10 (+10) commandments for effective media relations
→When it comes to working with the media, there are very specific rules of engagement. I won’t pretend that I’ve never made a wrong move, or muttered a few unkind words about a specific reporter for copping an attitude, but the longer I have been on the other side (what we editorial flag wavers call The Dark Side), the more I realize that exhibiting certain sensibilities and following time-tested guidelines makes all the difference in not only getting the media’s attention, but forming a long-term relationship that can benefit you/your company in good times or bad. My humble advice below. Read. Learn. Implement. Click here for the unabridged version of this list, recently penned for Women On Business. —@eatDEWwrite
1. Be open and cooperative.
The truth always rises to the top. Don’t lie.
2. Personalize your organization.
You’re not on a job interview. Show a little personality.
3. Good stories get attention.
Test your pitch out on a couple different people. Listen to their comments. If they’re not excited about your pitch, the media won’t be either.
4. Respond quickly (or lose your opportunity).
5. “No comment,” is just a dumb thing to say. As is, “off the record.”
What have you ever said that hasn’t come back to haunt you? Be straightforward and don’t dodge tough questions.
6. Don’t bullsh-t. It has never worked in anyone’s favor.
7. It’s OK to not have all the answers.
It makes you more likable to say so, and to offer a follow-up interview or to address that question in an upcoming blog post.
8. Skip the second cup of coffee (on interview day).
You’ll have plenty of nervous energy.
9. Roads ramble; you shouldn’t. Not on camera, at least.
10. All reporters are created equal.
Maybe not at the same moment or on the same day, but if someone is spending their valuable time to hear your story, don’t snub them. They could be running The New York Times one day.