Earlier this year, CG&A COMMUNICATIONS conducted a media preparedness session at which we answered some fundamental questions about working with media. In the following five posts we’ll provide a brief recap of some of the key ideas conveyed in our presentations. For example, here are three important questions a spokesperson must first answer to effectively deal with the media.
WHAT IS A HEALTHY APPROACH TO MEDIA?
- Look at every media encounter as an opportunity
- Be pro-active in getting positive media attention
- Be quick to respond when contacted – respecting media deadlines
- Be honest and forthright – even when the news is negative
- Be prepared
WHAT DOES THE MEDIA WANT?
- Facts and relevant information
- Source and reference materials if possible
- An interesting story (preferably with an angle)
- Something ‘graphic’
- Timely material for their deadlines
- ‘A newsworthy story’
WHAT’S A NEWSWORTHY STORY?
- Relevance – Will the story have an impact on the daily lives of the people you are trying to reach?
- Timeliness – Does the story deal with a major issue of the day or relate to a major holiday, event or person?
- Human Interest – Does the story touch on an emotion or experience shared by most people?
- Entertainment value – Is the story funny or does it stimulate curiousity, imagination or passion?
- Controversy – The more outrageous or bitter the controversy, the more people want to see, hear and read about it.
(ed. – The following 5 posts on media preparedness were first published in By George Journal in Fall 2009.)