DEALING WITH THE MEDIA January 2011 Tips on Working with the News Media... • FIRST AND FOREMOST!! • The Spokesperson will handle ALL requests for the media. • When a crisis occurs, let everyone in your department know exactly who that person is, and that no one else is to talk to the media, unless otherwise directed. • Let all staff know that calls from the media must routed to that person right away. 2. Dealing with the Media Tips for Working with the News Media • The media is certain to get wind of bad news. • Have a media statement worked out in advance. 3. Dealing with the Media Tips on Working with the News Media... • Remember, you do not avoid the media without consequences you deal with them on your own terms. • Make them feel like you are cooperating and helping while keeping them at a distance! • Listen to the attorneys working with you -- they are concerned about liability. Don’t say any more than they advise, but you can use your own wording with compassion and depth. 4. Dealing with the Media Tips on Working with the News Media... •Be prepared. Before the interview, try to think of some difficult questions and what you would answer to them. Know the who, what, where, when, how, and why’s of the situation. Prepare answers to potential questions. •Prepare a statement dealing with the crisis situation/issue. Distribute the statement to the spokesperson in case media requests come in. 5. Dealing with the Media Tips on Working with the News Media... •Know what message you want to get across. •Be in control of the interview with short, direct answers. •Say what you want to say, but don’t be pushed into saying what the reporter wants you to say •Talk to the reporter, not the camera. 6. Dealing with the Media Tips on Working with the News Media... •Before an interview, stop, check your appearance. •Re-read your notes (it helps if you are looking in a mirror) and take a deep breath. 7. Dealing with the Media Tips on Working with the News Media... •If you can’t answer a question, explain that you can’t, but never say, "No comment.” •This can be interpreted by the media that you are either uninformed, or that you have something to hide. •If you do not know the answer, it is better to say, "I don’t know” or “let me find that out for you” than to be either evasive, or give an incorrect answer. 8. Dealing with the Media Tips on Working with the News Media... •Be Honest. Don’t lie or bend the truth; it will come back to haunt you. •When talking to the media, tell only what you want the interviewer to know. •Take time to think of your answers. Don’t rush to speak and then regret what you’ve said. Be careful what you say, and remember that EVERYTHING you say can be used. 9. Dealing with the Media Tips on Working with the News Media... •Going ‘off the record’ is NOT recommended. It’s dangerous and there aren’t any guarantees. Simply say, ‘No, I’m not comfortable with that.’ •Watch for a question that is re-worded to try and get another answer from you. •Stick to your facts and keep the interview going where you want it to go. 10. Dealing with the Media Tips on Working with the News Media... • Don’t be defensive or nasty. Be friendly to the media. • Don’t say anything you don’t want printed, heard or seen. • Don’t give an inaccurate answer or give facts of which you’re not sure. • Don’t talk for the sake of talking. If continuing to talk will only damage your cause, STOP! 11. Dealing with the Media Tips on Working with the News Media... •Refer the media to your spokesperson. •Prepare information on a crisis, issue or event for the spokesperson so that any media requests can be handled expediently. •Do not say anything that could create additional liabilities. 12. Dealing with the Media Thank You.