Getting Along with Journalists

8 Nov

Chapter 11 Reading Notes COMM 4333

Public Relations Writing and Media Techniques

Areas of Friction

  1. Hype and News Release Spam
  2. Name Calling
  3. Sloppy/Biased Reporting
  4. Tabloid Journalism
  5. Advertising Influence

Working with Journalists

  • Always be areas of friction and disagreement between public relations people and journalists, but they can still have a solid working relationship and mutual respect.
  • Press interviews, news conferences, media tours, and other kinds of gatherings provide excellent opportunities build these relationships.
  • Media Interviews: Who are you? What is the story about? Why did you call me? Who else are you speaking with? Are you going to use my comments in your story? When is the story going to run?

How to Handle Interviews

  1. Never say “No comment”
  2. Do not lie.
  3. Do not let reporters put words into your mouth.
  4. Anticipate questions and plan answers.
  5. Determine in advance what key point or message you want to convey.

News Conferences

  • It is called by an organization when there is important and significant news to announce that would attract a lot of public interest and media attention.
  • Person of importance is coming to town.
  • A complex issue is being announced.
  • A matter of public concern needs to be explained.
  • New product or an invention in the public interest is to unveiled.

-Need a location for a news conference must be close to work place, have it for 1-2 hours, use hotels or conference rooms, and invite all reporters and bloggers who would be interested in the announcement.

-Needs to be well organized, short and punctual.

-Allow reporters to ask questions.

A Media Relations Checklist

  1. Know your media.
  2. Limit your mailings.
  3. Localize – most successful materials have a local angle to them.
  4. Practice good writing.
  5. Avoid gimmicks.
  6. Be available.
  7. Get back to reporters.
  8. Answer your phone.
  9. Be truthful.
  10. Answer questions – “Here it is” “I don’t know, but I will get back to you within the hour.” “I know but I cannot tell you now because…”


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