Media Relations 101
I want to start a discussion on how best to deal with the media. This is my personal opinion. I realize anyone is going to do what they want and these are by no means rules or regulations. However, I believe a open discussion is needed about this.
1. The media will be looking for a story with a angle.
a. one that is about community and heart warming
b. one that is about a crazy person
2. It is important to remain friendly with a reporter even if there are certain information that you do not want them to publish or report.
a. Acting like a jerk to a reporter will only encourage them to seek more information about you then you want
b. Having respect for their job and showing that respect by being a little bit flexible with their schedule.
c. Also realize they think you are crazy, so perhaps asking them to meet in a non public hidden place is not a great idea. It will establish trust.
3. Set boundaries beforehand on what you want known about yourself.
a. Remember be friendly but also be somewhat assertive.
b. You are not obligated to have a reporter in your business. You don’t have to do the interview
4. Present a rational and logical reason why you are doing what you are doing.
a. Again review 1.b about reporters, they are looking for a story
b. Catchphrases are always cheesy, present your case with honesty and heart.
5. Review before hand on why exactly you are doing a news report
a. Will this further your goals?
b. Anyone reading or watching will automatically think you’re a idiot because this is a new idea being presented before them.
c. If it’s just for show, perhaps you are not doing this for a right reason.
6. There are several different types of reporting in which certain information needs to be collected
a. Television you have more liberties with only using your hero name
b. Printed journalism, real printed or typed journalism, is ruled by a ethics code. They will want all information including your real name and will print it.
1. Review 5.a
2. In a very friendly and calm manner, inform the reporter you do not want your real info out and cannot do the story if that info needs to be reported
3. Remember to treat the reporter with respect because if they feel there is a crazy person story, they will dig that info.
4. Ensure that you’re correspondence to said reporter is through channels that do not give your real id in any way
a. Gmail does not give tracking info out.
b. Tracefones, though pricey, doesn’t give info out either.
c. Don’t show a license plate because news media have access to public record
d. Create a stage name complete with a false background.
e. Reasons why your id should not be revealed
1. My work. I do not want to get fired.
2. I don’t want people to harass me at my home.
3. I don’t want people to try to find my credit info or any other information where people steal from me.
Again, it is important to be as friendly and calm as possible when dealing with the media. Treating them like garbage will only encourage them to hunt for more information. Review your goals and what you want to accomplish and decide if the spotlight on your works will benefit you or not. And understand that people online will harass you, make fun of you and find any shred of information about your life. Be honest about your self and your life. Admitting to mistakes in the past diffuses augments about your character rather than hiding them.
Ultimately any article written you need to understand that it will be apart of your RLSH career or even your life. This is the part where you communicate to the world the real reasons why you do what you do. Distilling all the information to what is real and honest is, I believe, the only way to effectively communicate with the media. Again, what you do with your life is up to you.