comes from Tokyo.  PR officials in Japan are used to dealingPR officials in Japan are used to dealing with a Japanese media that is far morewith a Japanese media that is far more friendly to them than media elsewhere. Asfriendly to them than media elsewhere. As a result, they often become lazy, and area result, they often become lazy, and are unprepared for dealing with the outsideunprepared for dealing with the outside worldworld’’s media.s media.
  19. 19. Eric’s Wish List For Aspiring PREric’s Wish List For Aspiring PR OfficialsOfficials  Don’t be bureaucratic. Be human, and have a sense of humor.Don’t be bureaucratic. Be human, and have a sense of humor.  Pay attention to the small details that make a reporter’s life easier. ForPay attention to the small details that make a reporter’s life easier. For example, make sure all names are spelled correctly. In case of Japaneseexample, make sure all names are spelled correctly. In case of Japanese press releases, make sure that either (1) the names of the people speakingpress releases, make sure that either (1) the names of the people speaking are written in English; or (2) there is furigana beside the kanji names.are written in English; or (2) there is furigana beside the kanji names.  Do research on the media you deal with. Know which reporters andDo research on the media you deal with. Know which reporters and editors are covering your company. Know what their preferences,editors are covering your company. Know what their preferences, schedules, and limitations are.schedules, and limitations are.  Be succinct in your speech and in your writing. Don’t waste our time withBe succinct in your speech and in your writing. Don’t waste our time with useless information. Again, we’re NOT your customer.useless information. Again, we’re NOT your customer.  Know the basic rules of journalism, what ``off the record’’ and ``onKnow the basic rules of journalism, what ``off the record’’ and ``on background’’ really mean. Also KNOW HOW THE MEANINGS AREbackground’’ really mean. Also KNOW HOW THE MEANINGS ARE DIFFERENT IN JAPANESE AND ENGLISH.DIFFERENT IN JAPANESE AND ENGLISH.  At the end of the day, public relations is about the art of providingAt the end of the day, public relations is about the art of providing information in a truthful manner, information that tells your side of theinformation in a truthful manner, information that tells your side of the story. Nothing more, nothing less.story. Nothing more, nothing less.
  20. 20. THANK YOU!!!!THANK YOU!!!! QUESTIONS?QUESTIONS? COMMENTS?COMMENTS? CRITICISMS?CRITICISMS?

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