Media Relations 101
Very few people are prepared to speak with journalists during a crisis: a charity whose board you sit on falls far short of its fundraising goals; the rabbi resigns over religious disagreements with your congregation and you are the spokesperson; the division you manage loses a major customer. At that point, reporters may be hounding you and you may not have all the information you need to properly respond. In order to talk to the media effectively, you need to understand some basics about journalism and publicity, as well as develop a strategic process that starts long before you might be in the limelight. Even if you have a corporate PR person to drum up interest in what you say or you are speaking at an organization's convention, you should have an entrepreneurial attitude about making sure as many as possible will be listening. How would you feel if you flew across the country for a break-out section and only a half dozen people showed up? What if your interview is your only shot at a newspaper audience and you misspeak because you were not prepared for a sticky question?